Gender pay equity is March 24 MTSU panel discussio...

Gender pay equity is March 24 MTSU panel discussion topic

The issue of gender pay inequity and its impact beyond the workplace will be discussed at a National Women’s History Month event set Thursday, March 24, at MTSU.

“Equal Dime for Equal Time: Building a Strong Economic Foundation for Tennessee Families” is slated for 6 p.m. March 24 in the Sam H. Ingram Building, 2269 Middle Tennessee Blvd. in Murfreesboro.

2016 NWHM equal dime webPlenty 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.

Dr. Ayne Cantrell

Dr. Ayne Cantrell

“Closing the pay gap is a matter of simple fairness and family well-being,” said Dr. 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 here.

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 a working woman leads 50 percent of female-headed households.

Panelists scheduled to participate include:

  • Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, executive director of the Tennessee Economic Council on Women.
  • State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, who is the state House sponsor of the Tennessee Pay Equality Act (HB 1947).
  • State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville.
  • Sylvia D. Hall, supervisory federal investigator for the Nashville area office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Sarah L. Smith, director of the EEOC’s Nashville area office.
  • State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville.
  • Yvonne Wood of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the South.

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; the Davidson County Democratic Party; Davidson County Democratic Women; the 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

— Gina K. Logue (