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SCWLA Equal Pay Day Events Around the State

SCWLA members from the Old English region recognized Equal Pay Day at Millstone Pizza in Rock Hill on April 3. Fifteen members enjoyed casual happy hour fare and socialized before the presentation by Cindy Ouzts. SCWLA has organized similar events throughout the state to educate members about the continuing disparity in pay between women and men.

Additional Equal Pay Day Events:

Tuesday, April 15 Corks

5:00-7:00 p.m. 14 Promenade Street, Suite 306

Bluffton, SC

RSVP Jessica@brilhantelaw.com by 4-11-14 at noon

 

Tuesday, April 15 M Space

5:30-7:30 p.m. 530 Lady Street, Suite A

Columbia, SC

RSVP angelwarren@msn.com by 4-11-14 at noon

 

Tuesday, April 15 Metcalfe & Atkinson

5:30-7:30 p.m. 9 Toy Street

Greenville, SC

RSVP rstorrie@hsblawfirm.com by 4-11-14 at noon

 

Thursday, April 24 Nelson, Mullins

6:00-8:00 p.m. Liberty Center, Suite 600

151 Meeting Street

Charleston, SC

RSVP maryplatts@sclegal.org by 4-22-14 at noon

 

Equal Pay Day Information/Talking Points:

 

·       SINCE THE EQUAL PAY ACT WAS SIGNED IN 1963, THE WAGE GAP HAS BEEN CLOSING VERY SLOWLY. WOMEN HAVE ACHIEVED A MERE 18 CENTS IN 50 YEARS.

 

·       EQUAL PAY DAY WAS CREATED IN 1996 AS A DAY TO SHOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT MEN AND WOMEN ARE PAID IN THE UNITED STATES. THE DAY SYMBOLIZES HOW FAR INTO THIS YEAR WOMEN MUST WORK TO EARN WHAT MEN EARNED IN THE PAST YEAR.

 

 

·       SOUTH CAROLINA RANKS NUMBER 28 IN THE MALE TO FEMALE EARNINGS WAGE GAP.

 

·       NEARLY 60% OF SC WOMEN ARE IN THE WORK FORCE. ONLY 24% OF SC WOMEN HAVE 4 OR MORE YEARS OF COLLEGE.

 

 

·       THE WAGE GAP WAS ORIGINALLY THOUGHT TO BE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE LOWER EDUCATION OF WOMEN, OR TO WOMEN TAKING MORE TIME OFF FOR FAMILY RESPOSIBILITIES. HOWEVER, AS WOMEN NOW ACCOUNT FOR OVER 50% OF STUDENTS IN MOST COLLEGES AND IN MANY GRADUATE PROGRAMS, THE EDUCATION MYTH HAS BEEN BUSTED. AND AS MORE MEN HAVE TAKEN OVER PARENTING RESPONSIBILITIES, THE “MOMMY-MYTH” HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.

·       THE WAGE GAP PERSISTS ACROSS ALL PROFESSIONS, FOR ALL RACES, AR ALL EDUCATION LEVELS AND IN ALL GEOGRAPHIC AREAS.

 

·       STUDIES SHOW THAT WOMEN IN FULL-TIME, YEAR-ROUND WORK ARE PAID LESS THAN MEN DOING THE SAME JOBS, EVEN WHEN EDUCATION, ATTENDANCE, WORK PERFORMANCE AND OTHER FACTORS ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. THE REMAINING FACTOR? DISCRIMINATION.

 

 

·       STEREOTYPES REMAIN IN THE WORKPLACE. WHEN WOMEN HAVE CHILDREN, IT IS PERCEVED AND EXPECTED THEY WILL BECOME UNRELIABLE AND HAVE POOR ATTENDANCE. WHEN MEN HAVE CHILDREN AND EXPRESS INTEREST IN THEIR PARENTAL DUTIES, THEY ARE REWARDED AND ANY ATTENDANCE ISSUES ARE OVERLOOKED.

 

·       THE PAY GAP EXISTS FOR ALL WOMEN BUT IS WORSE FOR WOMEN OF COLOR.  THE GAP IS SMALLEST FOR WHITE WOMEN →ASIAN AMERICANS→AFRICAN AMERICANS→HISPANIC WOMEN SUFFER THE BIGGEST PAY GAP.

 

 

·       WOMEN ARE ESPECIALLY PAID LESS IN FEMALE-DOMINATED FIELDS, SUCH AS TEACHING.

 

·       THE GENDER GAP GROWS WITH AGE.

 

 

·       IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE 1970'S THAT ALL ACCREDITED LAW SCHOOLS ELIMINATED GENDER-BASED ADMISSION RESTRICTIONS. FOR LAWYERS ENTERING THE PROFESSION IN 2000, WOMEN WERE PAID 83% OF WHAT THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS WERE PAID. IN 2009, WOMEN LAWYERS EARNED ABOUT 85% OF THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS' SALARY. STUDIES SHOW THAT THE DIFFERENCE WAS NOT ATTRIBUTABLE TO ANY RELEVANT CAREER OR FAMILY CHARACTERISTIC, BUT TO LACK OF ACCESS TO MENTORING, NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES AND CLIENT DEVELOPMENT.

 

·       FEMALE EQUITY PARTNERS IN THE 200 LARGEST FIRMS, WHO DO COMPARABLE WORK TO MEN, EARN 89% OF THE COMPENSATION OF THEIR MALE PEERS.

 

·       THERE ARE STILL LAW FIRMS IN SC THAT PAY FOR THEIR MALE LAWYERS TO TAKE CLIENTS TO MALE-ONLY PRIVATE CLUBS AND EVENTS TO DISCUSS BUSINESS, THUS PREVENTING FEMALE LAWYERS FROM PARTICIPATING.

 

 

·       EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN WILL STRENGTHEN OUR ECONOMY, HELPING COUNTLESS FAMILIES ACHIEVE FINANCIAL SECURITY.

 

 

·       THE ABA AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT PASSAGE OF THE PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT, WHICH MAKES CRITICAL IMPROVEMENTS TO THE EQUAL PAY ACT WHILE ELIMINATING LOOPHOLES THAT HAVE EMERGED OVER THE DECADES. (See attached 3/10/10 letter from the ABA to US Senate in support of the Act, and outlining reasons)

 

·       LAST WEEK, ON APRIL 9, 2014, A VOTE WAS TAKEN IN THE US SENATE TO MOVE THE PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT FORWARD. ALL DEMOCRATS VOTED IN FAVOR OF, AND ALL REBUBLICANS VOTED AGAINST, THE ACT.

 

      LAW FIRMS CAN ENSURE FAIR PAY BY MONITORING THEIR OWN HIRING PRACTICES, ENSURING FAIR ACCESS TO NETWORKING AND CLIENT DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES, AND OFFERING MENTORING TO ALL ASSOCIATES.