Friday, March 25, 2016

[394] Legislators, equal opportunity officials discuss pay equity March 24 at MTSU

MURFREESBORO — The issue of gender pay inequity and its impact beyond the workplace will be discussed at a National Women’s History Month event at MTSU.

“Equal Dime for Equal Time: Building a Strong Economic Foundation for Tennessee Families” is slated for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the Sam H. Ingram Building, 2269 Middle Tennessee Blvd. in Murfreesboro. Plenty of free parking will be available in the Ingram parking lot, but traffic delays due to road construction are possible.
The panel discussion will focus on the trickle-down effect of the disparity between men’s and women’s wages on their families and their overall quality of life.
According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, women working full time in the United States make only 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. The gap is even greater for women of color.

“Closing the pay gap is a matter of simple fairness and family well-being,” said B. Ayne Cantrell, president of the American Association of University Women of Tennessee and MTSU professor emerita. “Pay should reflect qualifications, not someone’s gender. Women receive more college and graduate degrees than men. They are also caring for their families.”

AAUW maintains a Web page devoted to in-depth gender pay gap research at
According to the American Community Survey, an ongoing statistical survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, close to 70 percent of all women in Tennessee work. Two out of 3 families include a wife in the labor force, and 50 percent of female-headed households are led by a working woman.

Panelists scheduled to participate include:

  • Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, executive director, Tennessee Economic Council on Women;

  • State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, District 55 (part of Davidson County), House sponsor of the Tennessee Pay Equality Act (HB 1947);

  • State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, District 54 (part of Davidson County);
  • Sylvia D. Hall, supervisory federal investigator, Nashville area office, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
  • Sarah L. Smith, director, Nashville area office, EEOC;

  • State Sen. Jim Tracy, District 14 (Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties and parts of Rutherford County), and;

  • Yvonne Wood, Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the South, Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

In addition to AAUW of Murfreesboro, co-sponsors of this event are the Alpha Delta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority; Business and Professional Women of Tennessee; Davidson County Democratic Party; Davidson County Democratic Women; Jefferson Street United Merchant Partnership; MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women; Rutherford County Democratic Women; Rutherford County League of Women Voters; and Women in Higher Education in Tennessee.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cantrell at 615-893-1786 or

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