Recently, Massachusetts has established itself as a leader in tackling the pay gap between women and men. Their new law has one very unique provision: a ban on employers asking potential employees about their salary histories during the interview process.
Despite extensive legislation, like the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in Minnesota and across the nation continue to make less than their male peers. White women working full-time can expect to earn 20% less than a white man makes; for women of color, this gap doubles. When future salaries are based on previous earnings, men are consistently offered more than equally qualified female candidates.
Another big move towards eliminating gender wage discrimination is pay transparency (once the job has been accepted, of course). Most people fear discussing their salaries out of fear of reprimand by their employers. Allowing everyone to know and discuss how much they make has worked for Minnesota – in state and local government positions, where wage information is more transparent, the wage gap has been nearly eliminated.
Big ideas like these create better opportunities for all women in Minnesota. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but together, we can make a brighter future for everyone.