Honoring the Women in my Life

March is Women's History Month and this week The Wichita Eagle reported that the lack of good jobs for professional women is crippling the Wichita economy. Women with the same job, same education and same work experience are being paid less than their male counterparts. I've included the whole story here, and I'd encourage you to read it.


We've all heard about the wage gap in America, but a recent study shows that Wichita ranks in the bottom 20% of similar sized cities for wage equality. This wage gap costs the Wichita economy $176 million per year! In order to grow our economy we must do more to attract women with college degrees to live, work and raise their families here. In addition to equal pay, we need more progressive workplaces for all employees demonstrating employers in the public and private sectors truly value their employees, including equal opportunity for advancement, flexible scheduling, maternity and paternity leave, and available child-care.

My wife is a local businesswoman. We are fortunate that she works for a progressive employer that allows her flexibility in her schedule. I recognize and acknowledge the significant value that my wife, and other women like her, add to our local businesses and the community at large. We must do more to encourage smart, skilled women to build their lives in South Central Kansas. Not only because it makes the our economy better, but because it makes our businesses better.thompsons.jpg

I want my daughter, Liberty, to grow up to live her own American Dream. One of my top priorities as a parent is to ensure my daughter receives the best education possible and has every opportunity to achieve success. When I tell Liberty that she can grow up to be anything she wants to be, I want to know she will be able to secure a good job in the community of her choice and be paid equally to her male peers. I want my daughter to be welcomed home after she completes her education so she can work to enhance our community with her talents.

The women in my life make me a better man each day. Taking steps to attract more women professionals to live and work in the 4th Congressional District will make it easier for South Central Kansas businesses to grow and expand. We must focus on intentionally including women in leadership roles both in business and our community. Diversity in positions of power is critical to achieving equality for all. When our Kansas economy works for everyone, we all do better.

When I'm in Congress, I'll demand equal pay for women. I'll battle for our kids to have the opportunity to complete their higher education and job training, without crushing them with student loan debt. I'll fight to bring jobs to South Central Kansas so our kids don't have to leave home to start their careers. At the end of the day, we all want the same things: equal opportunity, a good job to support our families, and the hope that our kids will have a better life than we did.

Please stand and fight with me!

James Thompson
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