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OneRouge Community Check-In: Week 197



Here we are in the year of Da'Vine Joy Randolf's 1st Oscar and 51 wins for her roll in Holdovers and women STILL make pittance compared to men in absolutely every phase and sector of work.  Pardon me while I warm up my side-eye...


In 2021, Baton Rouge was dubbed the "least equitable" city in the country for the gender pay gap since there's a difference of 48.5% between salaries of men and women. In 2024, Louisiana was exposed as the worst state for gender pay equality. The pay gap has widened over the years and current forecasts don’t have women receiving equal pay until 2059


December 2021, the first woman Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome established an Equal Pay Commission  with one of its goals being “to establish the City of Baton Rouge as a Model City with regard to pay equity”. It is clear that “shorted pay can prevent women and families from putting food on the table, securing safe housing, and accessing critical medical care and education--impacts that can perpetuate cycles of poverty across generations.” For these and many other reasons, it is imperative that women be paid equal their male counterparts. 


This and every March, we talk women’s issues...particularly inequitable pay. Join our featured speakers as we talk "Pay Inequity: Can't afford to even dream a whole dream"

 

Notes

Casey Phillips:  It's been a week, and I know it alluded to it at the end of yesterday, but. I think we're at like 198 weeks, right? Which I mean y'all just really do the math real quick We're coming up on four years together like four years of these friday calls together And it's crazy to even wrap my mind around. So I appreciate y'all being here today I am joyous because I am here with you. So pepper speaking of the joy down in my heart. So what you got, Pepper? You want to jump in and level set us for the day? 


Pepper Roussel: Yeah, I guess so. But I'm just gonna say I'm just gonna say I'm a little jealous that I don't get a London Fog because Casey's got a London Fog right now. And, Even though it's, from the Starbucks we're going to let it go. We're going to let it go. It's


Casey: I'm road tripping when you're road tripping. I said all the mom and pop filter has to just take a back seat because can't get a London fog inside of inside of Bucky's, and and by the way, just for the record I am not, Bucky's doesn't pay me as a brand evangelist because I'm one of the people that doesn't really like Bucky's. And I know that I know it's okay. Thank you, Aaron. I appreciate you. I know that it's a thing for some people, and I'm still curious as to why. But cheers, and happy non Bucky's Friday.


Pepper: There's no segue there. However, I will say thanks to all of you for joining us on this fine Friday. The four years does seem like a very long time. You can do many things in four years. I don't know that I've ever been to a Bucky's,  although I have seen them on the side of the road. I am Pepper Roussel and you know how much I enjoy being part of your Friday morning with us. From My dreary apartment window to yours, the rain and the gray that's outside. I am thankful that you are here so that we can continue our discussions about things keeping us all in chain, in poverty, not chains. It was a Freudian slip. We do have some really incredible speakers this morning who are going to share with us.  Not just what pay equity should look like, but what it could look like and what it looks like now. Since Reverend Anderson did say that she would grace us with the presence of her actual head in the square this morning on Hollywood Squares we will start with Reverend Anderson, who also gave us homework. Reverend Anderson said that it was felt like she was studying for a term paper and it also felt like she was trying to share the wealth. Reverend Anderson, if you wouldn't mind coming off mute and coming on to camera to share with us what it looks like for pay equity to actually occur for or does it occur for justice, adjacent people, particularly women in this month of Women's History Month. Your five minutes starts now.  


Reverend Anderson: Good morning, Pepper, and good morning, my one roof family. So I'm coming today from two positions. One of them is the fact that, as most of you may know I run a ministry called Preach, and one of our programs is actually classic. It's incarceration stigmatized asset attached captives, and we look at what the financial end of incarceration and justice impact folks are. The other hat I wear, which is relevant to this conversation is the fact that I am in the courts every single day unless something very unusual happens. And so I actually monitor what's called first appearance, which is when people first hear about their charges. And so when we talk about pay equity. I want to level set us with three categories in justice impact families. The first one is the same issues that exists for low and no wealth women in the world. exists for the people we end up in the carceral system.  And so that's the first thing. Often the women are very much in industries that are very low wage, low paying. Also because women are the primary caretakers and many of the women in the carceral system are in fact single mothers. That disparity because of parenting is there. And in the third issue, which a lot of people have never thought about a lot, is that there are a number of women who are demonized and criminalized because of a lot of what we call misdemeanor and small issues that end up being very large. And what I mean by that is for instance, you've heard me use the statistic about there's over 250,000 people who drive on suspended driver's licenses.  One of the reasons so many people end up in jail behind those kind of things is because it's a financial challenge. If you can't afford to pay the ticket, many people don't go to court. And so if women are already at the low end of the scale and they get a ticket for an expired plate, that kind of thing, They often don't go to jail. But then the second thing that happens is when they do go to court because they already start with very low income, even if the bail is less than it would be for a man. And sometimes it is. They still can't afford. And so that becomes very real issue. And I don't know if I still have a minute or two. So let me know pepper. Okay, so you have somebody who comes into a system. They already have very low. They typically are working in jobs that are female dominated, which means the pay scales are low. And so you have a lot of women who come in and work in retail, who work in nursing homes, who work in very low wage, no benefit industries, or they never had employment at all. And they end up in a system where even what most of us would think is a modest amount of money. is beyond what they can afford. And so they will end up being held in a facility in a way that middle and higher income people will never experience. And for things middle and higher income people would never experience. But then you have, and this is very interesting to me as well, once you get women into the carceral system, you have gender bias. And what that means is that women already have certain costs that are exclusive to them. This past last week, I think we just had in Louisiana minister form and many of you may not know, but before 2019 women had to pay for their tampons and their sanitary napkins and that kind of thing. So there's a lot of costs that are very exclusive to women, but then the other piece of this is because women can't afford to find out, they will typically plea and any contact with the carceral system has become spotted, which means it will impact our future employment, our future housing,  parenting, every facet of their lives. And I will end with that. 


