This year, Equal Pay Day fell on April 2nd, the day when women’s earnings finally equaled what a man earned the previous year. Bay Path marked the occasion with a coordinated campaign discussing the myriad factors that contribute to the wage gap and how, as an institution dedicated to women’s education and career readiness, the university works to address those factors. Under the theme “Educate. Negotiate. Participate.”, the campaign highlighted the fact that women earn just 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man and launched conversations about salary negotiation, career planning and barriers to equal pay.
As Bay Path works to educate women who will join and potentially lead tomorrow’s workforce, bringing the wage gap to the forefront of conversations about their professional goals and the obstacles they’ll face is a critical part of preparing them for careers. The “Educate. Negotiate. Participate.” campaign coincided with several workshops on salary negotiation and self-advocacy, financial literacy coursework completed through the college’s WELL (Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders) program, and the annual Women’s Leadership Conference, sponsored by Bay Path’s Strategic Alliances group.
“Educate. Negotiate. Participate.” took place on the heels of Bay Path’s recent receipt of a $1.6 million grant from the STRADA Foundation to train women throughout the country via Bay Path’s online school, The American Women’s College, in digital technologies, coding, data science, and systems thinking. These in-demand skills position students for work in high-paying STEM industries, notorious for the under-representation and unequal pay of women.
According to Gretchen Heaton, Director of Career Development and the WELL Program, "Women in the U.S. lose a combined total of more than $900 billion each year because of the wage gap. This impacts individual women, but it also affects their children, families, and communities, generation after generation. As a university committed to the education and advancement of women, Bay Path makes it a priority to give our students the awareness and skills they need to advocate for themselves, while also discussing policy changes that can lead to large-scale change."