Quick Navigation

News Releases

March 19, 2010

Workshops will teach female students how to gain equal footing in workplace

DeKalb, Ill. — NIU Presidential Research Professor Winifred Creamer, an archaeologist who has worked extensively in Peru, is known worldwide for her discoveries related to the origins of civilization in the Americas thousands of years ago.

But nowadays Creamer is looking to the future, spending a substantial amount of her time working to help women gain equal footing in the 21st century workplace.

Creamer and Alice Ralph, a retired NIU administrator, are teaming up to ensure that NIU’s female students are paid fairly when they enter the workforce. The pair will lead two upcoming workshops, including one next week, on the $tart $mart program, which aims to ensure that women graduating from college know how to negotiate for equitable pay.

“Three years ago, I heard a woman speak about the $tart $mart program, and I was immediately converted,” Creamer says. “This is something I really wish I had known about when I had started working. It just struck a chord with me, and I recognized that it was something I could bring to Northern.”

Creamer joined the NIU Presidential Commission on the Status of Women with the specific goal of bringing $tart $mart to campus. $tart $mart was originally launched by the Wage Project, a nonprofit organization established to end workplace discrimination against women. According to the organization, a woman in the United States makes an average of 77 cents for each dollar that a man earns, and the figure largely has remained static for the past 10 years.

In 2009, Annie Houle, the woman who developed $tart $mart, led two workshops at NIU and provided training to both Creamer and Ralph.

This semester’s workshops, which are open to all NIU female students, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 23, in Gabel Hall Room 106 and from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, in Barsema Hall Room 127. The latter workshop will have a business theme.

“These presentations will demonstrate how just a tiny disparity for someone starting out is multiplied over time,” Creamer says.

“A lot of times women are so happy to have a job that it doesn’t occur to them to ask for anything, like an early review for a salary increase. It’s not that women need to be greedy, but they need to look at a job in terms of its value. When getting a new job, there are perfectly reasonable questions you can and should ask.”

$tart $mart is now sponsored by both the Wage Project and American Association of University Women. Pre-registration for the NIU workshops is required.

For more information, e-mail the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women at pcsw@niu.edu or call Creamer at (815) 753-7038.

# # #

Media Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Media Relations and Internal Communications
Phone: (815) 753-3635
Email: tparisi@niu.edu