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!
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:
- Clean campaigns
- 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.
- Removal of double standards.
Big thanks to Deborah Dunn, Ashley Anglesey and Gloria Yost for putting together an informative and dynamic meeting.