The STEM Promise: Opportunities for Economic Empowerment

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The STEM Promise: Opportunities for Economic Empowerment


By Katie Stanton
Social Media and Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

equal pay WH graphicNext week, the national conversation will turn to income inequality as we mark Equal Pay Day. This marks the day on which women must continue to work in 2014, in order to earn as much as men did in the previous year.

According to 2012 numbers from the Census Bureau, the wage gap is still 23 cents, with women earning around 77 cents on average for every dollar earned by white men. The wage gap for women of color is worse: in 2012, the earnings of African American women were $33,885, or 68.6 percent of all men’s earnings and Latinas’ earnings were $28,424, 57.5 percent of all men’s earnings.

Equal pay would mean income that women need to pay for health care, housing, child care and food. It would mean greater Social Security benefits, and greater financial independence.

At 3 p.m. EDT on April 8, YWCA and the YWCA National Capital Area are teaming up with the White House and the Department of Energy to talk about equal pay, and about how jobs in non-traditional fields like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) could provide new opportunities.

Via Energy.gov:

The YWCA and the Department of Energy are teaming up to host a panel and Tweet Up on The STEM Promise: Opportunities for Economic Empowerment. Join the conversation on April 8, 2014, from 3-4pm EST, by using #STEMEqualPay on Twitter and learn how STEM jobs can cut down on the pay gap between men and women.

The STEM Promise: Opportunities for Economic Empowerment, will be moderated by WUSA9 Weekday Morning Anchor Mike Hydeck. He’ll be speaking with Alice Madden, Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the Department of Energy; Florentia Spires, an Albert Einstein Fellow placed at the National Science Foundation; and Desiree Hoffman, Director of Advocacy and Policy, YWCA USA for a conversation on the wages of STEM jobs and resources to find jobs in STEM. Tamara Smith, CEO of YWCA National Capital Area, will kick off the conversation, and Julie Silard Kantor, Chief Partnership Officer with Million Women Mentors, will provide closing remarks on finding a STEM mentor.

We will discuss how STEM careers can mean more economic security for women and the families that depend on them. Panelists in STEM careers will share how they entered their career and offer advice and resources on finding entry-level STEM jobs and mentors in STEM. Additionally, the panel will explore the importance of ending occupational segregation in nontraditional fields, like STEM, as a critical step toward equal pay.

Tune in to the live discussion by following the #STEMEqualPay hashtag on Twitter. We hope to see you there!