Pepper: Did you just tell me that poor black, poor women end up in debtor's prison? Is that what I heard?


Rev. Anderson: Okay.  Absolutely. Yes.  


Pepper: All right. Flitcher Bell, I saw your head moved to the side and that various lawyer, they're like explain to me, what does this mean? No. 


Flitcher Bell: Okay I'm just going to jump in quickly, Reverend, as I get a floor back to you. But no, my thing was that Pepper is true. It is a debtist prison, but that's probably 70 percent of the people who are in there. We know that our. local jail, which is supposed to be just a pretrial facility place. Most of the people there have not even been formally billed or charged yet, and they just can't afford to get out. And we know that even 50 to 60 percent of those cases, when it's time to come to trial will be dropped or will be dismissed without action. So that's why I would say, yes, she's true. It's a debtist prison, but it's for the majority, but women more.


Rev. Anderson: Pepper?


Pepper: Yes, ma'am. So that's I was waiting on you to finish. 


Rev. Anderson: Oh, yeah. And I will say one of the things that I have known in the five years that I have been monitoring. We don't talk a lot about the impact of domestic violence, but it is huge on women. And so one of the challenges becomes. oftentimes because of the misunderstanding of what it means to be a domestic violence survivor, that if somebody is involved in a relationship and law enforcement gets involved, they may often arrest both parties. And in a relationship that's already quite unequal, it is often that female who is sitting in a jail someplace, not able to adequately defend themselves. And keep in mind that our system,  people don't get paid until somebody's locked up. That our public defender system, the way they get funded is because people plead that all of the extra attachments that happen to people. So think about electronic monitoring, think about bail box, all those things. Those things only really kick in when somebody is locked up somewhere. And so those are all extensive courses that women who are often arrested for things like shoplifting. what we call quality of life type of issues that you still have to make the bail and the bond, or you still have to do the drug testing, or you still have to do these myriad of costs, and they do all costs. And these women simply don't have the money for that process to get out, much less the idea that there's going to be an attorney. that they can afford that may assist them and then add to that if they have domestic violence charges, those are considered crimes of violence. So even if they were in the role of a survivor. There's a very good chance they may have a protective order against them, which means now they got to find new housing, that they may suddenly have child custody issues they didn't have before. For women, the fact that they start out poor, enter a system that criminalizes them. poverty and their inability to exit that system without a lot of risk. It just it magnifies itself. And I will say this one last thing. It is also generation. So when somebody cannot get out of these systems, it will also impact their family because the women who tend to pay the bond, who tend to put their houses up are also just as impacted when and often a very modest means. So it is not just the women who end up incarcerated or who get the ticket they can't afford. It is the support systems that often  help them that end up being locked out. Because again, women often have the kind of jobs that don't have flexibility, especially at the low and no wealthy. So if you work for a nursing home and you were sitting in jail for 24 hours, the odds are you don't have a job when you get out and your job didn't have benefits, didn't have a lot of things to begin with. So when we talk about the equity issues, it is very big. 


Pepper: All right, so I feel like we're going to come back to this because I have so many questions for you, Reverend Anderson and Sharon. I saw your hand go up but you're off camera. So I don't know if you still wanted to say something. Jump in real quick. We're going to get back to you too. I feel like a Rodney Dangerfield skit.  How bad is it? With this sort of pay equity disparity. And we will hear from one of our favorite folks Kaitlyn Joshua, who has been, you are integrally involved in pay equity in the capital area region. Please let us know. How bad is it? 


