Women fight for equal wages on National Equal Pay Day

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With National Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, women are trying to close the earnings gap between men and women.

Women earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn at work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent report for median earnings for men and women.

For millennials entering the workforce, that is pretty discouraging, said a number of Youngstown State University students.

“I think it’s not fair,” said Taylor Jones, a hospitality major at YSU.

It wasn’t just the female students with those thoughts.

“Everyone’s doing the same work, so you know, you should get paid the same,” said Dustin Westwood, a civil engineering major.

“You work the same hours… You’re doing the same job, but it’s unfair that you’re getting paid less,” said Chase Marcum, a computer science major.

The most unequal jobs in America, based on a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include:
Personal finance advisers (on average, women make $53,716 while men make $90,376)
Physicians/surgeons ($79,716 to $99,580)
Financial Sales Agents ($39,884 to $75,912)
Financial Sales Managers ($58,760 to $90,06)
Supervisors – janitorial workers ($29,692 to $36,400)
Supervisors – production workers ($32,396 to $48,048)
Sales ($37,804 to $56,576)
CEOs ($95,472 to $117,052)
Retail sales ($25,688 to $36,088)
The largest gap was about $37,000 between yearly incomes earned by men and women.

“That could be a difference between a whole neighborhood versus living, or where to send kids to school at,” said Young.

Janelle Fumerola, president of the Youngstown Business and Professional Women’s Club, said the gap has been shrinking but very slowly.

“Statistically, when women enter the workplace, they’re paid about $5,000 less on a starting salary,” she said.

Fumerola said she believes the gap is because women are afraid to speak up and bargain for a larger salary. As for female students about to enter the workforce, she said they need to learn to speak up.

“Women themselves need to speak up for themselves and look for resources that they can use to help advance themselves in the work place,” she said.

There were 11 occupations where women were paid more. Those included social worker, merchandiser and research assistant.

The Youngstown Business and Professional Women’s Club is holding an event at the Magic Tree Pub and Eatery on Tuesday to raise awareness of the wage gap. The Equal Pay Day mixer is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m.

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