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Phoenix pay equity subcommittee talks next steps

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The Phoenix Women’s Commission Pay Equity Subcommittee met Thursday, a few short months after forming in January, to discuss potential action for women’s equality in the workforce. 

Led by Vice Chair Kyle Web, a brand manager for Bar-S Foods, the subcommittee talked about everything from potential legislation to the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women who have been forced to leave the workforce in droves.

The group also received advice from Jodi Liggett, founder and CEO of the Arizona Center for Women’s Advancement, who also aided the city of Tempe with a similar pay equity effort. 

“The goal is to mirror what Tempe has done but for Phoenix,” said Mrs. Webb during the virtual meeting. 

The Tempe City Council previously voted to create an initiative ensuring pay equity based on gender. The initiative revolves around four pillars of pay equity: policy, business designation for those committed to pay equity, business education and outreach, and salary negotiation training.

The council had a relatively small budget of $10,000 or $11,000, which mostly went toward website design and training. 

Mrs. Liggett was on hand to offer advice, namely on how to pass legislation in a divided city council. She recommended working in phases and starting out with a “complaint-based system”, and perhaps partnering with an institution such as Arizona State University to further the cause and get young women trained in salary negotiation.

She also advised the subcommittee to make sure they’re having conversations with every city council member to make the process “smoother and easier” when the time comes for a public vote. 

The subcommittee noted the timeliness of discussing women’s pay equity during the ongoing pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than in October 2019 due, in part, to pay inequities and shuttered schools. As of February, women remained nearly 3% below their November 2019 labor force numbers.

Lindsay Walker
News Editor |

Phoenix |

lwalker@newszap.com

Lindsay is a Phoenix native and is thrilled to be reporting in her hometown.

After spending several years in advertising after college, she switched gears and graduated with her master’s degree in journalism at Arizona State University in 2019.

When she’s not writing, you can usually find her reading a book or playing with her family’s dogs.

 

Twitter: @AzNewsmedia


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