Kaitlyn Joshua: Yeah, it is pretty bad, unfortunately. Good morning, everybody. So what we do know about Louisiana after doing a year's worth of a commission study with the Pay Equity Commission within East Baton Rouge Parish under the direction of Mayor Broome's office. Which we are super excited about bringing back this year because we've got way more work to do. We do know that 56.1 percent of women in Louisiana age 16 and older are in the labor force compared with 63 percent of men. And among women, of course, Black women have the highest labor force participation rate, which was very shocking for us, at 59. 7%. Unfortunately, Louisiana, of course, is still worked. We're ranked 49 49th nationally for the share of women in poverty, as well as 21. 8 percent of women in the state age 18 and older are in poverty compared with 16. 8 percent of men. Additionally, I want to get into the Baton Rouge stacks is obviously all of us is Baton Rouge residents are most interested in the Baton Rouge. We were dubbed the least equitable city in the country for gender pay gap, which is wild. The difference between men and women salaries is roughly 48 percent according to an analysis of U. S since the data that we worked with the United Way. The median annual salary for women is 40. And 8 42 while the median pay for men is about 40,000. Excuse me, 8 42 while men is 60,008 42 annually. While white men are earning about 70, 737 median salary and black men earning about 42, 591. White women in the state city of Baton Rouge earn about 46, 381, while black women, indigenous, and other people of color are earning about 32, 000 or around the range of 32,000. And of course, across Louisiana, the gender pay disparity is about 39. 5%. While the racial pay disparity is right at  50%. Other cities with big gaps in pay when sorted by gender are Detroit, Tulsa, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis. And of course, in that rankings is Baton Rouge. Upon doing this commission or study, if you will, we did leave a few next steps and recommendations for our city for our peers to do a little bit more work this year. The questions we're looking to answer this year. What are the policies we can put in place to aid in a lower gender pay gap in particular cities that identified Baton Rouge report New Orleans? The landscape demographics and economy of comparable cities may play a role in the low gender pay gap when compared to Baton Rouge. What can we do about that? Are there any universities in our cities that impact data outcomes for Baton Rouge that we could work with? Maybe some type of pay incentives or resolutions that would increase and encourage higher pay for women or equitable salaries for women. And then, of course, increasing paid leave, which all my mama's on here and all my dad's on here. I'm sure y'all understand paid maternity leave definitely plays a role in the gender pay disparity. And so what can we be doing on the state level, especially with legislative session coming up? I've seen a few bills rolling through that will speak to paid leave and family leave. And then, of course, including data that shows labor unions. And aiding and reducing the gender pay cap. And what are, what's some education we can provide there to do better in our city and increase the amount of women that are working in the workforce? Of course, y'all know, post covid, a lot of women are saying goodbye because the equities are just too large of a gap for it to make sense for their family or their household. So what can we do with labor unions to strengthen some of those policies? And so for anyone that's interested, we do have this report available. I believe it's on the mayor's website, but I also have it. So if anyone wants the full thing, I'm happy to give it to you. And then of course, going forward this year, we're looking to do more work and more research and do better for our city.


Pepper: Every time we have a talk about gender or pay disparities, I end up shaking my head or scratching my head and wondering what is happening, like how, but more fundamentally,  how is it that there is such a disparity, like how is it that there is one job that a white man, for instance, is doing and a black woman is doing, and she's making 48 cents off to his full dollar. How does that happen? 


Kaitlyn: There's so many things I can point to, but one thing we noticed. So when I was the major indicator for especially for the city of Baton Rouge. We're still struggling with the lack of paid transparency in the state, right? So I know J. B. E. Not, getting too political here, but J.B. E. Tried to pass that multiple times with our legislature, and it just did not stick. And so what would it look like to work? Across party lines to address Patriot transparency or pay secrecy as many of us know it so that folks can advocate for themselves publicly and then also as citizens. Ask for more money and what they're worth. And I think that's a really big part of it. Pepper is like just understating the history of pay secrecy and pay transparency in our state and the reasons as to why our labor unions have dwindled so much as a result of this tactic. And we are, that is, I think that's number one priority on our list is addressing pay secrecy and transparency in the state.


Pepper: So if I'm not mistaken, black women are supposed to be the most over educated people or demographic. Thank you for the nods of agreement. I appreciate y'all. How then, is it that And I hate to ask stupid questions, but that's usually all I have. Is it that black women are showing up at the table and they're not asking for what they think they could get paid? Is it that black women are showing up and they are asking for more and not being given that because they're black? I want to understand how is it is 50 percent is a big number. When we start thinking about not just generational wealth right so somebody having a house that you don't have that you can live in, and don't have to pay for. That's one thing. But being able to pay for things with 50 percent more of your salary is a whole different animal. 


Kaitlyn: Absolutely. I'm right there with you, Pepper. And it's both right. So I, we, one of the main things that I spoke with Leslie chambers in the mayor's office at length last year was, what would it look like to have a workshop where we teach women, especially women of color, particularly black women, how to advocate for themselves, how to ask for what you're worth. Y'all Till this day, I still get folks that, hear about the report or even friends and colleagues who are like, Kaitlyn, I've never asked for how much I know that I'm worth. I just lowball myself just because I'm not confident in that or I don't feel like I'm going to get it anyways. And so aside from folks not advocating for themselves and of course, like the very blatant discrimination within the workplace, of course, black women, we may be the most educated, but also because we're still the most underpaid. I believe that like that notion plays into how we're perceived by our employers, by bosses, by folks that have the ability to give us raises. Then marrying that with not being able to advocate on behalf of ourselves is a major issue. And so definitely looking at workshops and more conversations deeply within the state of Louisiana, not just Baton Rouge about how to ask for what you're worth. And I myself practice that all the time, right?

