Committee will study ways to help narrow wage gap between men and women in Massachusetts

Associated Press

Massachusetts should be a national leader in narrowing the wage gap between men and women in the workforce, state Treasurer Deb Goldberg said Tuesday in announcing the creation of a new statewide advisory committee to devise strategies for improving wage equality.

"Pay equity is not a partisan issue, nor solely a women's issue. It is a family issue, and it affects the economic health and well-being of our entire state," Goldberg said in a statement.

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According to Goldberg, women in Massachusetts earn just 82 cents on the dollar compared to men. The gap is wider for black women — who earn 61 cents on the dollar — and Latinas, who earn just 50 cents on the dollar.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will serve as honorary chairman of the panel.

"We need to stop talking about wage equality and take action," Walsh said.

"This is government leading by example, working to change the culture around women's pay, and moving the conversation forward," he added.

Goldberg outlined a handful of goals for the committee including:

— providing government agencies with tools to review their pay structures;

— developing a wage equity tool kit for businesses that want to address pay inequity;

— organizing a statewide conference and regional roundtables to hear from businesses, policymakers, and the public on the issue;

— launching a state-run equal pay website which will include a wage equality tool kit, information about the state's wage gap, and a salary calculator that can be used by employers and workers.

Others serving on the advisory committee include Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark, former Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who is now president of Babson College, and Bentley College President Gloria Larson.