Tuesday, 04 April 2017 21:48

Women celebrate Equal Pay Day Featured

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BANGOR - Women have certainly come a long way in the workforce, but many believe it's still far from equal. They continue to struggle to earn the same wages offered to their male counterparts.

According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), in 2015, women were paid approximately 80 percent of the U.S. men's median earnings. Which is a 20 percent wage gap. Today, women across the country are celebrating Equal Pay Day.

 

"It's when women's wages catch up to the amount that men earned in 2016," said Kate Neilson, the state policy analysis for AAUW.

 

It takes them over three months longer to earn what men did last year. Equal pay day is a way to highlight and raise awareness about the pay gap.

 

"Women don't often know that they are being discriminated against," said Neilson, "That perpetuate the pay gap. It's important that we have transparency so that can we can tackle the problem."

 

President Donald Trump recently rolled back protections for female workers set in place by the Obama Administration. It was created to ensure that companies with federal contracts comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws.

 

"I was very disappointed to hear about this," said Neilson, "We fought against it because this is just common sense protection to help women and families and help make sure tax payer money is held accountable."

 

According to AAUW, the Equal Pay Act has not been updated since 1963. Some people believe that companies do not discriminate against women.

 

"If you don't believe that there is not a pay gap, you're doing what the system wants you to do," said Drew Iaderosa, a Husson Student, "You're not questioning things. You're doing yourself a disservice."

 

Minority women and moms bring home less than white women. At Husson University, the school of business prepares its students to face this reality. According to Alicia Wilcox, an assistant professor at the school, women typically don't negotiate as often as men do. She says it doesn't excuse the injustice. She believes that it's up to companies to take a stand.

 

"If there isn't a national law or regulation, companies themselves are hiring for talent," said Wilcox, "They themselves can set the bar as high or low as they want. They might be an intermediate step before we have national rules and regulations on that regard."

 

"We will continue to see real progress and I am hopeful as we work to strengthen the economy and policy that helps our families, the pay gap will continue to shrink," said Neilson. 

 

Jack Hilton

Reporter
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Jack Hilton joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX Fox 22 in March of 2016. He was born in Montreal, Canada but was raised in the sunshine state, Fort Lauderdale before graduating cum laude from Husson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications.

Born in a famous boxing family, Jack set off toward a different career path, after the mysterious death of his uncle, Arturo Gatti, who is in the Boxing Hall of Fame.

With a heart for people, he is always looking to meet and tell the stories of those in the community. He is charismatic, funny and down to earth.

When not on the air, he enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, his parrots and attending church. He's also a huge fan of TV series such as Buffy, Friends and The Office.

If you have any story ideas or want to talk about tv shows, contact him at [email protected] or tweet him @News_JackHilton