It's something that we need to get comfortable with. And then there was something else you said, Pepper, that really stuck with me and I It's evading me in the moment, but in terms of oh, just blatant discrimination, right? There aren't policies out there that are protecting women of color. I've seen, of course, resolutions. We've seen some things come out of New Orleans, but statewide, there still is just not enough protections for women that are working. And so I feel like until we move the needle in that department and yes, go back to the legislature and ask for and demand what we're, what we deserve. We won't be able to do things in a public sector until we're able to get to move the needle in that. 


Rev. Anderson: I just wanted to weigh in on that one as well. We just recently had a case of involving women college professors. And I think one of the things that we often forget is that African American women and women of color are often very isolated in careers. And when they go into careers that have been predominantly male oriented, they are often isolated. So they don't have the same networks. that they would have in other places. And so they tend to congregate and female dominated industries, whether it is teaching, whether it is nursing, as opposed to being a physician. And it makes it so much harder because again, part of the reality. And again, I was the HR manager for 20 years, both reality of the network is that people tend to hire. those for whom they have relationship. The other part, which is a very real issue for most women at any level, including very low income women, is that we still have to bear children. And so many of going to have to make those choices. And because our system is not value parenting, the role of parenting, In the workforce. So there is a cost back as although Caitlyn just brought that cute little baby into the room. But the reality is that women do in fact take time off for job grant. And child rearing isn't just being pregnant six to eight weeks, it is the reality that children can stick, that children are curious of their parents being able to have flexibility. We are still a community  where most exclusively goes women on the best of days. So I think can't under establish that back other pieces, even in industries that are very competitive. 


Pepper: Oh, no, we lost Reverend Anderson. Oh, she'll come back. All right. Erin?


Erin White: Yeah, sorry. I was trying to unmute. So as far as women, black women being the most educated. And being the lowest paid I see a lot of  thing, I guess a lot of positions that are requiring certifications, as opposed to degrees and that sort of devalues us and what we've accomplished as far as being more educated. And it's what's the word it's devaluing us and I guess because we have degrees and we don't and we're not necessarily always getting these certifications,  they're making our experience seem more theoretical as opposed to actual experience. And then when we do, if we do try to negotiate, we're either angry or aggressive and things like that. So how do we get around those sort of things? 


Pepper: That's a very good question. One of, one of many that I have. But yeah. Anyway to coin a phrase by Kaitlyn Joshua, not to get political it feels very much like as soon as, Women, black women in particular, got the education that we were promised is the gateway to success that all of a sudden anti intellectual ism became a thing. But who am I sharing? You had something to say. 


Sheran Duncan: Two things. One on the workforce in Baton Rouge, I worked for a company for 15 years and I went in entry level and at that time I had three kids that I was taking care of by myself  and I was working for African American females and they didn't have kids at the time.So  we were not They made us feel like we were not allowed to take off to take care of our children.  And that's a disservice to our kids, number one, and to us.  And then I switched to the role of being over human resource. And I ended up leaving the job in October of last year, just because of the blatant unfairness. And when it came to wages, we have people fill out applications. We asked them what's their desired wage or salary, and if that's not what they, the company wants to pay them, we don't even interview them, because they don't want to go through the negotiation process. You have to, as a woman, I feel like you have to lowball yourself. To even get in  for the interview. 


Pepper: So I don't disagree with that. And I think that particularly as a woman that I have felt that way, speaking from me and my own personal experience, my question then becomes though,  In a state where it's an at will workforce, right? So you can be fired for anything. There aren't a whole lot of rules of protections, not just for women, but for anybody who's working, how do we, without Any sort of legal mechanism, protect ourselves and share information. Do we have to go back to the sewing circles where we get together on, whatever, or poquino night where we get together on Thursday nights and share information amongst ourselves? Have we become so disconnected from each other that we're too far gone? I don't know how to, in lieu of. legal wranglings get to a place where we do know what the job pays, not just what we're asking for. 


Sheran: And when Reverend Smith was talking, I'm a community birth worker. And yesterday  I was in New Orleans for About nine hours. Cause one of my mom's, she hurt herself while she was pregnant. So then she was given a charge of attempted feticide when it wasn't a criminal matter. It was a mental health matter. So now baby is one. She's trying to get him back. She can't find gainful employment because she has attempted fetus side. On her back on her record. So when they do a background check, they look inside who's gonna hire her with a tempted fetus sign? 


Pepper: That sounds very much like something that Reverend Anderson was starting to say, and something that I've heard over time is that if you can afford to pay a fine, then it's not illegal.  And what makes me, what brings this home to me in this moment is that if we do have women who are working in jobs that are not paying them enough to pay the fine, if we have women who are in situations where they feel as if they cannot advocate for themselves, then are we intentionally criminalizing women for being women? 


