Fighting for Women's Equality

Annual Luncheon to Highlight the Gender Wage Gap with Keynote Speaker Lilly Ledbetter

May 8, 2013 | by

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is proud to announce that equality and fair pay activist Lilly Ledbetter will serve as the Keynote Speaker at its 39th Annual Luncheon, to be held on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.  The event will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1964 and celebrate decades of ERA’s work to bring gender equity to school and work. Ms. Ledbetter is known nationwide for her groundbreaking sex discrimination case against her former employer, Goodyear Tire. The litigation inspired  the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed into law in 2009. Ms. Ledbetter is the author of Grace and Grit, a memoir of her struggle against pay discrimination. Ms. Ledbetter will be signing copies of the book after the luncheon. Additionally, workers’ rights advocate Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC), will receive ERA’s Champion of Justice Award. Ms. Jayaraman, who in February published Behind the Kitchen Door: The People Who Make and Serve Your Food to rave reviews, is a tireless advocate of wage justice and fair treatment for low wage workers. ERA has taken on the cause of pay equity in the halls of Congress, supporting the pending Paycheck Fairness Act, and in the courts.  ERA’s attorneys are among those representing plaintiffs in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., filed on behalf of a putative class of thousands of  women who work at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores in California. Later this month, plaintiffs will argue a motion to certify the class before Judge Charles Breyer in the Northern District of the U.S. District Court. Plaintiffs allege systemic discrimination against women in compensation and promotions at the two chains of stores. This year’s luncheon theme, Close the Wage Gap, will focus on narrowing the disparity in pay between men and women across industries, as well as opening up access to jobs in traditionally male-dominated industries like science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Learn more about ERA’s Close the Gap campaign at “The gender wage gap infects women in every profession, age bracket, educational level, and income,” said ERA Executive Director Noreen Farrell.  “It results in women losing hundreds of thousands of dollars by the end of their professional lives.  ERA is committed to ending pay secrecy that keeps women in the dark about their wages and underpaid.” More than 800 individuals, including prominent ERA supporters, attorneys, business leaders, civil and women’s rights advocates, and elected officials will be in attendance at this highly anticipated annual event. Sponsors include Wells Fargo, Hanson Bridgett LLP, Farella Braun + Martel LLP, and the Kazan McClain Satterley Lyons Greenwood & Oberman Foundation, and many more. Funds raised from the Luncheon are vital to ERA’s work. This includes ERA’s hallmark precedent-setting litigation, legislative advocacy toward better protection of women’s rights, and the operation of a national toll-free Advice & Counseling Hotline, which receives more than a thousand calls annually from women and girls seeking legal assistance. Sponsorships and tickets to the luncheon are available now. Please go to for more information.

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