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Mayor Pushes for Gender Pay Equality, City Leads by Example

Albuquerque to be National Leader in Gender Equal Pay Initiative

August 25, 2013


Albuquerque, NM – Mayor Richard J. Berry officially announced today that he will convene an ‘Equity in Pay Taskforce’, led by the Human Rights Office to address inequities in salaries and wages based on gender. Mayor Berry wants to ensure that women are being equally compensated for equal performance. Preliminary numbers show that the while National statistics indicate that women are paid on an average 23% less than men in comparable roles, the City Hall’s stats show the variation to be less than 6%.

"I’m proud of our leadership as a city, when compared nationally and statewide, but I believe we can do better," said Mayor Berry. “There is room for improvement within our own organization, and that’s why we will be working towards attaining complete gender pay equity and setting an example for other cities and organizations."

Mayor Berry has asked Councilors Roxanna Meyers and Janice Arnold-Jones to sponsor "Pay Equity" legislation that will incentivize private sector vendors and contractors to strive for pay equity within their organizations.

"Martha Burk, First Lady Maria Berry, Councilor Roxanna Meyers and I have worked throughout our lives to demonstrate that women make significant and equal contributions to our economy.  I am delighted that Mayor Berry and Albuquerque are leading the nation in the area of Pay Equity but it is time to take the steps necessary to ensure that our daughters will no longer have to fight for equal pay for equal work," commented Janice Arnold-Jones.   – City Council Woman from District 7.

"As many of you know, I grew up in a corporate environment where equal pay for women with equal performance was not the norm.  I think anything we can do to benchmark and then incentivize owners to practice equal pay for equal performance is a big step to being a world class city," said Roxanna Meyers – City Council Woman from District 2.

According to the Whitehouse’s Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women Report; a record number of women in the workforce and two-thirds of women function as primary or co-bread winners for their families, which makes equal pay for women critical to a family’s economic security.

Dr. Martha Burk, a prominent expert in gender pay equity, has been instrumental in the development of this initiative and has shared her experience as Albuquerque moves to become the first City in the country to develop and implement this type of initiative.

"I applaud the Mayor and the City of Albuquerque for this forward-thinking initiative.  Equal pay is a top issue for women and families, cutting across race, ethnicity, political, and economic lines.  As the first city in the nation to adopt such an initiative, Albuquerque is leading the way for other local and regional governments with this most important step toward pay equity for women." said Dr. Burk.

The "Equity in Pay Taskforce" will be charged to develop and issue a points system for incentivizing progress in pay equity through the City’s RFP process, similar to the Local and Veteran’s preferences.

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