Gender Wage Gap Narrowing
Businesswomen Mark National Equal Pay Day with 14th Annual “Unhappy Hour”
WHAT: To recognize National Equal Pay Day and to raise awareness of pay equity and wage discrimination, Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas will hold its 14th annual “Unhappy Hour” on April 4, the symbolic day that the average woman in the United States finally earns the same amount of pay that her male counterpart earned in the previous calendar year. According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2016, the average woman makes just 79.6 cents for every dollar a man is paid, reflecting a gap that results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages over the course of a career. Therefore, if a man was paid $50,000 to perform his job from January 1 through December 31, it will take a woman in the same position, on average, until April of the following year to earn the same amount.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 131 2nd Ave. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
COST: The public is invited to attend this free event. No RSVP is necessary. Light appetizers and a cash bar will be available.
ABOUT: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, women were earning an average of 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. While women hold nearly half of today’s jobs, and their earnings account for a significant portion of the household income that sustains the financial well-being of their families, they are still experiencing a gap in pay compared to men’s wages for similar work. For African American women and Latinas, the pay gap is even greater. African American women average only 71 cents, and Latina women are typically paid only 61 cents for every dollar paid to male workers. At the current rate of change, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has estimated that the wage gap will not close until 2059.
About Business and Professional Women (BPW)/St. Petersburg-Pinellas
BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas is the local chapter of BPW/Florida, which is affiliated with the national BPW Foundation. Founded in 1919 at the national and state levels, and in 1966 at the local level, BPW crosses generations, occupations and political parties. BPW’s mission is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace through advocacy, education and information. General membership meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 400 Beach Seafood and Tap House in Downtown St. Petersburg.
Signature activities for 2017 include an award-winning Individual Development program, the Unhappy Hour observing Equal Pay Day in April, the Working Women’s Fall Forum in October, and serving as host of the statewide BPW conference in June. The 2016-2017 local organization president is Jerri Evans.
Each year, we hold an “Unhappy Hour” to recognize National Equal Pay Day and to raise awareness of pay equity and wage discrimination.
BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas held our 13th annual “Unhappy Hour” to mark Equal Pay Day on April 12, 2016 at the St. Petersburg Museum of History on downtown St. Petersburg’s beautiful waterfront.
Approximately 70 people attended this year’s Unhappy Hour, including students from the University of South Florida Womens’ Empowerment Club. Part of our event’s mission is to make younger women aware of the ongoing relevance of BPW’s platform issues, particularly pay equity.
BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas was presented with a proclamation from the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, declaring that April 12th was officially “Equal Pay Day” in Pinellas County, and the proclamation was read to the assembled guests by Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Charlie Justice, who also pledged the county’s full commitment to working towards equal pay for women. A second proclamation came from the city of St. Petersburg, and was presented by Sally Everett, the mayor’s Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, who spoke of the city’s commitment to partnering with organizations like BPW to make economic empowerment for women and their families a priority in St. Petersburg.
For photos of Unhappy Hour 2016 click here.