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Albuquerque Leads the Way Towards Gender Pay Equity

Mayor Berry advances legislation to incentivize pay equity within local companies

Albuquerque- Today Mayor Richard J. Berry advanced new legislation to further the City of Albuquerque’s efforts to bridge the gender pay gap. In August of 2013 the City of Albuquerque was the first in the nation to adopt gender equity reforms at the municipal level.

Mayor Berry convened an ‘Equity in Pay Taskforce’ to address best practices to incentivize local companies to insure gender pay equity if they do business with the city.   The main charge to the Task Force was to work with local businesses and to analyze the issue of pay equity and gather data for analysis to further define a plan to educate vendors about the timelines and benchmarks for implementing criteria for the incentives. Additionally, the Task Force was asked to make recommendations for incentives to narrow the gender pay gaps in entities seeking contracts with the City of Albuquerque after an initial phase‑in period.

“The City of Albuquerque was the first in the nation to implement an initiative of this kind,” said Mayor Berry.  “After 52 years of federal regulations that have not proven to work, it is time we start incentivizing the result we want, which is gender pay equity in our city, state and nation.  I am proud that our city is taking the lead on this important issue.” he added.

The Women’s Pay Equity Task Force completed its work in late 2014, and forwarded recommendations to Mayor Berry.  Recommendations include establishment of a 5% incentive preference for businesses who can demonstrate that they are moving towards gender pay equity in their companies.

“I am honored to serve on this Task Force,” said Councilor Diane Gibson, cosponsor of the bill. “This legislation will ensure that men and women are paid fairly for their work.”

“As we know, equal pay is one of the top concerns of women nationwide, and Albuquerque women are no exception.  Pay equity is not just a ‘women’s issue’, but a family issue,” said Dr. Martha Burk, Chair of the Task Force. “If no workers in a family were penalized because of their gender, all members of the family would be better off.  I am extremely honored to have led the Task Force and to be a part of this ground breaking initiative.”

With a record number of women in the workforce and two-thirds of women function as primary or co-bread winners for their families, equal pay for women is critical to a family’s economic security, all of this according to the White House’s Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women Report.

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The Task Force members are: Councilor Diane Gibson, Dr. Martha Burk, Clara Apodaca, Jeanette Candelaria, and Debbie Stover- you can find their bios here: http://www.cabq.gov/womens-pay-equity-task-force-instructions/womens-pay-equality-task-force-members