First Lady Frances Wolf, Pa. Commission for Women Host Roundtable on Equal Pay, Call for Solutions to End Gender Pay Gap

October 09, 2018

Philadelphia, PA – First Lady Frances Wolf and members of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women today joined business leaders, lawmakers and advocates for a roundtable discussion at PECO headquarters in Philadelphia, which focused on Governor Wolf’s executive action to address the gender pay gap in state government and the need to enact similar policies to protect all women in Pennsylvania from gender-based pay discrimination.

“When women are paid just 80 cents on the dollar of what men are paid, we have a real problem. And the numbers are even more staggering for women of color,” the First Lady said. “We have taken steps to eliminate the gender pay gap for Pennsylvania state employees, but we need to do more. It’s a matter of fairness, and of doing what’s right for Pennsylvania families.”

“Reducing and eliminating the gender pay gap is a priority for PECO and our parent company, Exelon,” said PECO President and CEO Mike Innocenzo. “We have made tremendous strides through the adoption of industry-leading pay equity practices, which continue to help us attract and retain women at our company.”

On June 6th, Governor Wolf signed Executive Order: 2018-18-03 – Equal Pay for Employees of the Commonwealth, which directs state agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction to:

  • No longer ask job applicants their salary history during the hiring process
  • Base salaries on job responsibilities, position pay range, and the applicant’s job knowledge and skills
  • Clearly explain the pay range on job posting

The Executive Order, which applies to management-level positions, took effect 90 days from the day it was signed.

“The gender pay gap is wrong. It is wrong for women, it is wrong for families and it is wrong for Pennsylvania,” said Randi Teplitz, chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. “The Commission for Women was proud to stand with Governor Wolf when he signed his executive order banning this practice in state government, but now we must come together to ensure that no woman in Pennsylvania is paid less simply because of her gender.”

The First Lady and Commission for Women were joined by advocates who have been strong voices to end the pay gap in the state capitol and throughout Pennsylvania, including the American Association of University Women.

“Pay equity is not just a matter of fairness but the key to families making ends meet,” said AAUW-PA Public Policy Co-Chair Barbara Price. “Wage discrimination limits women’s choices and has real consequences. It impairs their ability to buy homes and pay for a college education and limits their total lifetime earnings, thereby reducing their retirement savings and benefits.”

Women working full-time, year-round in Pennsylvania are paid just 80 cents on the dollar of what men are paid. That gap widens among women minorities, with black women making 63 cents on the dollar, Native American women making 57 cents on the dollar, and Latina women making 54 cents on the dollar. Pennsylvania ranks 24th out of the 50 states for pay disparity, and fifth among its seven surrounding states.

To learn more about the movement to close the gender pay gap in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Commission for Women’s Equal Pay Advocacy web page.

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