The Professional Business Women of California (PBWC), whose commitment to gender equity in professional settings extends back for more than a quarter century, salutes Governor Jerry Brown for leading the nation by enacting legislation designed to eliminate gender-based pay differences in California.
Kathryn Larson, PBWC’s executive director offered, “This is a moment for us to stop and appreciate the impact of Governor Brown’s legislation and thank him and our lawmakers for their courage.”
According to Nicole Soluri, PBWC’s chair, “Governor Brown’s actions serve as a model for the rest of the nation. The issue of gender equity in professional settings has gained too little ground for far too long. Now, with the stroke of a pen, the game is changed and the playing field is closer to level. Women across the state are grateful to Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara). She introduced this measure to the California legislature after she learned in a 2013 study that women in the state earn 84 cents on the male dollar.”
According to Alexandra Roddy, PBWC’s vice chair, “This legislation is long overdue. Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as of 2013 according to the National Committee on Pay Equity, women across the United States earned 78 cents for every man’s dollar.
PBWC is pleased and proud that women who live and work in California have stood up and spoken out on this issue–from Sheryl Sandberg to Patricia Arquette. Larson states, “All along, we have only been asking for what is right and fair.”
Pay equity is a strong first step in the direction of equal access to opportunity. According to the Center for American Progress, although women hold almost 52 percent of all professional level jobs, they represent just 14.6 percent of executive officers and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. So, there is still more work to be done.