Melanie Heckel and Carolyn Feuille

April 20, 2018 – April is Pay Equity Month, with Equal Pay Day (April 10th ) marking the symbolic day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. Why is the gender pay gap an important issue to everyone? What are the facts? What’s happening to try to reduce and hopefully eliminate the pay gap? The Gender Pay Gap will be the topic of the upcoming American Association of University Women (AAUW) Nevada County Branch meeting. Free and open to everyone, the meeting will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 West Main Street, Grass Valley, on Saturday, April 21st, at 9:30 – 11:30 am (program begins at 10:00 am).

Program leaders Carolyn Feuille and Melanie Heckel will shed light on what progress has been made in narrowing the gender pay gap and the role and efforts of AAUW in achieving equity. Besides spotlighting specific examples and statistics, they will offer ways to support current legislation to overcome the pay gap.

California ranks second among the U.S. states in terms of reduced pay gap between men and women. And, even at that, for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 88 cents for equal work in California. The Gender Pay Gap is real. According to Feuille and Heckel, the pay gap in the U.S. affects women of all ages, races, and education levels. This is not just a womens issue, but a family issue as women struggle to pay off student loans, buy homes, raise their children and ultimately achieve a secure retirement. AAUW has been active in the fight to achieve pay equity for women for more than 50 years.

“I have two daughters and a granddaughter and would really like them to be paid equal pay for equal work,” says Heckel.  “Improvements in gender pay equity have been moving forward so slowly that, at the current rate, pay equity will not be achieved until 2119.  Even more startling, men get paid more than women regardless of race, level of education and occupation.  Something has got to change and we believe AAUW will continue to be at the forefront of these efforts.” 

Both Feuille and Heckel have decades of experience in the workforce. Feuille has over 36 years of experience as a training consultant, an industry career and leadership coach, and a consulting company owner. Heckel has more than 35 years in planning and project management. They currently serve as AAUW Nevada County Branch Program Co-Vice Presidents.

AAUW membership is open to individuals with an associate, baccalaureate or higher degree from a qualified educational institution. For individuals interested in participating in branch interest groups and other activities, but who have not had the opportunity to complete a degree, the Nevada County Branch offers “Friends of AAUW” membership. For more than 75 years, the AAUW Nevada County Branch has been striving to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. For more information: or call 530-470-9395.