Women rally to end pay disparity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Women rally to end pay disparity

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by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) April 20th is the 15th annual Equal Pay Day. It's a public awareness event organized by the National Committee on Pay Equity.

April 20th is Equal Pay Day this year because it takes until this date for women to make as much money as men did by December 31st of last year.

Karen Atwood is the CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Iowa. She's also president of the Waterloo Business and Professional Women group.

Atwood said it's up to her and other successful women to stand up for all women.

"We want people to be aware. even women making good money need to still help women out who are making so much less," said Atwood.

Karen Atwood was at an equal pay rally in Waterloo last April. She said women make approximately 77 cents for every dollar men earn.

"Employers owe it to every employee to treat them fair when it comes to pay because none of us should be working for less just because of our sex," said Atwood.

Atwood said this isn't just a "woman's" issue. It impacts everyone.

"If women were making better money, fewer would be on welfare and that's all of our tax dollars," said Atwood.

So, why do women earn less than men? Atwood said one reason is women don't ask.

"As an employer, I find men ask, women don't. Women feel if they're given this amount, that's what it should be. They believe their employer is fair. Men are going to say, but I thought you told me I was going to get a raise. Don't you think I deserve one? I told one group last year women need to ask," said Karen Atwood.

The average yearly pay gap between men and women is more than $10,600.

According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, the wage gap has remained virtually unchanged during the last 15 years.

At this rate, it will be 2060 before the gap in pay disparity between men and men closes.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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