Vision: The gender pay gap is eliminated.
Mission: Work toward public policy that accomplishes the following:
· Women are paid equally as men for work of comparable value.
· Work that is traditionally “women’s work” is valued by society and paid accordingly.
· Poverty among women and single-parent households is reduced.
· Women make choices and learn skills that result in higher pay.
Causes of the Gender Pay Gap:
· Societal under-valuation of women-dominated professions.
· External comparisons of pay and job titles that perpetuate past inequities.
· A lack of attention by employers of internal pay differentials by gender.
· Job and educational degree segregation.
· Non-union jobs leading to lack of employee advocacy pertaining to pay.
· Hours worked/attachment to workforce.
· Salary negotiation skills.
· Lack of employer transparency in employee compensation.
· Sex bias. Sex bias plays a role in each of the above causes, but according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, differences between workers and their jobs explain about 60% of the pay gap, leaving 40% likely solely attributable to gender discrimination.
· Combined sex bias and racism dramatically increases the effects of these factors on women of color and immigrant women.
Public Policy Agenda:
· Encourage private industry to incorporate pay equity principles.
o State contractors’ pay equity legislation.
o State certification of “fair pay employers.”
· Increase minimum wage.
· Prohibit retaliation for discussion of compensation/require private employers to disclose salary range information.
· Encourage the Minnesota Dept. of Human Rights to provide more visible support for both proactive and complaint-based efforts to enforce existing equal pay laws.
· Affordable childcare.
· Paid maternity and family leave.
· Require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.
· Appoint OESW Executive Director.
· Legislative resolution calling upon Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
· Encourage women and girls to pursue STEM education and women entrepreneurs to start businesses in traditionally male industries, including STEM industries.
· Ensure that existing opportunities for women-owned businesses through the state Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program are properly and fairly administered.
· Provide women with training in salary negotiation skills.
· Maintain and defend Minnesota’s state and local government pay equity laws.