PITTSBURGH, PA (November 18, 2020) Today, Mayor William Peduto joined members of the Office of Equity, Gender Equity Commission, American Association of University Women (AAUW) and workforce development and gender equity partners to honor Pay Equity Month with the release of the Gender Equity Commission Workforce Equity Committee’s report and Workforce Equity Initiative and the announcement of a new partnership with AAUW.
Pay disparity disproportionately affects women and women of color. Representatives from the Gender Equity Commission calculated that November 6, 2020 is Black Women Pay Equity Day, or the day when a Black woman in Pittsburgh makes the same amount of money it took a white man to make in the 2019 calendar year. That means that it takes a Black woman 23 months to make the same amount of money a white man makes in 12 months on average. Nationally, according to the 2018 American Community Survey data, for each dollar a white man makes white women make 79 cents, Black women make 62 cents and Latina/Latinx women make 54 cents. That gap is wider in Pittsburgh where Black women make 54 cents when a white man makes a dollar.
The Mayor’s Office and Gender Equity Commission are recognizing November as Pittsburgh Women’s Pay Equity Month because it is the month that all women in Pittsburgh have finally achieved the same pay as the average white man in Pittsburgh. Highlighting these disparities locally reflects the work and focus of the commission to acknowledge and support challenges facing our most disadvantaged residents and offers the ability to plan a way forward to achieve pay equity for all.
In light of these pay equity disparities, the Gender Equity Commission’s Workforce Equity Committee has released the “Envisioning Workforce Equity” report as part of their Workforce Equity Initiative with research and recommendations specific to the Pittsburgh region. The report recommends a three-pronged approach to promoting pay equity through empowering individuals, engaging employers and improving policy.
“We know from the ‘Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race’ report that Black women in Pittsburgh are disadvantaged across the board, and we see from Black Women Pay Equity Day data that includes employment,” said Mayor Peduto. “I want to thank the Gender Equity Commission’s Workforce Equity Committee for developing the Workforce Equity Initiative to provide guidance to empower women of color in our region to ensure that they have equal access to jobs. City government is committed to this change, but we can’t do it alone. I encourage Pittsburgh's top employers to join us in achieving pay equity as we continue to build a region for all where everyone's contributions are valued, and valued equitably.”
As part of the plan to empower individuals, the City announced today its partnership with AAUW to provide AAUW’s Work Smart training at no cost to City of Pittsburgh residents. Work Smart prepares women to know their market value and provides strategies to successfully and confidently negotiate a fair salary and benefits.
“We want every woman to be able to articulate their value and negotiate a solid financial future for themselves and their families,” said Kim Churches, chief executive officer of AAUW. “We are thrilled to partner with the city of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission to bolster their commitment to empower women in Pittsburgh with AAUW Work Smart’s professional development tools and resources to create pathways for women’s equity in the workplace.”
“We applaud our partners in the City of Pittsburgh and its Gender Equity Commission for their commitment to eliminating the gender wage gap in their community,” says Gloria Blackwell, AAUW senior vice president of fellowships and programs, whose team is leading the initiative. “We know that it takes a three-pronged approach—advocacy and updating policies, working with employers and providing women with skills—in order to close the gender pay gap.”
The virtual, live workshop schedule is set to be released in January at www.aauw.org. AAUW’s free, award-winning Work Smart Online, is immediately available to all Pittsburgh residents. Those interested in promoting pay equity can become a facilitator, promote trainings in workplaces and communities, refer clients to trainings, integrate trainings into workforce development support services or contact the Gender Equity Commission to learn about more ways to partner.
The Workforce Equity Committee announced two additional initiatives expected in 2021: the Workforce Equity Council and the Pittsburgh Workforce Equity Commitment. Both are intended to bring together employers and stakeholders from all industries to join a strategic alliance to close the gender pay gap and eradicate discrimination based on gender, race and sexuality in the workplace using data-driven indicators and measurements of progress. More details are expected to be announced early next year.