Governor Jay Nixon has issued an executive order for state agencies to use guidelines meant to ensure equal pay for men and women. The guidelines, developed by the Women’s Foundation and the University of Missouri Institute of Public Policy, call for identifying and addressing any gender wage gap and providing Missourians with equal pay for equal work.
“Shortchanging 50% of the workforce is bad for women, it’s bad for families, and it’s bad for our entire economy,” said Nixon.
Women’s Foundation President and CEO Wendy Doyle is pleased that Nixon issued the executive order.
“We just want to continue to draw awareness to the fact that, we as a state, are well behind the national average which is 78 cents to the dollar that men make,” said Doyle. “As a state, there is still a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done.”
Missouri’s female workers earn 71% of what men earn and Doyle wants the state to come closer to the national average.
Doyle said retail, manufacturing, healthcare and education have the largest gender pay gaps while professional setting jobs, like physicians, have less pay inequality. Doyle also said the gap is noticed more in smaller cities than in Missouri’s metropolitan areas.
“As women, something we can do is take some personal responsibility and don’t hold back, have that confidence to reach out and ask for that pay raise or in salary negotiations to take a job,” said Doyle.
Nixon is also encouraging private businesses to use the guidelines.