This is our fight song… YWCA Alaska’s Crusade for Economic Equality

 

By Hilary Morgan, CEO of YWCA Alaska

In 1963, the U.S. Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, prohibiting pay discrimination on the basis of gender. Over 50 years later, women still only earn 79 cents on the dollar nationally. Women in Alaska are paid just .67 cents for every dollar men earn. This puts Alaska second to last in the nation for women’s pay.[1]

With women composing 48% of the Alaskan workforce, the economic and societal impact of the gender pay gap is great.[2] Unfortunately, the gender pay gap in Alaska only decreased by 5 cents from 1990 to 2014.[3]

As a group, women who are employed full time in Alaska lose approximately $1,208,154,915 every year due to the wage gap.[4] Families, businesses, and the economy suffer as a result. Gender pay inequity is an increasingly critical issue as women play a growing role in their families’ economic security.

In May, 2014, the YWCA Alaska Board of Directors passed a bold resolution that YWCA Alaska will eliminate the Gender Pay Gap in Alaska by 2025. This resolution was inspired by what we all know to be true: when Alaska’s women thrive, our state thrives-our employers are able to find the talent they need to excel, families are well cared for, and neighborhoods are active and communities connected.

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How will we accomplish this?

YWCA Alaska’s initiative focus is on a groundbreaking three element approach:

  • Focusing on the economic impact of the gap rather than the social injustice of unequal pay
  • Intentionally choosing to avoid legislative or political routes to this solution
  • Implementing a 2-pronged approach focused on changing the societal, educational, and

economic dynamics that contribute to the gender pay gap:

  • Working directly with businesses and organizations to create gender diverse workplaces
  • Furthering the education of women and girls on issues related to career choice and salary negotiation

To learn more about our process, our progress to date and how you can join the movement, visit us online at http://ywcaak.org/womens-economic-empowerment-center/economic-summit/ or call us at 907-644-9600. Watch our EconEquity PSA here!

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#EconEquity #YWCAAK #closethegapAK

EconEquity materials being handed out
EconEquity materials being handed out

 

Senator Berta Gardner presenting YWCA Alaska with a Legislative Citation recognizing our work
Senator Berta Gardner presenting YWCA Alaska with a Legislative Citation recognizing our work

[1] Institute for Women’s Policy Research analysis of data from the 2012 American Community Survey, Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (Version 5.0).

[2] Schultz, “Gender and Earnings,” 4.

[3] Schultz, “Gender and Earnings,” 4.

[4] National Partnership for Women & Families calculations based on: U.S. Census Bureau. (2012). American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2011, Geographies: All States within United States, Table B20017: Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months by Sex by Work Experience in the Past 12 Months for the Population 16 Years and Over with Earnings in the Past 12 Months. Retrieved 25 March 2013, from http://factfinder2. census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_B20017&prodType=table