Rev. Anderson: Yes. And the reality is, because we publicize arrests,  so as Dr. Bell adequately and accurately stated about 40 percent of these cases will be dropped, but the damage is lready done. Somebody has put that information out and the more scandalous the charge, the more the odds are you're going to see it on the news. You are going to see it in the advocate. And so an arrest record isn't protected. It is going to live forever. And as they say, the correction on page six, nobody's going to pay attention to that. So when you have, for instance, like the domestic violence cases where it is a crime of violence, that is what employers are gonna see. They are not gonna see that the charges didn't even stand up. And one of the huge problems that we have is that because women are often so inequitable in these systems, and I mean that even when, and I think one of the speakers actually talked about the issue around that sometimes even when it's another woman that's in the power position, that doesn't mean they're going to necessarily feel any empathy for that person. And I think we have to acknowledge that. So the idea that a woman comes into court. And there is a female ADA or a female judge does not mean they're going to have an empathetic ear. As a matter of fact, depending on what their culture bias is, I actually serve on a child review panel, child death review panel. And I can tell you right now, if you change the color and the race of a character and leave all the other facts the same, you will get an entirely different result. response from the people who judge those situations. So it is the criminalization, but it is also the fact that oftentimes that parity issue is class as well. It's not just It's sexism and racism. It's also classes. And so the idea of the welfare queen, if you will, that  who steals a pack of gum, who does those kinds of things, it's that kind of judgment that also factors into what happens at least to women in the justice system. Or how do you miss court? I got three babies and they got to get where they got to be. I can't come in. I will tell you right now in the 19th, there are court rooms that say no children allowed. So imagine if you're a mother and you don't have the money to take your child to daycare so that you can show up in court, which may happen in five minutes, or it may happen in five hours. It is that kind of demonization of poverty in the system. That really does come to bite, especially when in the justice system, 


Pepper:  Man, look I have many things to say, but it looks like internalized isms has already been put in the chat. Thank you  for the term. Okay, hold on y'all I got to jump over to the chat but while I'm doing that, Erin.


Erin: When Rev.Anderson is talking about not getting any sort of empathy from a fellow woman or fellow black woman in a higher position, it's, I'm not going to say that's not true. It's definitely true. And my mom dealt with that a lot working in the postal service, but it's, I mean she worked her way up to management, but  It's always a, I guess it's a, it's almost a them against us sort of thing where it's like if you hold the line. And you hold the rule that your upper white management person is holding, then you're more likely to keep your job and get your pay raises and all these things, as opposed to being empathetic with  people who look like you and people that, are dealing with things that you've dealt with before.


Pepper: So yeah all of these things that I have seen or read or experienced personally, I do, I saw something from Alfredo, our very own Alfredo Cruz earlier in the chat talking about how women, especially women with children are more likely to be evicted. And so I have two questions. I have two questions. First and foremost, is that only because she is not making enough to pay the rent? In fact, I've got three questions. Is it because she does not make enough to pay the rent?  Is it because she is most vulnerable and is not in a position to care for herself and doesn't have a support system? What  happens then? Or is it because,  sorry, I'm easily distracted. Or is it because That as as women broadly, black women specifically, that we are and have bought into the idea that we don't need to have a man around, which is opening up a can of worms. And yes, I am here for startin poop today. Let's go.


Rev. Anderson: I can only speak to the first one. I'm not touching the third one. But I will say, because when you look at our Alice numbers, when you look at our education  metrics, when you look at the number of people who are justice impacted, which by their definition limits them out of certain systems, you are going to have populations that their incomes are shaky at best. And  add to that. the debt load that a lot of women have to carry. So if you are a single mom, the child care is yours. That's your debt. If you have children get sick. That's the thing. But we also have, we are one of the largest grandparents raising grandchildren and other relative states in the country, which also means we're often sandwich families. So you may have that same woman who's not just supporting children. She may be supporting other family members. So it doesn't take much to move people into eviction. It really does. And the fact that there are no housing protections, as Alfredo can speak to  with great clarity, makes it that much easier. 


Pepper: Sheran? 


Sheran: I could speak on everything you said, because I have been there. The third one, in my case my mom and dad have been married for 50 years, so my dad was in the home, and I've been married three times, so it's not that I didn't want to be with a man, that I felt like I didn't need him, but with the  domestic violence, because they did not know how to, they were not emotionally mature. So then the relationship dissolved, and I feel like in Baton Rouge, the child support laws don't line up. My youngest is 27 years old, and I'm just starting to get child support for him. And my 30 year old one, her dad, was on child support and he owes me like 60, 000 and she was born in 1992 and he only had to pay 150  a month. That was like 17 cents a little bit less a day. What child can be raised on 17 cents? And if he's not contributing at all and you have to go to work, take care of the Children, you have to pay for everything that they need. I was evicted multiple times  and it's a hard thing and even now like Reverend Smith say, said, I'm raising my 10 year old grandson  just because my daughter is not emotionally stable to do it and I'm doing it because I don't want her to end up on the news and my grandson hurt. 


Pepper: Listen I truthfully so I mean that this whole idea of yeah, of men in broad strokes not being emotionally ready or prepared for long term relationships. Is its own conversation. That, and I'm, I am with the shits today, baby. I will dive into it, but for another call the adage of how women love their sons and raise their daughters, how, men in general have been as part of the, as part of a patriarchal system, no matter how it is, that they intersect with it, that they have the advantage of, to be crass, standing up to pee Bell Hooks weekend reading for everyone. Carry on. So there, I don't see any questions in the chat. Just me stirring the pot, which is fine with me. But thank you, Tia, for an actual question. Can we get a clearer breakdown on pay equity versus pay equality? 


