Women’s Groups Speak out Against the Gender Pay GapPosted on: February 12, 2019, by : Trevor Potts
by Jeff Turner, People’s Press Indy
On Monday February 11th, Women 4 Change and the Equality Pay$ Indiana Coalition held a Press Conference in the Indiana Statehouse to address the gender pay gap. The subject of the conference was to stress the importance of bills currently in the Indiana General Assembly related to women in the workforce, making accommodations for pregnant women, what is viewed as blatant wage discrimination and other important means of addressing the gender wage gap. While not drawing a particularly large crowd and certain representatives responsible for the legislation in questions held up in committee meetings, the speakers at the event highlighted what they saw as a significant problem facing women across the country, especially here in Indiana.
According to Sherry Watkins of the Indianapolis American Association of University Women (AAUW), one of the speakers, “Indiana’s laws rank among the weakest in the nation (in regards to the gender pay gap) and pay gap represents…the third widest pay gap in the nation.”
National statistics state that for every dollar a man makes, a white woman earns $0.76, black and biracial women earn $0.63, and Hispanic women earn $0.59. Watkins also cited an “unexplainable 7% difference in earnings” between men and women two years after college, and how women are disproportionately affected.
The core causes for this gender wage gap would seem to be related to sexism that still permeates American society, a theme which was underlined in the remarks of all the speakers at the press conference.
The goal, Watkins stated in her closing remarks, was to “achieve equal pay for women,” and that the legislation in question would help in working towards creating equal pay between men and women of all racial backgrounds.
But aside from addressing the issue through legislation and exercising the right to vote, no definitive ways of combating the issue of wage discrimination were mentioned. Whether or not it is even possible to make real, lasting progress remains to be seen. Those in attendance however appeared optimistic that real change could be brought about.
The fact remains that the gender pay gap is real, and no real progress has been made in Indiana towards addressing this problem.
More information on Women 4 Change can be found at www.women4changeindiana.org.
Equality Pay$ Indiana Coalition has a Facebook page where more information can be found on the group.