March is Women’s History Month, and the College held a special observation of International Women’s Day on March 4. The event included an information booth and games hosted by the Betsy Dole Women’s Resource Center, awards presented by the student Golden Z Club, and an interactive photo booth dedicated to the “Each for Equal” movement. This year, the month ends with Equal Pay Day on March 31. Linda Logan, Ph.D., vice president and chief inclusion officer and professor of sociology and anthropology, has an unwavering passion for the advancement of women, which she demonstrates in both her personal and professional life. She serves to create an inclusive environment on campus and beyond.
Why do you believe advancing women is important, including events like International Women’s Day and Equal Pay Day?
Today, March 31, 2020, is Equal Pay Day. Women earn .82 cents for every dollar men earn, meaning that women must work an extra 91 days to match the amount that the average man earned in 2019. Equal Pay Day should have been December 31, 2019, not March 31, 2020. While there is still work to be done, having this day occur in March is amazing because this is the first time Equal Pay Day has occurred this early in the year. It is important to note that the wage gap persists for all women, and the gap is larger for women of color.
Here is a breakdown of the 2019 wage gap by demographic:
- Asian-American Women: Feb. 11, 2020 — $0.90 (equal pay figures for this community vary widely by ethnicity)
- White Women: March 31, 2020 — $0.82
- Black Women: Aug. 13, 2020 — $0.62
- Native American Women: Oct. 1, 2020 — $0.57
- Latina Women: Nov. 2, 2020 — $0.54
I encourage everyone to learn more at www.equalpaytoday.org.
International Women’s Day has been celebrated in some form since 1909, when approximately 15,000 women protested long work hours, low pay and their lack of voting rights. Since March 8, 1911, there has been a global celebration. I think advancing women is important, and having global days to acknowledge women are important. Olivet College celebrated the date on March 4 because the national observation on March 8 fell over spring break. It doesn’t matter when you observe the day; it just matters that you do.
The women’s movement started over 108 years ago, but we are still facing and fighting for many of the same issues, such as equal pay. Globally, some women are not allowed to work, and if they do work, they receive extremely low wages. The global average annual income for women is $11,500 and for men, the annual income is $21,500. I encourage you to read more at www.catalyst.org. International Women’s Day allows us to bring attention to such matters.
Other important issues we aim to raise awareness for include human trafficking and child marriages. Globally, these are major concerns. We have to address both of these issues in the United States, as well as in our communities, even if we are not directly impacted. To do so, we have to bring awareness to them.
Olivet College is a place where women are recognized and supported, both as students and professionals. What does that mean to you?
I am so honored to work in a place where everyone has the freedom to express ourselves. We are also a campus where women are promoted and hold executive leadership positions. We have endless opportunities to use our voices to bring attention to the social justice concerns of women, children and others. This year, President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., was awarded a yellow rose by the Golden Z Club because our students felt he is supportive of women on campus and an advocate for sexual assault awareness and keeping our campus safe.
What else should the community know about women’s initiatives or programs on campus?
We have the good fortune of having a women’s center, as well as a gender center, where everyone can freely express themselves. Not all campuses have this type of center as a resource. In addition, the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) offers a number of programs including leadership training for students, a speaker series open to the community, and summer leadership camps for high school and middle school girls. WLI is well-received by women on campus, and it provides an impressive leadership series that allows our students to network with accomplished, influential women to prepare them for the professional world.
Why would you encourage students to get involved with women’s initiatives on campus?
Change doesn’t happen in a bubble. Change happens when we all join together to make a difference. We all have a social responsibility to create the positive change we wish to see in the world. People of all gender identities can help make a difference — women cannot do it alone.
Is there anything else you would like to add about the advancement of women or diversity and inclusion at Olivet College?
We are responsible for creating the future we want for ourselves and for the generations to come. It is up to us to make the changes we desire on our campus and in our communities, state, nation and the world. We have a responsibility to speak up to improve the lives of women. When we improve the rights of women globally, we are improving the lives of children and families around the world. International Women’s Day allows the College to stand in unity and promote the status of women and girls. It is our social responsibility.
I want to emphasize that the Inclusion Office is always willing and ready to collaborate with others on campus to promote inclusion. For example, Nov. 19, 2020, is International Men’s Day, and we plan to work with others on campus to highlight men and give a voice to the unspoken concerns of men. Anytime we celebrate or acknowledge important matters, it always leaves an impression. It may inspire others to take that step to improve the quality of life for others in some way.
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.