CBS News talks to N.C. women about opportunity, glass ceiling, 2016 election

Women voters

Women voters have the power to decide the presidential election -- they make up more than half the electorate. In a CBS News/NY Times poll released Friday, they told us their most important problems are equal pay and workplace equality -- far ahead of such issues as health care and domestic abuse.

CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez talked to women voters -- Democrats and Republicans -- in the battleground state of North Carolina.

RHONDA HICKS:  There’s still that notion of a glass ceiling for sure.  I think women are more empowered but we’re kind of still constricted to a box.

DONNA SPAULDING:  Even as a working woman we still face certain obstacles that I don’t necessarily think every male in that same position is gonna face

PAT ORRANGE:  And I also think we have to consider things like policy … like family and medical leave, providing a living wage.

Hillary Clinton campaigns for women voters

Rhonda, Donna and Pat said they’re voting for Hillary Clinton. Julie said she’s voting for Donald Trump.

JULIE DURAND:  “I’m Republican, there’s part of me that is nervous about Trump.  My  core values inside are very strong ... and I gotta PRAY that he surrounds himself with people that are smart, intelligent, fair .. “

RHONDA HICKS:  “She was mentioning about core values … If I’m looking at Trump … there’s not one segment of this country that he has not spoken about in a negative way.”

Another woman, Angela, is sitting it out.

ANGELA GROM:  “I’ve decided not to vote this year … I can’t  vote for my party just because they’re my party, when they have somebody so careless and reckless, I am not a Hillary supporter …   I think she stands for bad policies that we’ve had in office for the last eight years.”

The N.C. women in front are voting for Hillary Clinton. In the back, one is voting for Trump and one is sitting it out. CBS News

The Clinton supporters said electing a woman would be good for the nation.

PAT ORRANGE:  “Absolutely.”

DONNA SPAULDING: “I believe fundamentally we need some female perspective creating policy.”

RHONDA HICKS: “ She’s been a women’s advocate and a children’s advocate her entire career. So that could bode well for us women going forward.”

And how will U.S. women fare if Trump is elected?

Trump buries "birther" issue -- sort of

JULIE DURAND: “I don’t think it would hurt us at all.  He’s been a businessman, he’s always been a business man, this is a new environment for him he’s learning as he’s going.”

DONNA SPAULDING:  “Unfortunately,  I think he’s exuded sexism so we’ve seen that, we’ve heard his words  …  He has not shown that he thinks about inclusion and difference and diversity.”

PAT ORRANGE: “I believe this country is at a crossroads. I believe there are critical issues that have to be addressed in a steady and sensible and intelligent way.”

JULIE DURAND: “We should be proud to be living here … To be able to vote and get out the best candidate for all of us is huge.”

More than half of registered women in North Carolina are women. And it IS a swing state. Barack Obama won North Carolina in 2008 -- and lost it in 2012.