(KUTV)- Salt Lake City Mayor Biskupski signed a new city policy that will eliminate systemic bias and discrimination towards the work performed by women on the first day of Women's History Month.
The Gender Pay Equity policy will reinforce Salt Lake's commitment to equality and diversity while prohibiting certain activities that have historically led to gender pay imbalance. According to a news release, the policy specifically "prohibits individuals participating in City hiring processes from asking an applicant about their current or past salary history."
“Inquiring about an individual’s past salary has historically been a cause of gender pay inequity,” said Julio Garcia, Salt Lake City’s Human Resources Director. “Because women have historically been paid less than men, basing salary decisions on this information, rather than on a similar pay for similar work philosophy, perpetuates a cycle of gender pay inequity.”
In a recent report by the National Partnership for Women and Families, data collected by the 2015 U.S. Census American Community Survey, found that Utah women are paid on average 71 cents for every dollar paid to men, which adds to the annual wage gap of $14,681 annually.
The study also concluded this wage gap is found in every area of the State and across the industry, occupation, and education level.
“The gender pay gap is costing women, children, and families billions of dollars each year, making it harder for people to pay for education, healthcare, housing, and to save for the future,” Mayor Jackie Biskupski said. “Gender pay equity is a family values issue, and as Utah’s Capital City, Salt Lake City has a responsibility to show others in the State how promoting equity, fairness, and diversity benefits our community.”
Championed by City Council Chair Erin Mendenhall, the new policy was made effective on March 1, the first day of Women’s History Month.
“The time is right to press even harder for gender equal pay,” said Erin Mendenhall, City Council Chair. “The list of excuses is long; behaviors entrenched. But no longer do we wait for simple parity on all fronts. Equal pay for equal work, it is that simple.”