Tempe council members create program to bolster equal pay efforts for women

Businesses along Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by k/mc via Creative Commons)

TEMPE – Tempe council members are trying to shrink the pay gap between men and women by encouraging business owners to tout their equal pay practices.

Council members Lauren Kuby, David Schapira and Robin Arredondo-Savage are creating a program to name Equal Pay Business Partners.

It’s needed, Kuby said. Women still make less than men more than 50 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Business owners will be asked to take an online self-assessment of their practices and salaries, Kuby said. If the businesses score high on the assessment they will be determined as an equal pay partner.

“We hope by the summer to be working with businesses,” Kuby said. “We will have a workshop to show them how to do the self-assessment tool and we will work very closely with them.”

Businesses can place a sticker declaring their equal pay status in the windows for customers to see.

Larry Reinarz, an Arizona resident and a retired business owner, said the stickers will raise awareness.

“I just think fair is fair,” Reinarz said. “I can’t see what the distinction is as to why someone should work for a lesser amount just because of their gender.”

Kuby said the program also will educate women on what they deserve to be paid and how to negotiate salary.

“Often times young women will accept the salary that’s offered to them,” Kuby said.