Women’s Network hosts bake sale to illustrate gender wage gap

Women on campus will be able to buy cookies, brownies and other bakery items for 75 cents, while men will have to pay $1 if they want a bite at a campus bake sale, a member of the TCU Women’s Network said.

Megan O’Brien, president of the TCU Women’s Network and senior art history major, said the Women’s Network and Women’s Studies Program will be hosting a bake sale to illustrate the gap between women’s and men’s wages on Thursday.

Su Harz, member of the Women’s Network and junior social work major, said the bake sale will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m in front of the Mary Couts Burnett Library.

O’Brien said women on average get paid 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. The bake sale will sell cookies, brownies, cake and vegan options, she said.

“We want it to be known how much of a gap there is, especially since people still don’t think that’s happening,” O’Brien said. “We’re also letting the university population know that feminists aren’t scary.”

Harz said the bake sale is being held in honor of Equal Pay Day, which was created by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996. Its purpose is to bring awareness to the gap between men and women’s wages.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, while white women make 77 cents to every dollar men make, women of color fare worse. Hispanic women get paid 56 cents to every dollar and black women are paid 67 cents to every dollar.

Karen Steele, director of Women’s Studies Program and professor of English and women’s studies, said in 1963 women earned 59 cents to every dollar men earned. President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act that year, making it illegal for employers to pay men and women unequally.

“One would expect the gap to improve faster, but it’s going to take 50 years for equal pay at this rate,” Steele said. “We’re actually worse for what we were in 1963 for Latino women.”

It’s difficult for women to find out if they’re getting paid less than their male counterparts because of the taboo associated with asking how much others make, Steele said. Women should be aware of salary range of the job they’re applying for, she said.

Negotiating a better pay wage is the first step toward equal pay, Steele said. Women don’t normally negotiate because they’re not expected to, she said.

Equity Bake Sale
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday
Where: In front of the Mary Couts Burnett Library

“You can negotiate for your pay, benefits, membership, even at Dillard’s,” Steele said. “Everything is negotiable, and women need to realize what they’re worth.”

Members will also be wearing red to represent how women are currently in the red because of every 77 cents to every dollar earned, Steele said.

O’Brien said the idea of holding a bake sale came from the first version of the Women’s Network about two years ago. The network experienced a hiatus before finding a re-emergence this semester, she said.

Money earned from the bake sale will be put into funds for next year’s events held by the Women’s Network, O’Brien said.

Equal Pay Day is on Tuesday, but the bake sale will occur a week before because of the university’s study days, she said.