Kaitlyn: Does Reverend Anderson want that one? That's so her thing. 


Rev. Anderson: Oh, sure. Okay. Pay equality, which is somewhat of a misnomer because everybody brings a different level of experience, talent, etc. But pay equity means that given the exact same set of circumstances, You are treating people as the same and one of the things that we haven't talked about, which is a huge one, is the ability to lock women out of careers. There are a number of barriers that are built into things like policy. And for instance, you might have a very physical job. Where the physical requirements are literally based so that women would not normally qualify for them. And those are the kind of things where if you can do the job, imagine using the ADA standard, that if I can do the job, even if I need to have any kind of adjustments or certain things, then I should be able to get the job. Oftentimes when we talk about gender inequity. We don't recognize and I'll give you a great example. Just in the justice system. It turns out that when women are in the carceral system, there's something called the trustee assignment system. And that assignment system actually helps women to be able to qualify for things like parole, good time, etc. There are jobs that women won't be given. in a carceral system. And so if you've ever been to the state capital and been in that cafeteria, you're going to see people working in there who are actually currently incarcerated. But when they're in those places or when they're serving in the governor's mansion, that goes to their ability to be able to get certain things. And so often, whether it is systemic licensing barriers, Whether it is unnecessary and invalid physical requirements that don't match the actual requirements of the job. If it is the adding things like the time that people have to spend in a job as opposed to the outcomes or metrics. There's a lot of barriers that are put into systems specifically so that women will not qualify for them. And so oftentimes when we talk about. Pay equity. We also have to start at that baseline of what is the actual requirements of the job versus is how much are we paying people? Because oftentimes we have built into systems. A way to make sure that women can't get through the door. So the issue of equity doesn't even come up. And one of the challenges is, and I'll give you a great example of this. One of the most physical jobs, as anybody who's ever done HR knows, is there's a chart for workers comp. Every body part literally has a dollar back to it. There is probably no more physical job in the world than a CNA.  And yet, the overwhelming number of CNAs are female. So a job that would require the exact same amount of physical requirements that is male dominated will often have those barriers in there so that females can't even qualify. So we do have to look at equity also from the position of what has been put in place to create barriers so that  women can't even get into those systems. 


Pepper: So we've got one more question in the chat, which amuses me greatly. Oh, we've got two more questions in the chat. Y'all are on it today. Can we discuss the trend of women of color being promoted to positions of leadership and failing companies? I saw that Caleb. 


Rev. Anderson: Oh, that's  so funny because  we're super women. That is the theory that if it's broke, we can fix it. And then you can take it back. And I hate to say that, but I don't know how many times that's the door you get to go through many people on this call, maybe too young to remember the hearings about Clarence Thomas, that was as much about  the inequity of the workplace  and the ideal of the dance you needed to do to stay in the game. As it was about careers women are often given the crap and as soon as they fix it The reward is somebody else gets to take it. So For women of a certain age that has always been about is you will get a door and it's usually a door that's broke And ain't nothing in it and you make it something special and then other folk come along and take it  


Pepper: Up cycling broke doors All right, Sherreta?


Sherreta Harrison: Hey everybody. Good morning. I just want to weigh in on that because leadership is my thing. And yes, I do think every, I do support 100% everything. Reverend Anderson just said this idea that women, particularly women of color are really thought of as super heroes and invincible and are brought in to save things. But because I always like to think about things holistically, I always think about. What it means to provide an overcorrection right in the unintended implications of that. And so one of the things that we are seeing with more women and especially women of color, being put in charge of these failing institutions is in some ways a direct result of the kind of mainstreaming and sensationalizing of DEI, right? And so in some areas, if you have an organization that has been around for many years, And it may not, it may be failing, it may not be doing well, and then you also have this kind of societal pressure, rightfully that you should have been considering women or women of color, and women of color for years, then you're going to maybe, you maybe give in and place a woman or woman of color in a position that they maybe should have had years ago, But now they have it and it just so happens that it coincides with these failing institutions. And so I like to think about that because  When we are having these conversations about solutions and what we need to do and how we can lift up and support women, we also need to be clear about the unintentional implications and consequences of that, right? And yes let's say, hey, we need to have women leading, we need to have women at the forefront, women make everything better. But then we also have to remember what that means when they, when women are giving these roles and are in charge of companies that have been failing. And so I always like to just remind us not to put an undue burden on women. Even as we're trying to promote them and lift them up because it does happen. And it doesn't even have to be like at the head. Of a company or an organization, right? A lot of times women are tasked with, and we've heard this from, I want to say summer for so long, a lot of times women are tasked with the things in the office. That no one else thinks about doing right. And so when it's time to straighten up after you've had guests, or those kinds of things. And so I think we all have to look internally, I'm a still Alfredo's  represented amongst us comment right. We all have to really look internally and ask ourselves. To what degree are we also contributing to setting women up for failure. And  I just think that's an important concept because we don't talk enough about the unintentional consequences of failure. Gender diversity, equity and conclude and inclusion, 


Pepper:  Man, that invisible labor is everywhere to swing back to. Oh, I'm sorry, Reverend Anderson, you came off mute. 


