Seeking Equity for Women in Journalism and Mass Communication Education: A 30-Year Update

By Ramona R. Rush; Carol E. Oukrop et al. | Go to book overview

7
The Salary Equity Factor
Kate Peirce

With graduation time upon students, it's time to enter the career world. Students have put in their four years in college, fulfilled their course requirements, indebted thousands of dollars in loans or parental support, and will now find a job of their liking with a salary they can accept.

If that student is a man, that median salary is $35,345; a woman, $25,362. (Partridge, 2000, p. 1)

The purpose of this chapter is to look at similarities and differences in the salaries of female and male faculty members in university journalism and mass communication programs, but I also look at the status of working women in general, the status of women in academe, salary equity studies and findings, and various lawsuits and fights over salary inequities.


THE EQUAL PAY ACT AND THE STATUS OF WORKING WOMEN

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in paying wages for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility. However, it exempted from coverage executive, administrative, and professional employees, including teachers and academic administrative personnel. In 1972, the EPA was extended to cover people in those positions after the National Organization for Women filed charges with the U. S. Department of Labor against the public school system to draw attention to the denial of equal opportunity in employment for women teachers (“Equal Pay Act, ” 2000).

In 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act guaranteed women equal access to jobs, promotions, and benefits as well as pay (“Facts on Working Women, ”

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