Still Work To Do On Equal Pay, Rally Organizers Say

Nancy Harty
April 10, 2018 - 7:02 pm
Equal Pay Rally

(WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty)


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Organizers of Chicago's Equal Pay Day rally say while they celebrate the success of the #MeToo campaign and another women's march, Tuesday was a day for focusing on wage inequity.

Barb Yong founded the rally eight years ago and told a crowd in Daley Plaza: "It's a reminder of the work we still have to do to guarantee equal pay for all.”

April 10 is the day, organizers say, that a typical woman's earnings catch up with what the average man made last year.

Dorri McWhorter, CEO of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, says since the Equal Pay Act banned paying the sexes differently in 1963, women have only narrowed the gap by 19 cents. 

She says for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 78 cents. 

It's worse for some women of color, City Clerk Anna Valencia says, with African-American woman earning 63 cents and Latina woman earning just 48 cents.

For those who believe the pay gap is a myth, restaurateur and master sommelier Alpana Singh says it was real for her.

She told the crowd earlier in her career she was afraid to talk about money because she thought, "I don't want to rock the boat, it's not polite, what if I get fired? What if they say no?"

Mona Noriega, a commissioner on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, read a new executive order from Mayor Rahm Emanuel that bans the city from asking job applicants about their salary history. This is seen as a strategy that could help correct the wage gap.

Speakers at the rally encouraged women to report pay inequity in the workplace and support companies that don't allow it.