Equal Pay Awareness Week Flash Mob

Photos courtesy of Aysha Jamali/Press & Guide
Photos courtesy of Aysha Jamali/Press & Guide

By MATT MAGPANTAY, Guest Writer

On a Wednesday afternoon at 12:00, the University Center stage was enchanted with a flash mob dance performed by the American Association for University Women (AAUW). It was not a typical flash mob routine however, they set out to make students aware of the importance of pay equity and not just entertain.

Tina Nelson, the founder and current president of AAUW, described the importance of pay equity and how crucial it was for university women to be knowledgeable on the subject.

She said, “College students think they can get a good salary with just a degree, this is not true. They must also learn how to negotiate, and that is why this organization and its events are so important.”

Nelson also described how the average woman across the United States makes $0.77 to every $1.00 that a man makes for the same type of work. She broke it down further and said, “That is just the average number though because race and nationality aren’t even taken into account. For example, Hispanic and African American women make a lot less.”

With the statistics of injustice showed on the event’s flyers and presentation, it was easy to see how Nelson could be so voracious about the subject. She stated however that, “Generally students are not aware, there are some people who know about it, but not a whole lot.”

In order to make students more aware of the topic, the AAUW has organized Pay Equity Awareness Week. For the first time since the chapter was chartered, the organization will be holding more than one event that sheds more light on the topic of pay disparities.

In addition to the annual Start Smart workshop, a workshop that teaches women how to negotiate their salary, the organization held an Equal Pay Day promotion at the UC tables on Tuesday.

AAUW also held a Pay Equity Discussion on Friday that featured esteemed guest speaker Debbie Dingell, who is on the board of directors for Vital Voices Global Partnership and is also Congressman John Dingell’s wife.