April 2018 Meeting Recap – Closing the Pay Gap by Donna Holmes

April’s branch meeting on closing the pay gap was so wonderful. I only wish more members had attended. Ashley Anglesey, Public Policy Director, started the meeting off with a PowerPoint presentation of AAU National’s 2018 Closing the Pay Gap research. We know about white women making only 80% of white men, but the various breakdowns are even worse. Then, when women break the barrier in fields previously dominated by men, the wages go down for everyone. Ashley had a great handout, and I am sure glad I live in California.

Next up was Shannon Smith-Crowley, AAUW California’s Legislative Advocate, who used many examples to demonstrate the need to not use prior pay in setting current pay. Shannon advised us to tell our stories and put a face on the problem. People relate to individuals better than statistics. After I retired from AT&T, I decided to become a teacher, which paid much lower. I remember typing my grad school letter and noting that I was pursuing my credential because with a pension and benefits, now I could afford to be a teacher!

Councilperson Angelique Ashby speaking at our April 2018 meeting

Our last dynamic speaker was Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby. Angelique told of a black man being hired by the council and what his salary should be. Then she pointed out that the Hispanic woman in the job was being paid $30,000 less! She got a raise.

When asked how to get more women to run for office she listed three items:

  1. Clean campaigns
  2. Money – she lost the mayoral race because Mayor Darrell Steinberg had $2 million left from his lieutenant governor run and was allowed to use it.
  3. Removal of double standards.

Big thanks to Deborah Dunn, Ashley Anglesey and Gloria Yost for putting together an informative and dynamic meeting.