Campus and Community

National Equal Pay Day

It is a symbolic event dedicated to raising awareness and informing the community about the gender pay gap.

equal pay, women, wage gap, MI-ACE, OU, Oakland University

icon of a calendarMarch 24, 2021

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Today is National Equal Pay Day
While women have gained important political power and business leadership positions in recent years, there is still work to be done to reach full equality, especially when it comes to salary equality.

Wednesday, March 24, is the national Equal Pay Day. It is a symbolic event dedicated to raising awareness and informing the community about the gender pay gap. It is a global issue around the world. In the United States, this date symbolizes how far into the year the average women must work in order to earn what the average man earns in the previous year regardless of experience or job type.

While women have gained important political power and business leadership positions, there is still work to be done to reach full equality, especially when it comes to salary equality. Over half a century after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women still face a substantial gender wage gap according to this recent Business Insider article.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research estimates that equal pay will not be reached until 2059. The color red is worn on this day pay as a symbol of how far women are “in the red” with regard to pay. Here is what LeanIn.org says about the gender pay gap.

According to MI-ACE Women’s Network Oakland University institutional representatives Joi Cunningham and Anita Hicks, the quest for equal pay for equal work needs to continually be brought forward until it is addressed. They say, “Women are graduating from college at a higher rate than men and every woman deserves fair pay. It is time to close the gap.”

Here is what some other OU leaders are saying about this important date:

“Women must receive equal pay for equal work as a fundamental component of a more just workplace,” said Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz. “The historical circumstances and contemporary causes for pay inequities must be addressed as universities work to be model work environments of fairness and diversity.”

Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Britt Rios-Ellis added, "Professional, learned, and mission-driven women are needed more than ever in the workforce, especially in leadership. Diversity provides an opportunity for collaboration among people who think differently, have experienced various life contexts and who bring needed creativity and innovation to push organizations forward. Women and underrepresented minorities need to be paid fairly to reflect this important and vital contribution." 

“I stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with our women employees to champion the day that everyone will receive equal pay for equal work,” said Glenn McIntosh, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer.

Stephanie J. Lee, Administrative Associate and MI-Ace Network Board member in the Provost’s Office said, “Embracing equal pay for equal work is not only important for women, but for all of us. Being inclusive in all aspects of work, including financially, is an important step forward that will only make us better as a whole.”

In addition to today’s national recognition for all women, these are other dates, categories and statistics assigned to striving for equal pay for 2021:

Asian American and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day is March 9
Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Mother’s Equal Pay Day is June 4
Mothers are paid 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is August 3
Black women are paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day is September 8
Native women are paid 60 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Latina’s Equal Pay Day is October 21.
Latinas are paid 55 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Source: AAUW: Learn more about how the pay gap is calculated, causes of the gap, and common misconceptions from the American Association of University Women.

 

 

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