Opinion: Join effort to ensure that women are paid fairly

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By LISA PICKER

On April 10, thousands of women will join in a national day of action against unfair pay called Equal Pay Day. April is symbolic because it marks the point into the new year that a woman must work to earn the wages paid to a man in the previous year.

Here in Missouri, women who work full time earn an average of 79 cents for every $1 earned by a white male. These disparities are more pronounced for African-American and Latina women. If current trends continue, Missouri women will not see equal pay until the year 2066.

At the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis (WFSTL), we are committed to addressing barriers that prevent women from achieving economic independence.

Last fall, WFSTL launched Women in the Workplace: Employer Scorecard to bring transparency and accountability to workplace policies and practices. The employer scorecard is a voluntary survey completed by employers that rates them on objective indicators such as recruitment and retention of women, compensation packages, women in leadership, workplace culture and community involvement. Our hope is to incentivize employers to improve conditions for women in the workplace.

This year’s honorees –– Anders, Bryan Cave, Brown Smith Wallace, St. Louis Zoo and Missouri Foundation for Health and Doorways –– went beyond having policies in place. At these organizations, the top earner is a woman and/or more than 25 percent of the top 10 percent of highly compensated employees are women.

Fair pay takes real change, and our 2017 Employer Scorecard honorees prove that positive practices for women make good business sense. We invite all Missouri employers to participate in our 2018 employer scorecard. Because while there are companies that make equal pay a priority, there is much work to do in our region.

Let’s ensure Missouri women receive equal pay for equal work.

(Lisa Picker is the executive director for the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis)

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