Local Business Women On Gender Pay Gap - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Business Women On Gender Pay Gap

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DAVENPORT, IA/ SILVIS, IL  -- Today is Equal Pay Day. It's a date that symbolizes how many extra days an average woman needs to work to make the same as her equal male colleague.

The U.S. Census shows that an average woman makes 77 cents for every dollar an average man makes. A survey from the U.S. Census also shows that across races (White, Non-Hispanic/African-American/Hispanic), women are getting paid less than men.

Local businesswomen say that while it's frustrating, there is a way to lessen the gender pay gap.

Lauri Flanagan, a Human Resources Consultant for Management Resource Group, recalls, "I can speak to my experience back when I was working with an organization. My husband and I were at similar levels at the time. He worked for an organization and was paid more and was only responsible for himself. I actually had a couple people reporting to me and I was making significantly less. More than $10,000 less.

Flanagan tells us her success wasn't simply handed to her. "I feel that sometimes women almost work harder to try to make that up to a certain extent."

Another leader in the Quad Cities, Florence Spyrow, worked hard to gain an executive position. She is the Senior Vice President of Operations at Genesis Health Systems. She believes women are the powers that can change the pay gap.

Spyrow says, "It's possible, but it starts with us. Sometimes we want to complain about situations that we're in and what we can change is ourselves and how we view the world, and how we're willing to reach out to other women and help them become better."

Spyrow says that education was very important for advancing her career, and recommends higher education to other women. She also says that finding great mentors in the community is something that will improve the gender pay gap.

Colleen Rafferty from Women's Connection says reducing the gender pay gap starts with women understanding their worth. She says, "I think we women need to understand our value, understand industry standards, and negotiate on our behalf." She advises that when taking a new job as a woman, to negotiate and make sure you are being paid at the same level for your amount of skill.

Rafferty says there is awareness in the Quad Cities about the issue and that many companies are working to change policies and alter the cultures of our society.

She adds, "I think we need to work together towards equality. And the sooner we can close the gender pay gap, the better it is for everyone. It's good for women; it's good for families; it's good for companies; it's good for our community."

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