Women’s Center to host Equal Pay Day

April 28 marks the day that women can say they have collectively earned as much money since the beginning of 2008 as men. During the year, women were paid only 78 cents for every dollar made by men. This means that women had to work from January of 2008 through April of 2009 to earn as much as men did between January 2008 and January 2009.Betty Vaudt will help make the case for Equal Pay Day in a special presentation hosted by the Women’s Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday in RUC Room 342. Vaudt is the Public Policy Chair of Cookeville’s American Association of University Women chapter.

“Many years of family-friendly legislation in action such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and policies such as flex time and telecommuting have increased options to create a win-win situation for women and their employers, but women’s paychecks still lag significantly behind those of men,” Vaudt said.

In her presentation, Vaudt will offer proof that the wage gap exists, possible reasons for it and ways in which it can be improved and ultimately closed.

The AAUW is also working with local merchants to offer special discounts to women on Equal Pay Day.

The event is held on a Tuesday in April of each year because Tuesday is the day of the week when women’s pay matches up to men’s from the previous week. Participants often wear red to demonstrate the fact that women and people of color are “in the red” with their pay.

“There’s a gap that economists agree can’t be explained away by women’s choices,” said Catherine Hill, senior research associate for the AAUW Educational Foundation. “What we want to do is continue to take an active role in changing the persistent inequity in women’s paychecks by learning about the real roots of the issue, relying on facts over rhetoric, and creating work environments that are conducive to all workers with family responsibilities, regardless of gender.”

Equal Pay Day was founded by the National Committee on Equal Pay in 1996 to raise public awareness about the wage gap that exists between the salaries of men, women and minorities.

For more information contact the Tech Women’s Center at womenscenter@tntech.edu or 931-372-3850.