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    Why Equal Pay Matters

    Date: August 11, 2020, 11:30am
    Dr. Irina Z. Shulman, Ph.D.
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    Did you know that in 2019, women working full time and year-round in the United States typically were paid just 82% of what men were paid, a gap of 18%? According to the U.S. Census Bureau reports and Bureau of Labor Statistics, for women of color, the gap is even higher – 62% for black women, 57% for native women, and 54% for Hispanics. As a result of lower lifetime earnings, women receive less in Social Security and pensions.

    Why Equal Pay Matters?

    The pay and wealth disparities that women of color face affect not only individuals, but also the people around them. Since 80% of Black mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners for their households, a fair salary can mean the difference between struggling and sustainability for a family.

    Paying all workers fairly means more women can support their families while also contributing to the overall economy. True pay equity requires a multifaceted strategy that addresses both the gendered and racialized injustices that women of color encounter every day.

    Irina Z. Shulman, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Faculty teaching Industrial-Organizational/Business Psychology, Organizational Leadership, and Behavioral Economics at the Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP). She is also a writer, a public speaker, and a certified salary negotiation facilitator at the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

    Irina immigrated to the U.S. from Russia in 1992 and moved from entry-level jobs to leading and managing complex projects for Fortune 500 companies. In one of her previous roles as the Vice President of Procurement for Sears Holdings Corporation, she was accountable for managing over $4 billion in annual expenditures. She hired and trained over one hundred strategic sourcing team members and acted as a formal mentor for many young professionals. In 2016, Irina decided to quit her corporate job and focus on training graduate-level students seeking promotions and advancement in leadership roles.