Dear AWEE Stakeholders,
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement and the 51st anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, pay discrimination against women remains a daunting challenge.
According to U.S. Census figures, women nationwide earn 77 cents for every $1 earned by a man. In Arizona, women earn roughly 87 cents for every dollar a man makes.
On April 9, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which proposed to close the pay gap between men and women, didn’t make it out of the Senate – for the third time. The vote fell strictly between party lines.
Peggy Drexler, writing in Forbes.com, said that “Equal Pay has become less a noble, unquestionable goal than a political talking point.” North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan wrote in the Durham Herald Sun that the Paycheck Fairness Act isn’t “just a women’s issue – it’s an economic one.”
Fortunately, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and his city council colleagues understand both the economic side of the issue and its underlying principle of fairness.
“At AWEE, we know that equal pay is not an expense, it is an investment.”
On what has been called Equal Pay Day – the calendar date marking the extra 3 months and 8 days the average American woman had to work into 2014 to earn as much as her average male counterpart did in 2013 – Mayor Stanton and Councilwomen Kate Gallego announced an important equal-pay ordinance that ensures city contractors pay female workers the same as their male counterparts for equal work.
On the same day, President Obama signed an executive order banning contractors from retaliating against employees discussing their compensation, and a presidential memorandum requiring federal contractors to submit compensation data to the Department of Labor.
We were honored to play a role in Mayor Stanton’s announcement.
At AWEE, we know that equal pay is not an expense, it is an investment. We hope that the action taken by the City of Phoenix stands as a model to be replicated throughout Arizona and across the country.
Marie A. Sullivan
President & CEO