National Equal Pay Day Brings Renewed Call for Pay Equity

Modified: April 4, 2017 12:26pm

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Poloncarz, King join EC Commission on the Status of Women, Partners to Spotlight Continuing Pay Discrimination between Genders

Pay Equity panel discussion, networking reception Tuesday afternoon at Buffalo History Museum

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Karen King, Executive Director of the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women (“ECCSW”) to draw attention to the issue of income inequality between genders and stridently call for the end of such discrimination. Today is National Equal Pay Day, a date that symbolizes how far into 2017 (94 days) women must work to earn what men earned in 2016. Many women today still experience pay inequity in the workplace firsthand; on average, women still make seventy-eight cents for every dollar made by a man, a disparity that increases for women minorities. The ECCSW is also hosting a pay equity panel discussion at the Buffalo History Museum on Tuesday afternoon to further explore the issue.

“We must speak out and act against all forms of discrimination, including wage discrimination between genders. It is unconscionable that some employers in 2017 still feel that it is OK to pay their female employees less than males for the same work,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Today we are putting a spotlight on this discrimination and also inviting everyone to join this afternoon’s panel discussion on pay equity, which will be an informational and educational event.”

Joining Poloncarz and King at the event were Shari Scavone, Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Foundation, and Katherine Smith, President of the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of NYS Women, Inc. In 2016, median annual earnings for women in Erie County working full-time were $40,610 versus $50,966 for men performing the same work. Nationally, African-American women were paid 63 cents for every dollar white men earned and 54 cents for Hispanic women.

Karen King, Executive Director of the ECCSW, added , “Gender based wage discrimination is a community problem that impacts everyone and that needs to be discussed openly and thoughtfully so our community as a whole can work together to eliminate gender wage discrimination.

The purpose of the pay equity panel, entitled “Narrowing the Gender Wage Gap: Current Legislative Strategies,” is to raise awareness on the issue of pay equity and to celebrate some of the progress that has been made in New York State through collaborative advocacy efforts. The free, 4:00 PM event will feature a variety of panelists with knowledge and expertise on the topic of pay equity and the gender wage gap, including local attorneys, educators and community stakeholders. A reception sponsored by The Junior League of Buffalo will follow.

“Pay Equity Panel & Reception” in honor of Pay Equity Day will start at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday April 4, 2017 at Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court, Buffalo NY 14216.

For more information:

On the ECCSW, visit