Women’s Network has ‘Equal Pay Day’
By Shauna Stocken
A room of mainly female guests dressed in red filled LCC’s Michigan Room Tuesday, April 10 in the newly remodeled Gannon Conference Center over breakfast.
A room of red lights and decorations displayed solidarity for the “Equal Pay Day” movement.
“We’re open to all LCC staff and students,” said LCC Controller Lisa Mazure. “Given the name, however, The Women’s Network, we mostly get women that come out to these types of events.
“We had a really great turnout, though, from men (and) our board of trustees that came out to support us. And we had Sam Singh, who was here from the legislature … He also came out and showed support.”
Mazure said 120 people RSVP’d, and eight or nine additional people showed up, to hear keynote speaker and Lansing area businesswomen Kelly Rossman-McKinney.
“I’ve spoken about women, but this is the first time I’ve ever spoken related to equal pay,” Rossman-McKinney said. “As a women’s business owner, I get asked to speak at a lot of women’s groups.”
McKinney is CEO of Lansing-based public relations firm Truscott Rossman. Rossman-McKinney has also worked with LCC on and off for about 20 years on a variety of issues, including millage campaigns.
“For some unknown, inexplicable reason other than a burning desire to do something important, I decided to start my own public relations firm,” Rossman-McKinney said.
Rossman-McKinney addressed many topics during her talk. She shared not only how she got into public relations, but the value of embracing one’s voice, as well as current issues facing working women.
“Don’t not speak because you think what you have to say is going to look like you’re uninformed, you’re ignorant, etc.,” Rossman-McKinney said. “Speak up when you have questions.”
In attendance was Lynne Martin, LCC academic coordinator for the English, humanities and social sciences departments.
“I’ve known Kelley for over 20 years and she’s wonderful,” Martin said. “I wanted to come to support the equal pay. I feel like it’s very important as a mother of three daughters. I want to make sure that all the future generations are fairly compensated.”
Also in attendance advocating for a smaller wage gap between genders was LCC Board Secretary Angela Mathews.
“I mean if you have the degree, the experience, the skill sets, the tools … to perform the job, then why not get the pay, as opposed to just because you know the sex of the person, male or female,” Mathews said.
In attendees with Mathews was fellow trustee and friend, Ryan Buck.
“Personally, I think ‘Equal Pay Day’ should turn into an “Equal Pay Year,” Buck said. “It’s something that we as men need to be more cognizant of; we need to listen better.”
Buck said that Rossman-McKinney addressed topics which spoke to him on how men talk to women negatively, whether intentionally or accidentally. After her address, Buck said he would be more aware of his words and be a stronger listener.
“I think the event shows the community, LCC and the greater Lansing region that this is an important issue,” Buck said. “We still need to remember after today that men get paid more than women, and we need to get to that parity sooner rather than later.”
This is the fourth year LCC has hosted a women’s “Equal Pay Day” event.