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Friday, April 7 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Still In Pursuit of Equality: Why the Wage Gap Still Exists

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Differences between the salaries of men and women have long been a topic of debate. Much research has been conducted to validate the reality of the gap between what men make per hour and what women are paid per hour in the United States. Currently, the gap nationwide is 80 cents on the dollar. The gap increases depending on age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, and region.
Dissecting the reasons for the wage gap is difficult, because the problem is complex with many layers. Depending on ideologies, some even believe that the wage gap does not exist. Further complicating the issue is a lesser number of women and believers in elected leadership positions at the local, state and federal level.
The historic and current policies to address the issue of the wage gap have failed to effectively close the gap both at the state and federal level and there are more ways to make greater progress on this issue. But change is going to take more than a sweeping federal law like the Equal Pay Act to address the numbers. The solution will have to include federal law in conjunction with state based policy packages in addition to education and awareness campaigns to address systemic sexism in the United States.
The most significant causes of the wage gap according to research prove that the following issues are the most critical causes of the problem: access to education, affordable childcare, domestic violence, reproductive and family healthcare, occupation, sexism, racism, region and wage negotiation are each pieces of the puzzle defining and sustaining the wage gap. The problem is that no piece of legislation can solve all of these problems—it will take an entire portfolio of policy change and much of it will have to be achieved at the state level. Based on the robust research available proving the reality of the wage gap and the gravity of the causes, it is not necessarily surprising that there has not been a broad based movement—a real grassroots land swell—to pass a comprehensive policy package on the local and state level. Arguably, a reasonable comprehensive package has not been proposed and if it has, there is simply not enough infrastructure in government and organizations to carry it forward. Without a woman at the helm, timing is difficult to look at a path forward on the federal level. But perhaps a proposed policy plan to support that momentum on the statewide level can help bolster the movement on the federal level.


Friday April 7, 2017 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Warm Valley

Attendees (4)