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TTU News

Published: Mon Apr 21, 2008

In observance of Equal Pay Day, Tennessee Tech University’s Women’s Center will be hosting a display and forum that calls attention to the gender pay gap from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, in the Tech Pride Room of the Roaden University Center.

Betty Vaudt, past president of the Cookeville chapter of the American Association of University Women, will give a short presentation titled “Behind the Pay Gap” at 11 a.m. It will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

“We will also be highlighting information from the AAUW, National Committee on Pay Equity and other [organizations] on several displays so that those who haven’t the time for the presentation can drop in for a quick look,” said Gretta Stanger, director of TTU’s Women’s Center.

She will be available for the duration of the forum to answer possible questions about informative material that will be on display.

“Some think that pay equity has been achieved, but it has not — for a number of reasons,” she said. “As director of the campus Women’s Center and as a sociologist, it was an easy decision to add the recognition of Equal Pay Day to our usually observed awareness events.”

Originated by the NCPE in 1996, Equal Pay Day — observed on a Tuesday in April — symbolizes how far into the year a woman must work, on average, in order to earn as much as a man earned the previous year.

In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed, women made only 59 cents on the dollar earned by men, based on Census records of median incomes for full-time, year-round workers.

By 2006, that average had narrowed by less than a half-cent per year, with women earning 77 cents on the dollar earned by men.

“According to the NCPE, this wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family an estimated $700,000 to $2 million over a working lifetime,” Stanger said.

The AAUW recently released information stating that just one year after college graduation, women earn 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn, and 10 years after college graduation, that pay gap widens, with women earning only 69 percent of their male counterparts’ salaries.

For more information about TTU’s Equal Pay Day forum, call or e-mail the university Women’s Center at 372-3850 or