On Equal Pay Day, Mayor Menino Announces Women’s Workforce Council

The council is made up of 16 women business leaders.

Today is Equal Pay Day, a national reminder that U.S. women aren’t paid as much as men, and in fact, make 77 cents for every dollar a man takes home on average. To mark the occasion, Democratic members of Congress are taking the opportunity today to revisit the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would make it illegal for companies to pay men more than women for comparable work. It’s been introduced a number of times but never passed both chambers, a fact that frustrates Victoria Budson, the director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Women in Public Policy program, to no end. When I spoke with her for my piece on the wage gap in Massachusetts, she noted her dismay at Congress’ inaction last year:

 “In the middle of a presidential election with a tremendous focus on the women’s vote, the leaders of our nation felt wholly comfortable voting against furthering the interests of women,” she says.

Fortunately, Budson is in a position to help the women of Boston work toward pay equity. In addition to her role at Harvard and her appointment as the chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, Budson is one of the women appointed to Mayor Menino’s Women’s Workforce Council, which he announced today. It’s an impressive team overall, pulled from small business owners and entrepreneurs, plus those from the medical, legal, academic, labor, and senior business professions.

“Pay equity is about fairness,” Menino said in a statement. “When women are earning the same as men, it makes it easier to manage student loan debt, save for retirement and care for their families. It’s the right thing for women, for families and for our community. I’m looking forward to working with this impressive group of women business leaders to ensure our working women a level playing field.” Check out the entire list below:

  • Cathy Minehan, Dean of the School of Management, Simmons College (Chair)
  • Tricia Adams, Co-Owner, Marla’s Obsessions
  • Ruth Bramson, CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass.
  • Victoria Budson, Executive Director, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Elizabeth Hoenscheid, CEO, Top it Off
  • Dr. Paula Johnson, Chief, Division of Women’s Health, Brigham & Women’s Hospital; Executive Director, Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology
  • Trish Karter, CEO, LightEffect Farms
  • Zorica Pantic, President, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Kelly Pelagrini, Cofounder, Charlestown Nursery School
  • Alison Quirk, EVP, Chief of Human Resources and Corporate Citizenship, State Street
  • Priti Rao, Executive Director, Mass. Women’s Political Caucus
  • Micho Spring, President, New England, Weber Shandwick
  • Jennifer Springer, General Counsel, SEIU Local 888 and EVP-at-Large, Mass AFL-CIO
  • Beth Williams, CEO and President, Roxbury Technology Corp.
  • Raquel Webster, Senior Counsel, National Grid
  • Wendy Zinn, Executive Director, Huntington Avenue YMCA