It took until April 12 for women’s salaries to catch up with men’s from the previous year, and a recent bake sale on campus brought attention to this issue.
Due to the wage gap, the day women’s salaries catch up to men’s has become known as ‘Equal Pay Day’. The bake sale, hosted by the Keene area American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the American Democracy Project, charged men one dollar for baked goods and women 79 cents.
AAUW.org refers to Equal Pay Day as “a powerful occasion to raise awareness about and action around the gender pay gap in your community.”
KSC student and intern for American Democracy Project Alyssa DeMarco said she was happy with the response. “This bake sale happened last year as well, and a lot of people are coming up and saying ‘oh I’m so glad you’re doing this again’, and sending people over… I’ve even had people who aren’t affiliated with the school come over to buy things,” DeMarco said.
Additionally, co-president of the Keene area AAUW Debbie Bowie commented on the turnout as well.
“Students don’t carry cash, we know that, but it brings a lot of staff and faculty, and some students are interested in is,” Bowie said.
According to Bowie, AAUW provided the baked goods, and American Democracy Project planned and executed the event. “We’ve been partnering to put something on for the equal pay day for a couple of months now,” DeMarco said.
DeMarco said gender equality was something personally important to her. “I don’t want to think about my future and think that I would be doing the same work as a man and I wouldn’t be paid the same… I don’t want to think about having to leave work because I have kids, I mean all those things that men, it wouldn’t even cross their minds. That’s something that I think a lot of women, especially our age and going into the workforce,” DeMarco said.
Bowie said that she did not have the answers to gender inequality in the workplace, but did have some advice to offer. “I don’t have those solutions, I do know that AAUW does have some workshops for women. I think they just need to know what’s happening… I would say probably the best thing is to try when they begin work to make sure they’ll be treated fairly and equally,” Bowie said.
Further, local bakery and café The Works also participated in Equal Pay Day. According to usnews.com, The Works charged women 79 cents to the dollar on their bills in all of their New Hampshire locations last Tuesday. Usnews.com reports that CEO of The Works Richard French said that the chain employs a lot of women, and women and men are paid the same.
Keene High School student and The Works employee Abby Bergman said that this was one of the busier days she’s seen at work.
“I thought it was cool because the guys kind of had to see what it felt like to be on the opposite side of the spectrum for a day,” Bergman said.
The Equinox attempted to contact French for comment, but was unable to by deadline.
Devon Roberts can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org