MAKER Lilly Ledbetter and Fair Pay Coalition Inspire Twitter Campaign for Fair Pay
With the election approaching, the American Association of University Women released a new study last week revealing details of the gender pay gap. As part of building awareness for pay equality, from October 29 through 31, the Fair Pay Coalition, which is chaired by AAUW, hosted a Twitter campaign, using the hashtag #RU4FairPay to ask candidates and members of Congress about their support for legislation to address the wage gap and to make fair pay a trending topic on Twitter.
Showing support, MAKER and equal pay pioneer Lilly Ledbetter then penned an opinion piece in Birmingham News adding her thoughts on the importance of fair pay -- divulging her personal story of wage discrimination and making a call to create change around a problem that she says is "bigger than Lilly Ledbetter" -- it's about everyone:
" For me, I lost over $200,000 in salary. My pension, Social Security and the countless overtime hours I worked were also based on the same discriminatory pay. Over the course of my career, I was cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have contributed to my children's education, my family's medical bills or my community's businesses.
From Wall Street to Main Street, it doesn't matter what the industry, women are underpaid. If pay discrimination were a disease, it would be like hypertension, a silent killer. Everyone, both Republicans and Democrats, should be working to remedy the wage gap."
As you might remember, fair pay was a question asked about recently by undecided voter Katherine Fenton in the presidential town hall-style debate. So the Twitter campaign #RU4FairPay was launched.
This call -- for women to come out in solidarity for equal pay -- sounds all too familiar to the story Ledbetter shared with MAKERS about how her colleagues stepped up to testify during her case despite the potential risk of losing their jobs. We commend Katherine Fenton, Lilly Ledbetter, her colleagues, and the hundreds of other people on Twitter sharing their stories for their courage in standing up for such an important issue to so many.
To get involved in the discussion, tweet with the hashtag #RU4FairPay.
For more on The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, watch Lilly's story.