The Copper Country League of Women Voters spent part Tuesday’s Equal Pay Day on the campus of Michigan Tech, passing out literature and cookies and explaining the gender pay gap to students.
“Equal Pay Day is the day in 2018 that women have to work on average to make as much as a man made in all of 2017,” said Faith Morrison, a Board Member of the Copper Country League of Women Voters.
The United States of America has come a long way since the early days of inequality. Over the past century, legislation has granted women and various minorities the right to vote, enter the work force, and participate in sports, however the Copper Country League of Women Voters says that we still have a ways to go.
Morrison said, “There are still people around us who simply don’t believe that women are as good as men, and that’s called discrimination, which is against the law but just because it’s against the law doesn’t mean it’s caught, and doesn’t mean it’s fixed.”
Morrison says that on average women are paid only 80% of the salary that men earn in a job of the same position. “What happens is, there are small changes, small non-conscious biases perhaps, that we can show exist, and over a career these things accumulate and people end up with these differences in how they perceive a man or a woman should be paid in a specific way.”
She also says that often times the title of a position changes based on gender, and that different label comes with a different pay scale.
Despite Affirmative Action achievements, Morrison says that gender discrimination still exists and one step of action that could be taken is to eliminate the employer/employee right to privacy and make all salaries public knowledge.
Morrison said, “In many states, that’s against the law. You’re not allowed to ask even a colleague what he is making for the same work that he’s doing. So we can advocate for more transparent laws and that way people can actually look and see whether or not they’re being discriminated against.”