The independent student news organization of Nicholls State University

AAUW promotes gender pay gap awareness

April 13, 2018

With Louisiana ranked as having the largest pay gap between men and women in the United States, the Nicholls American Association of University Women (AAUW) decided to take action by holding a bake sale and hosting a screening of the film Equal Means Equal in the Le Bijou Theater in the Bollinger Memorial Student Union on Tuesday.

“Our goal is to turn the proceeds from the bake sale and our other fundraisers to host a salary negotiation workshop at Nicholls. The idea of the workshop is for students and faculty to be able to discuss effective methods in talking to employers about pay raises,” said Kellyn LaCour-Conaut, the organization’s president. “For example, in the hiring process, questions like how to ask what a medium salary is for employees or how more can be received can be a delicate situation.”

At the equal payday bake sale, customers paid for goods in the amount they would make on the dollar compared to men.

“A lot of people have been shocked about the stats,” LaCour-Conaut said.

She said people may have heard that women make 78 percent of what men make, but they do not realize that it is actually less for women of color or disabled women.

AAUW has been in operation for over 130 years and is in its first year as a chartered student organization at Nicholls.

“I joined because it felt like it was a great organization. It is something that you don’t really see in most universities unless you actively seek it out, and it is inspiring to be apart of a program that empowers women,” Gabrielle Vu, a biology major, said.

AAUW also encouraged people to check out the film screening of Equal Means Equal, which talks about the equal rights amendment. A documentary by Kamala Lopez, Equal Means Equal was inspired by women across the country who talked about how wage discrimination and other forms of gender discrimination affect them in the world today.

Although the addition to the equal rights amendment has been in the works for years now, if passed it would protect employees across all industries. This would provide transparency with employers about what coworkers make, and it would make sure people are getting paid equal pay for equal work.

“If you don’t get paid what a male counterpart gets paid, then it’s kind of like you’re not worth as much. And that translates into all the other social messages that come with it,” LaCour-Conaut said.

AAUW hopes to do more outreach and informative events later this month as well as other professional developmental trainings in the future.

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