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.

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is5vIf7nwsU

*https://www.history.com/topics/womens-rights/equal-pay-act

*https://www.aauw.org/resource/how-to-equal-pay-day/

*https://www.fastcompany.com/90325308/why-are-women-still-making-so-much-less-than-men

*https://www.businessinsider.com/gender-wage-pay-gap-charts-2017-3

*https://iwpr.org/publications/projected-year-wage-gap-will-close-state/

 

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.

Equal Pay Day – April 8th!

In case you haven’t heard, tomorrow is Equal Pay Day! The Women’s Center will be outside of Royall (or inside, if the weather doesn’t allow) giving away pizza. Women will get two slices and men will get one in IMG_8092order to demonstrate the disparity between men and women’s pay. A white woman will make $.77 to a man’s $1.00 (and black and Latina women will make even less).

The United States Department of Labor – Women’s Bureau, AAUW, and UMKC Career Services will be joining us from 11:00AM – 1:00PM, Tuesday, April 7, 2014. Come check out our tables and learn how you can make a difference in this important issue!

And if you have time, be sure to check out the Equal Pay Workshop at the Miller Nichols Learning Center, room 151: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from 3:00PM – 5:00PM.

A Women’s Center for Everyone

WC_Logo-2COLOR-FBy Arzie Umali

The Women’s Center has had a home at UMKC for over 40 years; however, every day, someone new walks through our doors, attends one of our events, or discovers us on the internet.  That is what is so great about the Women’s Center. It is available and accessible to everyone.  It is a place to come when you want to meet people or you need some extra support. It is a staff of creative, passionate people who plan programs and events to educate you and raise your awareness about gender issues so that you feel inspired to get involved. And it is a service that helps you find resources for women, learn about the multicultural realities of women, and stay informed about current events that affect women. Our mission is to advocate, educate, and provide support services for the advancement of women’s equity on campus and within the community at large, and as a place, a staff, and a service for our students we strive to make this happen.

The Women’s Center is located in 105 Haag Hall. It is a convenient location for students who need a space to study between classes, finish up homework, or meet up with friends. We are open every weekday from 8 AM to 5 PM and we encourage all students to take advantage of our study lounge with computers and a comfy couch, conference room, and kitchenette. For nursing mothers we offer a private and secure lactation room with refrigerator for storing breast milk. And if it’s a book on women’s and gender topics you are looking for, our friendly staff is always happy to help you find a book in our library. The Women’s Center also houses the Violence Prevention and Response Project, where you can pick up information and resources about gender violence, stalking, and sexual assault, or stop by and speak to our Victim Services Adjudication Advisor if you need extra support. Our center really is about having a safer space to go when you need help, when you need to get away, or even if you need to see a friendly smile.

If activism and getting involved are what you want from your college experience, attending one or all of the Women’s Center’s programs is what you need to do. We offer a number of events that will raise your awareness about gender disparities and inspire you to get involved.  Through our Violence and Prevention Project we offer programs on sexual assault prevention to create a safer campus community.   This semester, our V-Day programs will begin in February with information tables at various locations across campus that will offer information about the international movement to end violence against women and girls. On February 19, we will be partnering with the UMKC Men of Color Initiative to offer a workshop just for men to discuss their own responsibilities in ending violence toward women. And on the evening of Tuesday, March 4, at the Student Union Theater, we will present a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, which includes a diverse cast of women from the UMKC student body, staff and faculty, as well as women from the community.  For more details about all our V-Day programs or to purchase tickets to The Vagina Monologues, please visit the V-Day UMKC website at http://www.umkc.edu/womenc/VDay2014/default.asp.

The Women’s Center also hosts a number of events that recognize the accomplishment of women and focus on gender equity. During the week of February 24,  we will be presenting Every Body is Beautiful Week, a series of programs that addresses eating disorders and negative body image as barriers to women’s achievement.  These programs are offered as a campus-wide effort in partnership with the UMKC Counseling Center, Office of Student Involvement, UMKC Athletics, Swinney Recreation Center, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Student Health and Wellness to create more body positive messaging and ideals for women and girls. In March during Women’s History Month we will offer a trivia contest challenging our campus community’s knowledge of the accomplishments of women in history.  And on April 8, we will host an Equal Pay Day event to raise awareness of the pay disparities that women in America still face. All of these events are meant to engage our students in the unique experiences of all women.

