This issue of pay inequality is a personal one for me because I grew up in a family of mostly women, who struggled to earn what they were worth for their jobs. Like so many other people in this country, I didn’t realize (until I took this class), that the wage gap still exists today.
For my activism project, I created brochures about the pay inequality between men and women in America. Myself and a couple of friends handed out the brochures at the Baltimore Inner Harbor on the weekend of April 6th-7th before Equal Pay Day. My main reason for doing this was to raise awareness. My brochure included facts on what pay equity is, how large the wage gap is (women still earn 77 cents to every man’s dollar), who is effected, how the wage gap has changed over time, why there are pay disparities, what individuals can do to help even out the wage gap and links and resources that give additional information. I also posted many links on Facebook leading up to Equal Pay Day on information related to the pay inequality in America. Some of these links include; www.pay-equity.org , www.aauw.org , www.wageproject.org , and www.equalpay.info.
I originally planned on making bumper stickers to hand out with the brochures, however I was unable to get them printed in time at my mom’s sign shop. I would still like to make them to raise awareness in the future. If I were to do this project again, I would give myself more time to make the bumper stickers as well.
Some problems that I encountered while handing out the brochures were that some people were not interested enough to take them or read them and many of them were found lying on the ground. However, there were many people who actually had an interest in the subject and asked questions. I feel like I made a very small difference in raising awareness on pay inequality because the people who asked us questions were unaware that the problem still exists today. If the people who spoke to us were unaware, then there is a good possibility that many of the people who took the brochures, but didn’t ask questions, learned something new as well.
For me, “success” is making this small change because I know that I can’t single- handedly eliminate pay inequality. I believe that the simple act of raising awareness is important and the more people are informed, the more likely they are to help improve the inequality in the future.