Sunday 20 October 2019

Top flautist sues orchestra over $65,000 gender pay disparity


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Rozina Sabur

A leading female flautist is suing the Boston Symphony Orchestra because she is paid around $65,000 less than its male principal oboist.

Elizabeth Rowe, who became the orchestra's principal flautist in 2004, is seeking $200,000 (€176,000) in back pay after years of privately appealing for a salary increase.

John Ferrillo, the orchestra's principal oboist, is paid around $314,000, while Ms Rowe is paid around $250,000.

The 44-year-old is arguing the pair should be paid the same salary and her gender is the reason for the disparity.

Her lawsuit is the first against an orchestra to test Massachusetts's new equal pay law and its outcome could have big implications.

"You look at the number of women that graduate from conservatories and then you look at the number of women in the top leadership positions in orchestras, and it's not 50-50 still," she told the 'Washington Post'.

Irish Independent

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