Photos via Adobe Stock. (Photo illustration by Natasha Vicens/PublicSource)
Stark disparities linger in Pittsburgh between what White women and Black women are paid. A local group is asking employers to do their part to change this.
by Lauren Davidson, PublicSource
It’s been three years since Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission released a report showing Black residents have a much lower quality of life than White residents.
But the Black Women’s Policy Center is working to make sure city residents don’t forget its critical findings and feel equipped to take action.
“The Black Women’s Policy Center is committed to making sure that what we learned in that report, what we learned in our surveys, what we’ve learned in our own experiences with Black women will inform the work we do moving forward,” said Rochelle Jackson, the center’s director and founder. “We will continue to work to change the narrative to change the reality Black women face in this region.”
This week, the center, in partnership with the Women and Girls Foundation and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, is announcing its Pay Equity Campaign to encourage employers to close the gender pay gap, which disproportionately impacts women of color.
As part of the campaign, businesses are asked to take the policy center’s pledge, which consists of these five parts:
- Promote wage transparency by including the salary range on all job postings
- Commit to reviewing policies and practices to ensure compliance with The National Labor Relations Act of 1935
- Ensure a fair and equitable hiring process by eliminating desired salary and salary history questions from the application process
- Provide annual company-wide diversity trainings to address, reduce and educate about unconscious biases and associated barriers that impact hiring, promotion and organizational culture
- Undertake an annual review of gender and race pay differences among employees performing comparable tasks … considering levels of education, prior experience, skill and company tenure.
“We are not naive to think we can change this and close this wage gap in a year or six months, but we do think that we have to start somewhere,” said Jackson. “When you pledge to us, we take that as an acknowledgment that this is an issue and that these are challenges for Black women and you’re willing to work with us to close this wage gap.”
Jackson spoke with PublicSource about how her organization is working to make progress.
(The interview is edited for brevity and clarity.)