COSHOCTON -- Approximately 40 attended the Equal Pay Day dinner on Tuesday, April 17 at Roscoe United Methodist Church.
Keynote speaker and author of "Pink Politics" Kathy Groob explained Equal Pay Day is an annual event started by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 to highlight the persistent wage gap between women's and men's wages.
Equal Pay Day is always on a Tuesday to represent how far into the workweek women have to work in order to earn what men earn for equal work. Because women on average earn less than men, they must work longer to earn the same amount of pay. Women who work full time earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn. The wage gap is worse for women of color. The National Committee on Pay Equity, along with hundreds of women's organizations across the globe believe that equal pay for equal work is a simple matter of justice for women. Wage discrimination impacts the economic security of families today and directly affects retirement security as women look down the road. But despite the Equal Pay Act and many improvements in women's economic status over the past 48 years, wage discrimination still persists and is attributable in part to the Equal Pay Act's limited scope. Not only does it fail to cover wage discrimination based on race (although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does), it also fails to provide equal pay for jobs that are comparable but not identical. Further, it excludes part-time or contingent workers, and does not allow groups of workers to file class action suits.
Groob said she had spent over 30 years as a businesswoman and has had her share of stories about feeling discriminated against, undervalued for the results she was producing, and being paid less that what she was worth. She recommended individuals contact their legislators and members of Congress to ask them to support equal pay legislation.
She questioned how much of a priority would it be for them to level the playing field for men. Without enough women in elected office, women in business, women in law enforcement, education, health care and even in the entertainment and movie businesses, we will continue to be under valued and under paid. She concluded until we are fully represented at the highest levels in this country, women must band together, support each other and work to advance women in the workplace and in politics. She highlighted a couple of stories from her book, "Pink Politics," to show how women running for office are treated differently. As a woman candidate your appearance, background, accomplishments and even family lifestyle will be fair game.
Mild sexism, such as focus on hair, makeup, and shoes, is damaging. She recommended potential candidates grow a thick skin, choose the right office to run for, learn to ask for help and raise money, and create a good message.
She ended her speech with, "When one woman succeeds, we all succeed."
After the dinner, she offered two copies of her book for $30 so attendees could keep one and give the other to a woman they would like to see run for office.
Each attendee received a small change purse with the BPW logo and the words, "Better Pay for Women," and a door prize.
Liz Herrell asked attendees to join her next year for "Unhappy Hour" at Uncorked Wine and Coffee Bar in Roscoe.
BPW's mission is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information.
For information, contact Liz Herrell at 740-294-0199 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.