Women make up 65 percent of the workforce in Nebraska, yet they continue to earn less than men on average in nearly every single occupation. On April 10, Equal Pay Day, the Women’s Fund of Omaha will host an UNhappy Hour to raise awareness about the issue and advocate for change.
“The fact that it will take women 101 more years to gain pay equity is maddening,” said Michelle Zych, Women’s Fund of Omaha Executive Director. “We couldn’t let another Equal Pay Day come and go without acknowledging the history of pay inequalities compounded by race, discrimination, sexual harassment and the devaluation of women’s labor. We’re ready to make some noise.”
Event attendees will gain knowledge about the pay gap in Omaha and get skills on how to ask for a raise as well as information about what companies can do to reach pay equity. Because women make, on average, 20 percent less than men, drinks at the UNhappy Hour will be 20 percent discounted for attendees who identify as women. The event will take place at a woman-owned business–Spirit World in Aksarben–and is free to attend.
Equal Pay Day symbolizes how much longer it takes for the average woman to earn as much as the average man did by December 31 of the previous year. In other words, it takes white women an average of 15 months to earn what the average white man earned in 12 months. And pay inequities are much worse for women and color taking African-American women an average of 20 months, Native American women 21 months and Latina women an average of 22 months to “catch up” to what a white male earns in 12 months.
“According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the poverty rate of children with a working mother would be cut in nearly half if women were paid the same as comparable to men, lifting 2.5 million children out of poverty,” said Zych. “We have to provide equal access to opportunities, and we have to support working mothers and working families. Women can’t wait any longer.”
The Women’s Fund continues to support effective public policy to advance the issue of equal pay by advocating for payday lending reform, pay transparency and paid family leave. Learn more at www.OmahaWomensFund.org.