Rev. Anderson: Yeah, I just wanted to add one thing. And thank you for that is that oftentimes for women. We don't take that next step to be owners.  And it is being the face of something. Thank you. But not making that jump off to entrepreneurship. And that's an important issue that, she who rules the world gets to make the rules. And so often when the opportunity to take the risk of ownership or entrepreneurship, Comes along many times. It is very difficult, whether it is in terms of raising capital, whether it's in terms of being able to get the kind of talent one would need and to move past sort of a mom and pop situation. One of the things that justice impacted families find out very early is by necessity. Many of them become entrepreneurs. They don't become entrepreneurs because they necessarily want to. They become entrepreneurs because they have been locked out of systems. And if you're going to feed your family and not do it without some other issues, that is one of the doors. But I do think a lot of times, and I've said this to many young women, if you have the skills to be a nurse, Have you thought about that next level? Have you thought about what it means to be something as an owner? So if you are a great cosmetologist, have you thought about, do you seriously want to be behind a chair at 80 years old? Or are you ready to then move into ownership, which allows your money to be making money while you're not physically doing something? And I think when we talk about pay inequity, one of the things that we often don't have in these conversations is the next chapter.  And again, because we are disproportionately justice impacted, whether it means we're paying the bonds, we get involved with the system, we can't pay those kind of things. We often have trouble with asset building and asset building is one of the tools that allows people to have an option of ownership. And so I do think it is important when we have these discussions that  pay equity has to be about more than just how much somebody pays you. It has to be what your labor is costing you. And is there anything that you are banking for your future? Because one of the things we don't talk about is the number of women who work in careers. That they don't get social security. They are excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act. And so oftentimes an entire lifetime of work doesn't translate to security at the retirement or the physically inability to work stage. And we really have to also have those conversations when we talk about people being able to negotiate careers, and we haven't talked about the issue with fair chance. We haven't talked about ban the box, we haven't talked about those kind of issues, but we also haven't talked about how many of the careers women end up in. That are benefit pool. They do not provide for economic security. And that is as much to me a part of the equity conversation as it is to get, 2020 dollars an hour, but you only get 20 hours a week. 


Pepper: Realness. So I'm going to say thank you to both of you before we get to this one last question. I'm going to kick over to Kate and then we're going to move into community announcements. But to be sure, the conversation that we are having today feels very much like a part one that we need to be having conversations and talks about funding if you are going to be moved into entrepreneurship, right? Some of us, as Reverend Anderson mentioned, Whether it is that you are just as impacted have become entrepreneurs, not because you wanted to, but because you couldn't get a job or you couldn't get paid what you wanted to be paid or what you were worth. And these questions, the question of being paid, what you are worth pay equity versus pay quality seems to have its roots a little bit lower. And so that's something that Kate mentioned early on is teaching. Girls and women, how to self advocate right so the question in the chat is what role can K 12 education play in offsetting these future pay gaps right so certainly not just educating folks, but Should we be talking to girls about pay the way that we are, the way that we are pushed into Simmonstein?


Kaitlyn: Yeah, absolutely. And I was thinking about that a lot when Sherreta put it in the chat. But just as I was going to say just as simple as, but no we can certainly work with I'm just thinking East Baton Rouge Parish School, school board members that would be interested in a curriculum that offers this conversation. I think that's something that's really tangible. I know we talked about a lot of long term things like breaking down barriers around formal incarceration formal incarceration records. And, we haven't necessarily created expungements in the state just yet, natural automatic expungements. And some of those are longer term goals. But what I'm thinking of is working with the best team member, working with the EBR school board member to bring a curriculum to our public schools that can talk about pay equity gaps and disparities. And then most importantly, maybe if it could add that component around advocating for yourself as young women and going into college, going into the workforce. And so I think that's something that's extremely tangible. Always try to look for something that's positive that comes out of these harder conversations that talks about so many different disparities. And I think that's something that. A lot of folks on this call might be interested in working on and myself included. And not that I'm trying to throw yet another thing. I know UBR schools already have a lot within them with the different programs, what can we integrate that's already there? I think that makes a lot of sense, Pepper.  


Pepper: Y'all are there any questions that we haven't?


Rev. Anderson: I was just gonna add a separate thing. Math, math and math and science. I think we often believe that somehow girls accidentally end up in places, but the emphasis on STEM  and STEAM and other things is important because as long as females feel like they have to be in certain careers because  culturally. That is an acceptable place to be, and I think that earlier girls get into areas where they don't feel limited by gender  when they can be the smartest girl in the world.  It's huge, and I think we spend a lot of time not talking about the fact that For cultural purposes, we don't really encourage girls to be smart and unapologetic about  to not take the place of making people feel comfortable about them in their roles. And we have to be honest about that. One of those places where girls can make  real talent in whatever they do is in STEM and a lot of areas. Unfortunately, in Louisiana, we keep dancing around this. Our college students are leaving us. We are training the workforce of the future for other folk, but we have a lot of people who do technical work here, and they should be homeowners. They can get into architecture, they can get into the trade, but they're not going to get into those things if they don't have strong math and science backgrounds, and if they're not encouraged  to be proactive  about stepping into roles that are not routinely female. So I just wanted to add that little piece. 


