Log in Subscribe

President Parrish and AAUW Members Challenge Gender Wage Gap


North Carolina Employment Agencies:

The Salisbury Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) call to your attention Executive Order 93, whereas North Carolina enacted a state-wide law effectively, April 2, 2019, when Governor Roy Cooper declared state agencies may not request pay information from applicants, nor rely upon previously obtained historical salary information when determining an applicant's wages.  As AAUW is committed to workplace and economic equity, we recognize certain systemic practices contribute to the very real, persistent, and harmful - gender pay gap.

Did you know, white women working full time in the United States of America are paid just 84 cents to every dollar earned by white men, black women earn 71 cents, Latinx women earn 53 cents — and the consequences of this gap affect women throughout their lives? The pay gap follows women into retirement, and as a result of lower lifetime earnings, women receive less in Social Security and pensions; thus in terms of overall retirement income, women have only 70% of what men do.

The gender pay gap is the result of many factors, inextricably linked to the history of labor in America, including race and ethnicity, disability, access to education, and much more. As a result, different groups of women experience very different gaps in pay. The gender pay gap is a complex issue that warrants inclusive solutions; and that’s why AAUW is in support of the possibilities Executive Order 93 can create if fully implemented throughout the state, according to the governor’s directives.

Permit us to share, AAUW NC has recently conducted an audit of county job applications statewide to gain a clearer picture of the practice of requesting salary history data of job applicants within our state. Moreover, in viewing sample job applications, we found 78 of 100 counties in North Carolina are non-compliant with the Governor’s order, as multiple applications request work experience details questioning the candidate’s prior salary. The counties include: Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Anson, Avery, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Catawba, Chatham, Chowan, Clay, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davie, Durham, Duplin, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Hoke, Hyde, Iredell, Jackson, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Marin, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, Northampton, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Polk, Randolph, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Sampson, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Tyrell, Union, Warren, Wilson, Yadkin, and Yancey.

Members of AAUW know certain questions, especially about previous salary, disadvantage those who may have experienced low pay due to gender and/or ethnicity bias. More specifically, the gender wage gap hurts North Carolina’s families, businesses and economy; and North Carolina women and families deserve more. Data reports, women in North Carolina currently earn 19 percent less than men on average. While median earnings for men in North Carolina are $45,000, women in our state earn just $36,400, putting women’s pay in North Carolina 32nd in the nation. If current trends continue, working women in North Carolina will not see equal pay until 2060 - and women of color will have to wait even longer.

It’s the simple truth and statistics show, women in North Carolina and across the country continue to earn less than men. With women historically earning less on average than men, requiring job applicants to report salary history can perpetuate gender pay inequities. Furthermore, research shows women get paid less than men in their very first jobs, even when controlling for occupation, college major, hours worked, location and demographics. Also, women are less likely to negotiate their salaries - and when they do negotiate, women are more likely to receive negative feedback and less likely to be promoted. Ultimately, relying on salary history can enable the pay gap, based on wrong assumptions that the prior salary was fair or free from bias.

Many states across the country are increasingly enacting salary history bans; and a growing body of evidence demonstrates a correlation with subsequent higher pay rates for women.  Executive Order 93 is fair and just as it prohibits state agencies under the Governor’s oversight from requesting salary history from job applicants and directs them to avoid relying on previously obtained salary history to determine an applicant’s income. Moreover, Executive Order 93 directs the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources to remove employment salary history fields from state employment applications. As state employee salary history is a public record, the Executive Order mandates the Office of State Human Resources work to ensure previous salary information is not used in a discriminatory way. Thus, we are standing to ask employing agencies, and persons with business and socioeconomic influence and/or the authority to make decisions, to comply with the precedent set by the state of North Carolina and remove salary history information from job applications; and further - revise human resources policies to stipulate a ban on the consideration of salary history in pay packages. Simply put, the same work deserves the same pay.

Your prompt attention and action to this matter is greatly appreciated. We look forward on moving progressively to pay equity in America.

Respectfully submitted,

Da’Tarvia A. Parrish, President

with the Members of AAUW Salisbury Branch

President Parrish, AAUW Members, Challenge, Gender Wage Gap


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here