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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, May 19, 2024
Students on Library Mall held signs and passed out buttons to spread awareness about gender inequalities in the workforce.

Students on Library Mall held signs and passed out buttons to spread awareness about gender inequalities in the workforce.

Student organizations advocate to close gender wage gap on Equal Pay Day

The UW-Madison Lean In chapter and the American Association of University Women raised awareness for Equal Pay Day Tuesday on Library Mall.

This is the first year the groups collaborated for the event. Members spread out around Library Mall, informing people walking past about the national day, holding posters that displayed facts about gender inequalities between employed men and women and passing out stickers and buttons to spread awareness.

Equal Pay Day is held annually on a Tuesday in April. The date symbolizes the additional months into the year and days into the work week that women must work to earn the same amount as men. According to documents at the event, women are paid 79 cents to every dollar that men are paid.

Masy Engel, vice president of service and external relations for Lean In, said last year was the first time Lean In held an event to advocate for the day.

“We think this is a really important matter for women going into the workforce,” Engel said. “I’m sure it’ll continue to go on for years to come.”

Lean In aims to assist women in achieving professional and personal goals. Engel said the organization tries to change the discussion from what women cannot do, to what they can do. She said female members learn how to face challenges in the workplace that they will soon experience.

The AAUW organization also focuses on empowering women. It was originally formed in the late 1800s, but the UW-Madison chapter was established in early April 2016. They focus on political stances that enhance efforts to stop discrimination from employers, including the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“Women, half of our population, are already at a disadvantage,” Engel said. “We aren’t being valued for our work ethic and skills, but have a bias based off of who we are. It is important to talk about this because it it will affect future generations if we don’t start the conversation.”

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