Mayor Bowser and Senior Staff Mark National Equal Pay Day
(Washington, DC) — Earlier today, Mayor Muriel Bowser held a press conference in honor of National Equal Pay Day. The event was also attended by Deputy Mayor for Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden, Director of the Department of Employment Services (DOES) Deborah Carroll and the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Policy and Initiatives (MOWPI) Director Kimberly Bassett.
In a 2014 national study, women make 77 cents for every dollar of men earn and this gap has been constant since 2002. However, Washington, DC has the smallest wage gap in America with women earning an average of 91 cents on the dollar, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
“Equal pay is more than a women’s rights issue, it is a matter of economic security for middle class families,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “When women are paid less for equal work, we all suffer. In DC we lead the nation in closing the gap between men and women, but it is not enough. To truly create pathways to middle class, we need to ensure that everyone is paid equally for equal work no matter who you are.”
The wage gap is larger for minority women. In a report by American Women, African American women in the District earn 56 cents on the dollar and Hispanic women earn 48 cents on the dollar. Unfortunately, Washington is also ranked 50 out of 51 in the country for having the largest wage gap between African American females and white, non-Hispanic males. Minority women typically earn 48-56 cents to the dollar than their male counterparts.
“If we hope to maximize the strength and productivity of our workforce, we cannot overlook gender discrepancies in pay,” said Deputy Mayor Snowden. “My role as Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity is to identify solutions to issues affecting the economic growth of households in all 8 wards fighting to enter the middle class. My office will work to provide sustainable and quality investments to the residents of the District.”
Women roughly make up half of the country’s workforce and graduate at a higher rate than from college and graduate schools yet will earn half a million dollars less than their male peers in a course of a lifetime.
Deborah Carroll, Director of the Department of Employment Services, housed under the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunities, leads the city’s employment and job training services.
“As Director of the Department of Employment Services, my team and I are constantly working to improve the District’s workforce,” said Director Carroll. “Many of our competitive candidates are women and they deserve equal pay for equal work.”
Director Bassett will lead advocacy efforts around equal pay for all women in the District. “Ninety-one cents on the dollar is still not a dollar,” said Director Bassett. “We can’t afford to quit until all women in the District are treated equally in the workforce.”