Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2013, 11:45 am
Augustana to host forum on unequal pay for women
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Press release submitted by Augustana College
Rock Island, Ill. – Augustana College will present a free public forum on gender equality in salaries to help empower women with the skills to effectively negotiate compensation with current or future employers. The forum will be held Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. in Room 102 of the Hanson Hall of Science (726 35th St.).
Ruth Sweetser, former president of the American Association of University Women and current director of corporate relations at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, will present an overview of gender equity and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. This act amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide additional protection against pay discrimination. A panel discussion with local leaders from business and the community will follow.
The timing of the event will follow Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 9, which symbolizes how far into 2013 women must work in order for their earnings to equal what men earned during 2012. Organizers hope the forum will draw attention to the continuing disparity between the paychecks of men and women with the same jobs, and offer people advice about what to do when they encounter unfair pay practices in the workplace.
"Events like this one help to prepare our students for the realities of the workplace, which require not just critical thinking and creativity, but a sense of social justice," said Dr. Jane Simonsen, associate professor of history and women's and gender studies at Augustana.
Dr. Simonsen expects the event to draw many Augustana students, especially seniors who soon will be applying for jobs. "We also hope this event will provide an opportunity for our students to learn from leaders in the community who have successfully negotiated for equality for themselves," she said.
In addition to Sweetser's remarks and a panel discussion, a reception will provide networking opportunities for the Augustana community. Sweetser also plans to visit classes and meet with students to suggest strategies for negotiating pay equity on the job.
"We hope this event will get the community thinking," said Dr. Simonsen, noting that the forum is titled, "Pay Equity: What Do You Make (of It)?"
Sponsors of the event include Augustana's Institute for Leadership and Service, the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, the Community Engagement Center and the Entrepreneurial Center, in addition to the American Association of University Women.