A California state agency and some state officials have joined forces with a national women’s organization to persuade California based businesses to work with them to close the gender pay gap in the state.
The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Office of the First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, California Labor Secretary Julie Su, and Time’s Up announced their new #EqualPayCA campaign right before National Equal Pay Day, April 2.
The campaign invites businesses to make corporate commitments to undergo annual company-wide processes to identify pay disparities that may exist with their organizations. It was announced that 13 businesses, including Airbnb, Apple, AT&T, Square, Zynga, and Salesforce, had agreed to participate voluntarily in the #EqualPayCAcampaign by taking the California Pay Equity Pledge. A full list of the initial companies participating can be found here.
By taking the pledge, businesses agree to voluntarily:
• Conduct an annual company-wide gender pay analysis;
• Review hiring and promotion processes and procedures to reduce unconscious bias and structural barriers;
• Identify and promote other best practices that will close the pay gap to ensure fundamental equity for all workers.
Businesses who participate will receive the CA Pay Equity Task Force seal to display on their company website and hiring materials.
According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, women in California earn 89 cents for every dollar a man makes.
The campaign initiative aims to close the gender wage gap in California by educating employees, employers, and labor unions on how to close the pay gap. It is an awareness campaign to educate the public on the causes of the pay gap and how to close it, according to a notice issued by Governor Newsom’s office. #EqualPayCA was launched in coordination with TIME’S UP PAY UP, an awareness campaign from Time’s aimed at closing the pay gap nationwide.
The California Commission’s Pay Equity Task Force has made available free resources on the topic including FAQs, law history, and wage information. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls created the California Pay Equity Task Force in 2016 in response to the enactment of SB 358 “the California Fair Pay Act”.
“California has the strongest equal pay laws in the nation – but there is still more work to do,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “That’s why I applaud these California companies for their commitment to pay equity, and why I am excited to partner with the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and TIME’S UP to continue to work toward closing the pay gap. Together, we can uplift California women to ensure a more equitable future for all.”
According to Ariela Gross, a professor of law and history at the University of Southern California Law School in an article by CNBC, “Anything that brings attention to the fact that this still exists, and especially gets a high-profile effort to get companies to make the commitment to pay equity, is encouraging.”
#EqualPayCA is another example of the many pay equity initiatives and laws that are taking shape across the U.S. It’s time for U.S. companies to recognize pay equity as a rising issue in the business landscape and get themselves prepared. A pay equity audit is a way for employers to take a proactive approach to the cultural shift and could bode well for your organization by minimizing legal risk and preventing bad PR.