Equal Pay Day emphasizes inequity in gender pay - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Equal Pay Day emphasizes inequity in gender pay

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Equal Pay Day was recognized across the country Tuesday.

It is a date on the calendar symbolizing the difference between men and women's pay.

According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, it takes over one year and four months for a woman's earnings to equal that of a man's.

Women earn an average of 80 cents for each $1.00 her male counterpart makes.

But, A PayScale survey of over 2,000,000 people comparing jobs in the same occupation, with the same experience and education, finds that the pay gap is less than three cents.

According to American Association of University Women, black women earn 63% of what white men are paid, while Hispanic women earn 54 percent. 

"No matter what her wages are, what her profession is and what her educational level is, the wage gap is real," said Mississippi Women's Economic Security Initiative Director Cassandra Overton-Welchlin. "One of the things that we are really wanting is for businesses to come on board, to support this issue because at the end of the day it is businesses who are paying the employees."

The MWESI is taking their fight for equal wages to the State Capitol, where they were joined by legislators supporting the cause.

"What's really a benefit to the company and the employer is actually the productivity, whether it be male of female," said Rep. Tracy Arnold (R) Alcorn, Prentiss. "I believe you ought to have equal pay for equal work."

"Ladies are the individuals that raise our children, that make sure our home is taken care of and their burden is much greater than that of a man, " said Rep. Chris Bell (D) Hinds.

Pelahatchie Mayor Ryshonda Beechem understands first-hand the inequity in pay. She was among the supporters at the Capitol.

"It's very important for women to have equal pay across the state of Mississippi," said Mayor Beechem. "In lieu of my situation in Pelahatchie of being cut by 75%, and I am a woman and an African American woman I wanted to be the first to take pat in this event."

Willie Jones owns Dependable Source Corp., encompassing transportation and home health care. The Jackson business operator practices pay equity.

"We employers have to be  part of the solution and part of my efforts are to have conversations with other employers through out the State of Mississippi and help us understand the impact women make in the state of Mississippi," said Jones.

Mississippi and Alabama are the only two states without Equal Pay legislation.

Rep. Alyce Clark's most recent Equal Pay legislation, an amendment, died during the session.

The lawmaker says her male counterparts will be co-authoring legislation with her for the next session.

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