HOW ONE COMMUNITY IS WORKING TOWARDS PAY EQUITY
By Shelley Beiting, Executive Director, Columbus Women’s Commission
The Columbus (Ohio) Women’s Commission, chaired by First Lady Shannon Ginther, is an advisory body to Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. The Commission works to advance the economic well-being of women in our community; is focused on key issues, and directly influences policies and procedure to make big change happen in Columbus.
One of the first focus areas of the Commission is pay equity. Currently, women in Columbus earn 78 cents to every dollar a man earns, while also participating in the workforce at a rate of 63 percent. This puts Columbus even lower than the national average of 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Women of color experience even greater disparity on a national level. African-American women earn 63 cents for every dollar a man makes, while Latina women earn 54 cents.
On November 2, 2017 the Columbus Women’s Commission launched The Columbus Commitment: a pay equity pledge for area employers. The voluntary pledge helps employers expand their use of best practice solutions to tackle the wage gap effectively and learn from one another.
Pay equity is not only the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. To compete effectively, companies need to explore and implement pay equity to hire and retain diverse talent.
We are excited to report there are many early adopters of The Columbus Commitment and as of today, 117 Central Ohio employers have signed the pledge. This includes Fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions, public entities, municipalities, non-profits and small-to medium sized employers.
Through this employer-led, voluntary pledge, employers will:
- Attract and retain the best talent;
- Learn from one another by expanding the use of best practice solutions; and
- Contribute to the economic vibrancy of Columbus, while improving our entire community.
Investing in women strengthens the economic backbone of our community. Empowering women begins with eliminating implicit bias and leveling the playing field. Moving the goal line from equal pay for equal work to 100% pay equity is the fuel that will make our community thrive.
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