What Can Women Do To Fight For Equal Pay?

Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 4:04pm
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Carrie Gracie worked for BBC News for 30 years before resigning this week. She was one of the most senior journalists there,  but left her position in protest of what she called the network’s “secretive and illegal” pay culture that paid women less than men.

And just a few weeks ago,  longtime E! News host Cat Sadler left her job after finding out her cohost made double her salary.

This shines a light on the pay gap between men and women that still persists. But, in one country, it’s now illegal for employers to pay men more than women in similar positions.

So at the beginning of this year, a new law went into effect in Iceland that says companies and government agencies that have more than 25 employees must get government certification of their equal-pay policies. If they don’t do it, they’ll have to pay a fine.

The idea is, of course, to make sure that men and women in the country are paid equally, and there’s a long history that has led up to this there. For more on that, I got a hold of Jen Hughes. She’s is a cultural anthropologist at the University of Minnesota who lived in Iceland and has studied their social movements, language and history.

She says there are lot of things about Iceland that make this kind of law pretty popular there. But that’s not necessarily the story here in the United States.

So if the U.S. isn’t ready for a law like this, what can women do to fight on their own for equal pay?

There are laws and policies that can be changed but women can also learn to advocate for themselves. In fact, one group will be holding training workshops to help teach women to negotiate salary in Tempe in the coming weeks, and I spoke with someone who manages those workshops. Abigail Lewis is with the American Association of University Women.

The American Association of University Women’s workshops are free, and they start next week in Tempe. For more information on those, click here.

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