NSU’S branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) held a bake sale in front of the Parker Building on April 4 and charged each customer based on race and gender.
The organization sold cupcakes, cookies, donuts and iced tea. White men were charged $1 per item, while white women were charged $.77. Black men were charged $.86 cents, and black women were charged $.75 cents. Hispanic men were charged $0.66 cents, and Hispanic women were charged $.59 cents. Asian men were charged $.92 cents, and Asian women were charged $.88 cents.
The price differences were based on the income differences each gender and race earns, found in “The Simple Truth about the Pay Gap,” a 2013 research report about income inequality by the AAUW national organization. For instance, for every dollar a white man earns at his job, a white woman earns $0.77 of that dollar, doing the same job. AAUW is a national organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. that works to end gender discrimination in the workplace and higher education, and to resolve other issues women face through education, advocacy, research and philanthropy.
Candy Fish, NSU-AAUW president, said, “While there was controversy about the difference in money charged for the baked goods based on gender and ethnicity, I trust that students, faculty, staff and administration recognize this event for what it is: an awareness campaign to draw attention to the fact that, nationally, we are still fighting for pay equity. This is really the issue that we hope attendees of the bake sale will walk away with today.”
Some of the students were excited to pay less based on their gender and race, but they ultimately realized the significance of the pay differences.
Brittney Winton, junior biology major, said, “Income inequality has been around forever. It’s nothing new. I’m aware of the glass ceiling for women. Pushing for legislation may make a difference but it may take time, as so many other social issues do — some that have not been confronted yet.”
Taylor Samuel, freshman biology major, said, “It’s sad that this still continues in 2013.”
Allison Brimmer, assistant professor of writing in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences’ Division of Humanities and a member of NSU-AAUW, argued that regardless of how long one has worked, there is still a significant pay gap in the U.S.
Brimmer said, “We started a buzz on campus and were glad to discuss the very real facts about social inequities in terms of dollars and cents. I enjoy debating about it. The main focus is individual worth versus social discrimination.”
Barbara Carter, director of public policy for AAUW’s Weston branch, said that she has faced gender discrimination as a divorced single mother, and is passionate about AAUW’s cause.
Carter provided flyers with statistics on the gender pay gap and said that women in Florida did better than women in other states, as they earn $.83 for every dollar made by earned by a man — six cents higher than the national average.
NSU-AAUW Vice President Sindy Mandujano, a junior majoring in marketing, said, “As a minority woman, I have encountered people that will bring you down but you have to find people to help you back up. AAUW will do just that, especially with this national inequality.”
Sara Barthole, freshman biology major, said that a family friend had her entire career destroyed by racial discrimination.
“This [discrimination] is very real and so sad,” Barthole said.
According to NSU-AAUW President Jennifer McDaniels, junior biology major, the bank sale raised $87 for their branch.
NSU-AAUW’s next event will be the screening of “Graduating to the Pay Gap” — a webcast with the authors of the research report that discusses the pay gap and its implications for graduating seniors — on April 29 in the Carl DeSantis building’s Knight Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.
For more information on NSU-AAUW, contact Letitia Frazier, vice president of membership, at email@example.com.