Pay Inequity: It’s Not Logical, It’s Sexist

By Kyra Charles

In 1974, an amazing ad* aired on television. Batman and Robin are tied up in an abandoned warehouse with a bomb ready to explode. Batgirl swings in, presumably to rescue our heroes. However, she stops dead in her tracks in front of the bomb, refusing to defuse it. Why? “I’ve worked for you a long time, and I’m paid less than Robin!” she declares. The announcer leaves us on a cliff-hanger, with Batgirl’s heroism depending on the passage of the Federal Equal Pay Law*.

Forty-six years later and pay inequity is still the norm. According to the AAUW*, the average woman earns 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, and it’s often less than that for women of color. Of course, there are arguments as to why this is the case. One is that women are frequently paid less because of inexperience. But pay inequality has already lasted through generations of women who’ve built careers for themselves. Like Batgirl, some are even paid less than men in junior roles*.

Then there’s the argument of children; that women usually take amateur jobs so that they can raise them. Even so, a study from Business Insider shows that mothers are actually paid more than women without children, and both groups are still paid less than men*. Women are pressured to prioritize children over their jobs, and then punished by their jobs by not being paid enough to care for their children.

Pay inequity effects women of all walks of life, refusing to budge over antiquated ideas of a woman’s place. According to the statistics, at the rate we’re going, equal pay won’t be achieved in the US until 2059, almost one hundred years after the Equal Pay Act was passed*. But I’m not interested in waiting. Due to the effects of the coronavirus, the UMKC Women’s Center couldn’t have its annual Equal Pay Day table, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do! AAUW has several different resource kits for how to educate and fight for this issue, from calling your representatives to recruitment events. You can also further educate yourselves and others on this topic and break the taboo of salary silence. We shouldn’t have to hold a bomb over our boss’s heads to be paid equal to our male counterparts.








Scholarship Opportunity – National Conference for College Women Student Leaders

By Ann Varner

Are you interested in developing your leadership skills? Are you passionate about taking action in your community and being a change-maker? If so, pick up an application from the Women’s Center for the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

The Scholarship

Every year the American Association of University Women (AAUW) provides a scholarship of up to $1,000 to a female student to attend the three-day conference at the University of Maryland. This year, the conference will be held from May 30 to June 2, 2018. The scholarship covers most of the expenses of the trip (including most meals, room accommodations, and travel). The goal of the conference is to “provide a transformative experience for attendees and prepare them to be the next generation of leaders” (AAUW). With over 50 leadership-building sessions, guest speakers, a job fair, and meeting the “fiercest trailblazers” of today, this opportunity is one you don’t want to miss.

NCCWSL History

The AAUW National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) was founded in 1983. At a time when the gender gap in leadership was not closing fast enough, the AAUW and other organizations organized this conference as a leadership meeting for college women to gain “the skills and confidence they need to make change.” According to their website, past attendees have, “gone on to lead nonprofits, innovate the corporate world, create disruptive technologies, and more.”

To find out more, visit their website:

Deadline to apply is 12:00 p.m., Monday, March 12.

If you have any questions or concerns contact Arzie Umali at or 816-235-5577.

Attention UMKC students: Are you a Reentry Woman?

If you are, this is the scholarship for you.

By Megan Schwindler

The AAUW Kansas City is offering a $500 award for Reentry Women. This award includes either a cash amount or a scholarship paid to the college on your behalf. The Council presents this scholarship annually to women who “exemplify the effort, perseverance, and courage to return to the classroom in pursuit of personal and vocational goals.”

About the American Association of University Women

AAUW has been empowering women since 1881. Their organization has worked to improve the lives of millions of women and their families through programs in research, campus initiatives, STEM education, public policy, and educational funding, among others. You can visit this link to find out more.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

You must meet the qualifications below and fill out an application. Applications are available at the UMKC Women’s Center.

Can you answer YES to each of these statements?

  1. I was out of school (high school or college) for at least 5 years before returning to school.
  2. I am currently enrolled as a full-time student or part-time student (6 hours minimum)
  3. I have not completed a bachelor’s degree.
  4. I have completed at least 30 hours of undergraduate credit prior to applying with at least 15 hours completed since reentry OR I am pursuing an academic certificate and earned credit last semester.
  5. I have a grade point average of at least 3.0 since reentry to college.

If you meet all of the above qualifications, contact:

Arzie Umali

105 Haag Hall, 5120 Rockhill Rd.



This Tuesday is Equal Pay Day!

by Thea Voutiritsas

click to enlarge

The multiple ways to measure the gender pay gap can create a misconception that the data is unreliable. However, it is remarkably clear that no matter how the gap is measured, it certainly exists. The different types of gaps just answer different parts of the question. Age, ethnicity, education level, degree, and experience all factor in to a person’s earnings. Some may argue that women make “choices” that lead them to lower paying jobs, like their college major or becoming a mother. However, “choice” is an unverified assumption. Women often face barriers in entering male-dominated fields ranging from lack of information about job prospects to actual harassment and discrimination. Men and women also aren’t normally offered equal amounts of maternity and paternity leave. Therefore men and women are not able to share the responsibilities of childcare.