Pepper: I'm gonna leave it there at Reverend Anderson's mic drop. Thank you very much for being with me on this fine Friday. We're at 930 we're starting to lose people and that's all I ever asked you for is just one hour, although I would absolutely continue this conversation. We'll go ahead and have Community announcements. And then for those of you who are still on who want to create confusion and cause trouble, we can go in overtime until 10. So thank you again for for being here on this and every Friday. What's going on this weekend in Baton Rouge, y'all? 


Pat LeDuff: Good morning. This is Pat.  Hey, Pat. Look, we got our Festival of Life and Gus Young happening this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, five o'clock sharp. And come early. This is helped to be sponsored by the river church in Addis and they are giving 20, 000 in free gifts away. So if you're looking for a place to hang out, come on over to Gus Young.


Pepper: We've got a note in the chat from Sherita city, your school house rock, I love school house rock best is downtown from four to 8 PM. What day is that? Ma'am. Where are you, Bestie? What day is it? 


Sherreta: Saturday. Tomorrow. Awesome.  


Rev.Anderson: First of all, Pepper, thank you for the conversation this morning. That was super awesome. Tomorrow at the Park Elementary School is going to be the Easter Spring Fling. So the community is invited and I am going to take a interesting moment of personal privilege. Some of you have already been notified, but I am a super proud mommy because my son is going to be kicking off his announcement for his run on Sunday and I am super excited about that. But I'm also going to remind everybody we are still in early voting  until Saturday and elections matter. For people who are declared Democrats and Republicans, you have something you need to vote for as the presidential election for the people in Baker. They have major jobs from the police chief to the mayor, to their council people and  in district eight in Baton Rouge, that is the school board. position. So I just want to remind everybody that  we're living in a place that was because  we didn't vote, but we're always one election from change. So I just want to remind everybody and the March 23rd election comes up, but we have early voting until  this Saturday. 


Pepper: Listen, not voting is indeed a vote. We've got St. Patrick's Day Parade is tomorrow. Festival of Life is Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 15th, 16th, and 17th at Gus Young Brook Park,  every evening from 5 p. m. until. We also have the third annual Senior Black American Health Fair, two weeks away, March 30th. That will be any  time. Where's it going to be?


Lindi: Sorry, y'all. It's at Pennington on Perkins road. Sorry. I always just assume people know. No, it's in two weeks away. It's an incredible resource. Please share with your network. We have had participants that have come to the men and the women's health fair that have gotten diagnosed with. things that they were unaware of. So please do share with your network free health screenings, presentations. It's a great day.  Awesome. April 13th. 


Charlotta Carter: We also have a health fair at the mini dome. Da. And that one is also, that one's also with Pennington and Southern University Edna and Lena health health platform.

So we'll be doing some of the same things that they're doing at the Pennington fair.  Thank you. 


Pepper: And last but not least, we got a listening session from five to seven on Tuesday at the Cats Terminal. Go talk about transit.  Final words?  


Casey: Yeah, thank you. I just wanted to say thank you to all of our speakers as always. And also to all the nonprofits on tonight. There is a screening of 


Pepper: A screening of what? 


Casey: Which may or may not be of your interest. Oh, it's a movie called Uncharitable. It's based on a book about non profit philanthropy giving. But I wanted to give everybody a heads up that every single funder in the city will probably be at the Shaw Center tonight for that movie. It's at 7 o'clock. If you have wanted to get face to face time with our funding community. And I can say that our funding community does want to interact and speak with you all. That's going to be a great opportunity to roll up around 6 while everybody's hobnobbing and drinking cocktails.

It's a really good chance that you'll get to meet people from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Wilson Foundation, United Way, everyone will probably be in the house. And just wanted to give a heads up that's something that the Baton Rouge Area Foundation is hosting. And I want to say the tickets are like super cheap like something really low. So I just wanted to give everybody a heads up and get access is important and that access to capital leads to the work.  


Pepper: Very good. Very good. And thank you, Kendra, the 2024 pay equity summit, it's going to be on April the sixth. Now that is important because there's the equal pay day that just happened, if I'm not mistaken, for white women. But there's another one for Latino or Hispanic women. There's another one for Native American women. There's another one for African American women. Those are different days. And what that means is that it would take a woman of whatever that cultural or background that long in order to make as much as As a white male counterpart. The event this evening is at the Shaw center, Casey, is that correct?


Casey: That is correct. 


Pepper: Very good. Where do you get tickets? Do you need the tickets?


Casey: Yeah, I think you can just go to the manship go to the manship website and it's listed on there and that's the case. Uncharitable and should be. So is the overtime conversation about the emotional maturity and intelligence of them to be able to to be committed to long term relationships? Is that the light topic that we're going to transition to?


Pepper: Cause we are going to say, thank you so much for being here Kate and Reverend Anderson see y'all see the rest of you back here. Same bat time, same bat channel.



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