The Women’s Center also addresses the issue of gender discrimination in the arts through the Her Art Project we address the issue of gender discrimination. This semester our programs will celebrate Wonder Women at two exciting events.  First, we are presenting a group art exhibit at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in the historic Crossroads Arts District. The exhibit will run February 7 – March 29 and will feature six local women artists who are superheoines of the local arts community and who create works that represent the strength, courage, and resilience of the empowered woman.  On the evening of April 22 at the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, we will be hosting award-winning filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan for a screening and discussion of her documentary WonderWomen! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Both of these events focus on creative women as leaders, change-makers, and inspirations to the next generation of Wonder Women. For more information about these, and all of our events this semester, visit our website, www.umkc.edu/womenc.

Finally, the Women’s Center is a vital resource for everyone, not just women, and not just student at UMKC or people in our community. We are here for everyone and available to everyone, 24-7, on the worldwide web. Through our website, www.umkc.edu/womenc, you can access resources for women, check out our calendar for events happening on campus as well as in the community for women, and learn about the staff and history of the Women’s Center. Through our Blog, https://info.umkc.edu/womenc/, you can get insight on current topics about women from articles written by our own student staff. And on our Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr) you can find information, photos, and news about what’s happening at the Women’s Center and around the world. As you can see, the Women’s Center is more than just a mission statement. It’s a place, it’s a staff, and it’s a service dedicated to making UMKC and our community a safer, more equitable world for everyone.

For more information about the UMKC Women’s Center, please stop by 105 Haag Hall or visit us at www.umkc.edu/womenc.

No Wage Gap?

Equal Pay Day 2011

By Patsy Campos

Equal Pay Day was last Tuesday, April 12th. The Women’s Center, UMKC Career Services, The Department of Labor, and the EEOC co-sponsored the tabling event.  Equal Pay Day symbolizes the amount of work women have to do to earn as much as men did the year before.  However, a Wall Street Journal article asserts that, “there is no male-female wage gap” and that women actually earn about 8% more than men.  A  study done in 2010, conducted by the research firm Reach Advisors, included childless 22 to 30 year olds in their study and concluded that women earned 8% more than men.  Is this a reliable study if it generalizes families and young people? 

According to The Department of Labor’s Time Use survey, men work 8.75 hours a day while women work 8.01 hours a day and that also accounts for the pay difference since men are working 9% more than women.  There is also a correlating tendency for women to work in low-risk jobs which include greater flexibility and less dangerous working conditions.  In contrast, men are more likely to work in more physically demanding and dangerous jobs.  Men are willing to deal with these hazards to make more money, but some people may still not be convinced.  The next time you analyze the gender wage gap, it is important to make sure that you also consider the variety of factors (i.e. gender, education, parenthood and job climate) which incorporate into wage differences.

National Equal Pay Day

By Patsy Campos

The purpose of Equal Pay Day on April 12th is to bring national awareness about the pay gap between men and women. Today’s date symbolizes the amount of work women have to do in 2011 in order to make the same pay as men in 2010. The average pay gap is not getting close enough. Women make $0.79 cents out of every dollar men make. The amount of education and experience are factors that can hinder a woman from making equal pay as men. According to the National Organization for Women (NOW), “even men working in female-dominated occupations tend to earn more than women working in those same occupations.” Despite this, there are still critics who think women should make less because of women’s family obligations while the opposite holds true for men.

There will be an Equal Pay Day table today, April 12th, from 11 am – 1 pm in Royall Hall. The table is sponsored by UMKC Women’s Center and UMKC Career Services. There will be information available about Equal Pay Day and about women in careers. There will also be an employer from Commerce Bank offering an employer’s perspective on pay issues and how women should approach negotiating pay. Join us today to spread the word about Equal Pay Day and find out ways to close the gender pay gap because income equity makes good cents!

For more information, contact the Women’s Center at umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu or 816.235.1638.