AAUW Celebrates Equal Pay Day

April 22, 2008

As you know, Tuesday, April 22, is Equal Pay Day, the annual symbolic day on which women’s average wages catch up to men’s from the previous year. For the average woman’s salary to equal that of a man’s in 2007, she would have had to work from Jan. 1, 2007, until April 22, 2008. See what the pay gap for college-educated women is in your state.

AAUW events across the country will mark Equal Pay Day to educate others about pay discrimination:

  • AAUW members in Escabana, Michigan, will sell cookies with a bite out of them representing the 23 percent women are underpaid.
  • The AAUW Vero Beach (FL) Branch will hold a bake sale where men will pay full price and women will receive a 23 percent discount.
  • The AAUW Murfreesboro (TN) Branch will hand out Pay Day candy bars at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • AAUW members in Salem, Oregon, will hold an “unhappy hour” where women will receive a 23 percent discount.
  • AAUW members across the country will wear red to represent the way the pay gap puts women “in the red.”
  • Workshops held on college campuses will teach women to better negotiate for quality jobs and pay.
  • Rallies will be held at city halls and state houses across the country, including in Brevard, North Carolina, where legislators will proclaim April 22, 2008, Equal Pay Day, and supporters will advocate for effective pay equity legislation.

The U.S. Senate will recognize Equal Pay Day by voting Wednesday on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831). The legislation was introduced in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company case, which severely limits the ability of victims of pay discrimination to have their day in court.

Call your senators today to urge them to vote in support of the bill and send a strong signal to your senators that, in honor of Equal Pay Day, pay discrimination will not be tolerated. Then set up and send an e-card to your friends and family with the call information as well.

AAUW and our coalition partners will hold a national press conference this Wednesday on Capitol Hill, where we will urge our senators to take action to reverse the Ledbetter v. Goodyear decision and to realize the decades-old promise of equal pay for equal work. Several members of Congress are scheduled to attend, as are Lilly Ledbetter and members of the AAUW staff.

Pay equity is a simple matter of justice. Equal pay for equal work — makes sense, right? We know that women deserve a level playing field. Equal Pay Day and pay equity legislation aim to ensure that they also receive a level paying field.

Avatar By:   |   April 22, 2008


  1. In a speech on the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) urged colleagues to pass the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. AAUW and the Behind the Pay Gap study were referenced in her statements:

    “Mr. President, the pay gap is true regardless of skill, or education. And it’s so deeply ingrained in our society that many jobs dominated by women pay less than jobs dominated by men – even when the work they do is almost the same. In my home state of Washington, a woman with a college degree earns about $20,000 less each year than a man with the same education.

    According to a study by the American Association of University Women, the difference starts as soon as women enter the workforce. AAUW found that within a year after graduating from college, a woman will already earn less than her male classmates in nearly every major. And it’s a lifelong problem. By the end of her career, a female worker will have lost an average of $250,000.”

    The full text of the senator’s speech is available on her website at http://murray.senate.gov/news.cfm?id=296524.

  2. Congratulations Narda! I’ve shared this information with the Communications and Public Policy departments. They will be sure to include your event in a wrap-up of Equal Pay Day news and events to go out to AAUW members and leaders later today.

  3. What an event! Next year we can make it bigger and better.

    Gregory Freeland, Associate Professor of Political Science, organized a panel discussion co-sponsored by AAUW Thousand Branch today at the new Student Union Building at CLU. He arranged for presentations from two faculty members and a representative from Sage. Suzi Wedel, Cynthia Grether, and I passed out PAYDAY bars. Dr. Damooei took off from his Economic Lab to be on the panel and told his students to attend. We had over 50 people there. There were additional people from the CLU community.

    What was great is that Rachel McGrath came from the Ventura County Star to cover our event for the newspaper. Look for the article. And, Lance Orozco from CLU interviewed Dr. Damooei and I and Lance will be playing clips of our interview on CLU all this week, as there is alot of news today because of the Pennsylvania primary. Listen on KCLU at 88.3.

    The posters on the table were sent to me from National and they also sent stickers to hand out. I was surprised that people actually stuck them on their shirts and blouses.
    I still have the posters we can use.

    Here was what the announcement was on the CLU website:

  4. Avatar Patricia says:

    Women deserve an equal playing field without the fear of being terminated for asserting their rights under state and federal laws; requesting equal pay for equal work.

    What will you do to help the disparities in the Alabama legal system to prevent Officers of the court from hiding the truth when large corporations that discriminate against employees, refuse to pay women equal to what they pay men and retaliate against employees by termination even though they are in a protecive class? Injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere and justice delayed is still justice denied. It’s wrong what some attorneys, clerks and other Officers of the court are doing to hide the truth and facts under the law.

    Although, it is illegal for employers to fire employees for asserting their rights under the state and federal antidiscrimination laws, I was retaliated against and terminated by my employer. I requested equal pay for equal work but received injustice. The attorney of record refused to file an appeal. This case need to be investigated, I am requesting you do a full investigation based on facts and the law. If you need more details please contact me at the above email.

    Thank you,

    Patricia Mason


  5. Avatar Peggy Woods-Clark says:

    Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement saying, “Women deserve equal pay for equal work.” Be sure to read the her entire statement about Equal Pay Day at http://speaker.house.gov/newsroom/pressreleases?id=0617.

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