Civic leaders are working to get area employers to commit to rebalancing documented pay inequities affecting women of color around Pittsburgh.
The Level Up Greater Pittsburgh Gender Equity Campaign is now inviting local employers to its first roundtable, a closed-session event that's set to be the first in a series.
Started earlier this summer by the Black Women’s Policy Center, Women and Girls Foundation, and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, the campaign asks Pittsburgh employers to take a pledge to close the gender wage gap that disproportionally impacts women of color.
Attendees will have the chance to learn more about the five action steps of the proposed pledge, as well as ask questions and learn more about what they can do to overcome challenges that may be associated with taking the pledge.
According to a press release, the five pledges include:
1. Commit to supporting, promoting, and engaging in pay transparency early during the hiring process.
2. Ensure a fair and equitable hiring process by eliminating desired salary and salary history questions from the application process.
3. Provide annual company-wide diversity trainings to address, reduce and educate about unconscious biases and associated barriers that impact hiring, promotion, and organizational culture.
4. Undertake an annual review of gender and race pay differences among employees performing comparable tasks requiring similar levels of responsibility, skills, complexity, and working conditions and considering levels of education, prior experience, skill, and company tenure.
5. Commit to reviewing policies and practices to ensure compliance with The National Labor Relations Act of 1935.
A 2019 report by the Gender Equity Commission of Pittsburgh spotlighted persistent gender and racial inequalities across various areas, including income and employment. According to the report, white women in Pittsburgh make only 78 cents to every dollar made by a white man. Asian, multiracial, Latinx, other, or Native American women make 59 cents and Black women only make 54 cents to every dollar made by a white man in Pittsburgh.
Another factor highlighted in the commission study and another recent report by the Black Women’s Policy Center was the high level of poverty experienced by Black women in Pittsburgh. Black women are five times more likely to live in poverty than white men, according to the findings. The Gender Equity Commission study concluded that Pittsburgh is the least livable city for Black women in the United States.
"Employers in Pittsburgh have the power to end the structural racism and sexism that has led to gender pay inequities that negatively impact the women of this city, particularly women of color," says Rochelle Jackson, founder of Black Women's Policy Center.
Employers can register for the event and find more information at: blackwomenpolicycenter.org.