The bottom line is, the gender pay gap affects women across the board, though minorities fare much worse in the workplace. In 2015, even the lowest earning workers saw an 8% discrepancy between men’s and women’s wages. At the median income level, women’s hourly wages matched up to only 82.7 % of men’s. These figures are just one set of results found from the many studies done on the gender pay gap. Some studies may only look at hourly pay and exclude part-time workers. Some studies survey only certain demographics; and some studies factor in education level and experience, while others don’t.

April 4th represents how far into 2017 women must work to earn what men earned on average in 2016. Join is this Tuesday, April 4th from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Miller Nichols Learning Center Lobby, (800 E. 51st St.) to learn about the pay inequities women still face. Co-sponsored by the American Association of University Women Kansas City Branch, UMKC Career Services, and U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau.

AAUW Opportunity for Leadership Development

The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is an annual event held over a three-day period at the University of Maryland. This year it will be May 31 – June 3. The Conference brings together students from all over the United States to participate in workshops, hear women in national and global leadership roles speak, and be encouraged to become leaders on campus and beyond. Attendance was nearly 1000 students in 2016. As America’s premier conference for college women, the conference provides a transformative experience for attendees and prepares them to be the next generation of leaders. Each attendee becomes a part of the 30-year legacy of the conference.

  • Choose from more than 50 workshops that prepare them for life after college.
  • Meet incredible role models including Women of Distinction awardees and speakers.
  • Make connections for life.
  • Discover their future from more than eighty graduate schools and employers.
  • Gain the confidence and skills to return to their campuses and communities ready to take action.

Because the Kansas City AAUW branch considers this to be such an outstanding event, it is sponsoring one scholarship for an undergraduate student from one of our local AAUW Partner Member colleges/universities to attend the Conference. The scholarship, not to exceed $1000, will cover registration expenses which includes most meals, room accommodations, and travel.

The student must be recommended by you as the AAUW College/University representative and meet the requirements on the application form. A deadline of March 8 for submission of the application has been set. Selection will be based upon the student’s prior leadership endeavors, with an emphasis on campus involvement. We are encouraging you to nominate your student as soon as possible, or at least let us know if you will be nominating someone.

There are other NCCWSL scholarships (covers registration fee) available and AAUW-KC strongly encourages students to apply for them. The application process for these national scholarships can be found on the website/NCCWSL. The national NCCWSL scholarship deadline is February 28.

It’s rewarding to see students come back from the Conference full of enthusiasm and confidence. She will enhance her campus with what she’s learned.

Applications available at the Women’s Center, 105 Haag Hall. Deadline to apply is 3:00 p.m. March 8. Contact Arzie Umali, or 816-235-5577.

For further conference information, please contact Patti Jachowicz, AAUW-KC Chair, College/University Partnerships, at or 224-558-7757.


AAUW Scholarship Opportunity


Attention Students!

The Reentry Woman Scholarship Award sponsored American Association of University Women (AAUW) is up for grabs now! The award is worth $500 and is available to students who meet the following qualifications:

  1. The student has been out of school for at least five years before returning.
  2. The student is currently enrolled as a full OR part-time student.
  3. The student has not yet completed a bachelor’s degree.
  4. The student has completed at least 30 hours of undergraduate credit, 15 of which have been completed since reentry.
  5. The student has a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Contact Arzie Umali ( for more information, or to submit an application.


Throwback Thursday

Crossing the Line cover

In November of 2011, the American Association of University Women conducted a comprehensive survey with a national sample of students grades 7-12. The report offers the most comprehensive research on sexual harassment to date in these ages and reveals some sobering statistics about the prevalence of sexual harassment and the negative impact it has on students’ education.

The report concludes with concrete recommendations and promising practices for preventing sexual harassment. The recommendations are directed at school administrators, educators, parents, students, and community members. The AAUW hopes to inspire readers to take action to help stop this unfortunate epidemic.

Click the link here to download the full report or executive summary as well as additional resources.


Reentry Woman of the Year Award Applications are now available

Can you answer Yes to each of these questions?AAUW_BTB

  1. Were you out of school (high school or college) for at least 5 years before returning to school?
  2. Have you completed at least 30 hours of undergraduate credit prior to this application?
  3. Are you still working to complete your bachelor’s degree?
  4. Have you completed at least 15 hours of college credit since returning to school?
  5. Are you currently enrolled as a full time or part time student (6 hours minimum)?
  6. Do you have a grade point average of at least 3.0 since returning to school?


If you meet these qualifications, you are eligible to apply for the American Association of University Women’s Reentry Woman of the Year Award. This award is sponsored by the AAUW Greater Kansas City Interbranch Council. You can receive your $500 award in cash or as a scholarship paid to your college or university on your behalf.

To apply, please stop by the Women’s Center, 105 Haag Hall, to pick up an application. Details regarding the essay component are included on the application.

A complete application packet includes: your application, required essay, and at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, or employer. Letters of recommendation must also be signed by your university Reentry Program Coordinator or an equivalent administrator. The Reentry Program Coordinator for UMKC is Arzie Umali, Assistant Director of the Women’s Center.

All application materials must be turned in to Arzie Umali at the Women’s Center by Friday, March 15, 2013.