By: Tonya Jackson
Equal Pay Day was on April 12th. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, “This date symbolizes how far into the year a woman must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.” This staggering number was the starting point for Pensacola Network host, Robin Reshard, and featured guest, one of the founders of the local business incubator The Shepreneur Club, Nicole Dixon.
To reiterate the significance of April 12th Reshard explained, “For women of color you have to work through June to have equal pay.” With this bleaker number as part of the background, Reshard and her featured guest started this conversation on pay equity for women and the struggle of women entrepreneurs.
Before we go further, it should be noted that Dixon serves double duty, in addition to being at the helm of the Shepreneur Club she serves as the Executive Director of the Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce. Dixon also has a birthright of entrepreneurship having only seen that blueprint from family members.
She shared, “In respect to the Chamber, it is representing an underserved group in this country.” However, in the context of the evening, she was clear in stating that she was speaking on behalf of The Shepreneur Club. “When I look back on my life, some of the mile markers in my life, what has helped me through has been women. Whether it has been friendships, my grandmother, or a teacher taking a special interest in me, women have supported me. Now I’m able to combine my love of entrepreneurship, which represents freedom, and my love for women.”
When speaking on the statistics regarding pay equity, Dixon added, “Women have a long way to go. The difference is reflected in more than just our paychecks. It’s also in how we are treated or overlooked. Recently we had a Women’s Conference, this was my event, but they started asking Jibril (Sulaiman) about putting together the Women’s Conference. This is just one example of how we get overlooked for the things we do.”
Also bringing their lived experiences to the discussion were Catherine Hedden, owner of Hedden Forward, and Ursella Slusher, President of Imperion Aerospace Group. The sharing of the experiences of these powerful women continued the Pensacola Network’s connecting people and strengthening relationships.
The May edition of the Pensacola Network is scheduled for Friday, May 27th at 5:00 pm at Devilliers North.
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