LOOKING FORWARD – LOOKING BACK
A MESSAGE FROM AAUW UTAH CO-PRESIDENT MARILYN SHEARER
San Diego is calling! AAUW Utah is encouraging members to attend the AAUW National Convention in San Diego, June 18 – 21, 2015. To make it easier for members to attend, we plan to conduct our spring general meeting electronically. Save your travel dollars, register for the national convention, make your room reservations, plan your travel, and let’s get together in San Diego with the other amazing women of our wonderful organization.
Meanwhile, our branches are planning a year of interesting meetings, worthwhile service projects, and fun filled get-togethers. Our College and University partners are mentoring our young women, organizing student clubs and planning for the next NCCWSL Conference. The program schedules are listed on the branch websites.
Looking back, we have had a good year, which finished with the following:
Our 2014 AAUW Utah Convention in St. George afforded a wonderful opportunity for those in the north to get to know the St. George Branch members. Attendees were treated to a lovely evening with delicious food graciously prepared and served by the members in a comfortable, welcoming home overlooking the beautiful landscape east of St. George. Our business meeting included a revision of our Bylaws and reports from the state supported activities. Our Convention speakers, Amy Blackwell, an AAUW Director, and MaryAnn Holladay, Director of Utah Women and Education Initiative, and our panels on scholarships and how to run for office brought home our commitment to the mission of AAUW.
AAUW Utah was well represented at The 2014 AAUW Western Regional Conference in Reno, NV. Patricia Fa Ho, AAUW President and a Utah Wasatch branch dual member, who attended our own AAUW Utah convention last year, graciously welcomed her friends from Utah, and gave the AAUW perspective going forward. Lisa Matz, AAUW’s top policy advisor, gave us the inside scoop on the legislative process of shepherding AAUW’s mission related bills through the national legislative process. AAUW Utah’s presentation on the Utah Women Artists Exhibition was one of the highlights of the Conference, and was beautifully prepared and presented by Sue Nissen and Kathy Horvat. (We are already planning the next Exhibition for spring of 2016.)
2013 UTAH WOMEN ARTISTS EXHIBITION
Supporters include Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks
Utah Division of Arts and Museums
To see all of the award winners check out the Exhibition’s Facebook Page!
Salt Lake Branch AAUW Member Op Ed
published in the Salt Lake Tribune
Visit this link to view a letter to the editor written urging senatorial support for the Women’s Museum by Dawn Dewitt, the Public Policy Chair in our Salt Lake City Branch. The letter appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune on September 12, 2014.
Maxine Haggerty, a member of the Salt Lake City Branch, had an editorial in the Sunday Salt Lake Tribune, October 13, 2013, on the importance of equal pay for women to everyone.
Haggerty: Support Paycheck Fairness Act for gender equity
By Maxine R. Haggerty
Published October 12, 2013 1:01 am
Members of The American Association of University Women in Utah appreciate the coverage that The Salt Lake Tribune continues to give the pay gap between women and men. For more than 130 years, AAUW has advocated for gender equity in education and the workplace and is well-known and widely trusted for research reports it sponsors on issues affecting women and girls.
One of its recent reports available to download at aauw.org is “Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One year after College Graduation” (2012).
Most people are aware of the pay gap, but they may not realize that one year after a woman graduates from college she is financially behind — on national average paid 82 percent of what her male peer is paid (2009 data). U.S. women working full time earned $35,296 on average, while men working full time earned $42,918.
Utah working women overall are paid on average 70 percent of what male workers are paid. Women working full time earned $34,062 on average, while men working full time earned $48,540.
Using regression analysis and controlling the data for hours, occupation, college major, employment sector, and other cultural factors associated with pay, the Graduating to a Pay Gap report states that the pay gap shrinks but does not disappear.
“College-educated women working full time were paid an unexplained 7 percent less than their male peers were paid one year out of college.” Over a full-time working lifetime, college-educated women earn $500,000 less than their male peers.
Gender discrimination is often blamed, but the report fairly points out other possible causes for the pay gap. “Negotiating a salary can make a difference in earnings, and men are more likely than women to negotiate their salaries.” To help women overcome this reticence, AAUW has cooperated with the WAGE Project to bring “$tart $mart” workshops to college and university campuses to train women how to negotiate their salaries. Plans are underway to hold $tart $mart workshops at the University of Utah during the coming year. (Learn more about $tart $mart at facebook.com/StartSmart-forEqualPay or at aauw.org.)
Through the years AAUW has been a leader among those who have lobbied Congress for laws to protect equal employment and pay for women and has been at the president’s side when legislation was signed. AAUW led the effort for passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which clarifies when pay discrimination on the job can be legally contested. Because many private employers retaliate against workers who compare wages and salaries, legislation to remedy this practice has been introduced into every Congress since 2005 without becoming law.
The current Paycheck Fairness Act bills (H.R. 377 and S. 84) introduced in January 2013 would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by imposing stiffer penalties against employers who violate the 1963 law and by prohibiting retaliation against sharing salary information. AAUW members throughout the country currently are encouraging everyone to join them in lobbying their congressional delegations to bring these bills to the floor for favorable vote.
In Graduating to a Pay Gap, AAUW states that “Fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is surprising that women continue to be paid less than men are paid, even when they make the same choices.”
Equal pay for women matters to everyone. When a woman makes less, her family has less of everything (food, clothing, educational opportunities, health care), it takes her longer to pay off her student loans, and she earns less toward her Social Security and retirement. AAUW works everyday to make pay equity a reality.
Maxine R. Haggerty is the educational opportunities chair and a 40-year member of the Salt Lake City branch of AAUW, one of five AAUW branches in Utah.