PORTSMOUTH — On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, Portsmouth Business and Professional Women (BPW) joined thousands of women across the U.S. to encourage State Representatives to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The official website of The White House states some basic facts concerning the issue of equal pay for women. Despite passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires that men and women in the same work place be given equal pay for equal work, the ‘gender gap’ in pay persists. In 2014, the typical woman working full-time all year in the United States earned only 79 percent of what the typical man earned working full-time all year. Phrased differently, she earned 79 cents for every dollar that he earned.
Annita Thompson, president of Portsmouth BPW, said women perform equal jobs, therefore the pay should be equal.
“In 2008 it was about 77 cents that women earned, for the dollar that every man earned, now it is up $0.786, so we have improved a little bit,” Thompson said. “We do equal jobs, we should get equal pay. We wanted to speak up in order to help to make a change.”
Shelby Powell, a member of Portsmouth BPW, said the group wanted to do their part to speak out about the issue of women earning equal pay.
“We are Portsmouth Business and Professional Women, and we are here for equal pay for women, and today is the day, April the 12th,” Powell said. “And these are some of the our women from BPW, and we have been passing out Payday candy bars, and equal packets. We’re comparing what women get paid to what men get paid for doing the same work.”
The White House website also states that African-American and Latina women, the gap is even greater, with African-American women earning 64 cents and Latina women earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by a white non-Hispanic man. Decades of research shows that no matter how you evaluate the data, there remains a pay gap — even after factoring in the kind of work people do, or qualifications such as education and experience — and there is good evidence that discrimination contributes to the persistent pay disparity between men and women. In other words, pay discrimination is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange American women and their families.
Scioto County Commissioner Doug Coleman, said he is an advocate of equal pay for women.
“Women have been neglected as it relates to pay in the workforce these last few years, we all know that,” Coleman said. “There are a lot of men those are not for women earning equal pay, but I am, because they do the same work that some men do and I think that it is a good thing. If they do the job, they need equal pay, and that is just the way that I feel about it.”
Other activities which Portsmouth BPW conducts in the local community is the annual Tour of Churches, and provides an annual $500 to a local student towards higher education.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.