Economic equality for women in Washington State

Rep. Denny Heck and panel of influential women discuss pay inequalities between men and women in WA. state.

Denise+Yochum%2C+Trena+Payton%2C+Maggie+Humphreys%2C+Danny+Heck%2C+Michelle+Johnson%2C+Natalie+Jolly%2C++and+Khurshida+Begum+%28from+left+to+right%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Economic equality for women in Washington State

Denise Yochum, Trena Payton, Maggie Humphreys, Danny Heck, Michelle Johnson, Natalie Jolly,  and Khurshida Begum (from left to right)

Denise Yochum, Trena Payton, Maggie Humphreys, Danny Heck, Michelle Johnson, Natalie Jolly, and Khurshida Begum (from left to right)

Denise Yochum, Trena Payton, Maggie Humphreys, Danny Heck, Michelle Johnson, Natalie Jolly, and Khurshida Begum (from left to right)

Denise Yochum, Trena Payton, Maggie Humphreys, Danny Heck, Michelle Johnson, Natalie Jolly, and Khurshida Begum (from left to right)

Dominic Wilkerson, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“There is no coordination of ‘Why is it important for me? How does it relate to me as a woman, as a mother, as a caregiver, as a wife? Why would those STEM programs even matter in the real world?’” said Khurshida Begum about raising awareness about STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education ) in Washington State.

Raising awareness of education, inequalities, and other social issues was the main topic on hand for the committee of women and State Representative Denny Heck.

Congregating in the Performance Lounge at Peirce College, Rep. Heck and a panel of women, who included Peirce College Chancellor Michele Johnson and Fort Steilacoom Campus’ President, Denise Yochum.

Other women on the panel were Khurshida Begum, human rights advocate, Trena Payton, president of ABN Technologies, Maggie Humphreys, advocate for young women, and Dr. Natalie Jolly, professor of women’s studies at UWT, to discuss several serious topics about equality for women in the workplace along with college.

“There is a 90% wage differential at full professorship at a major research university. Women make 90% of what men make. It’s not even about the equity there, when you look at how many full professors there are at the research institution; 3 times as many men as women, which is interesting. At the instructor level there are 3 women for every 2 men,” said Yochum.

This points out that there is less of an opportunity for women to move into these higher level positions than there is for men.

When it comes to salary discussion, the panel got a question from the audience about how to know if the pay is different if the companies do not allow its employees to talk about it. Rep. Heck stated he was introducing a bill to wipe that away and make pay transparent.

“It is key to look at the policy at the core reality that over 80% of the women in the US will become mothers. That is really defines the economic issues which we are talking about. For policies like Family and Medical leave act, expanding that to a paid leave is key. It addresses that fact that women will become a caregiver at one time in their life,”  said Humphreys on the need to change policies for women in the workforce.

At the end of the entire meeting, the panel was applauded for their conversations and thoughts throughout the night. Members stayed after to answer individual questions for those who did not get to ask during the meeting. Rep. Heck is continuing his quest for equality in the work environment, and in life in general.