WXXI AM News

Coalition of Pay Equity Takes Deeper Look at Income Disparities

Apr 13, 2015

An organization of community partners is taking a closer look at pay equality in the Rochester region. The Coalition of Pay Equity, or COPE, is releasing a survey to examine differences in pay between different groups.

University of Rochester's Susan B. Anthony Center is a partner in the coalition. Director Catherine Cerulli says the survey will look at pay gaps between several population divides, not just gender.

"When we think about equity, we also have to be thinking about different industries, we have to think about sexual orientation or race."

Cerulli says the survey won't just compare differences in income, but will also look at benefits and advantages that are not necessarily measured in dollar amounts.

"What comes with that pay package? Does one person have greater access to leadership opportunities, or resources in the workplace, or support staff? More leisure time? More travel dollars?"

Cerulli says these examinations can help understand systemic pay inequality on a deeper level. She says it could also lead to a greater understanding of poverty in the Rochester area.

The coalition hopes to collect as many as a thousand surveys. They've partnered with students at the University of Rochester and other organization to help distribute the survey to those who may not have internet access, and they are holding a private event for community leaders to discuss the goals of this project on April 14, 2015 - Equal Pay Day.