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Phoenix council to mull gender pay equality proposal

PHOENIX — A proposed Phoenix ordnance could narrow the pay gap between men and women, a city official said.

“Equal pay is good public policy because when women win, Phoenix wins,” Councilwoman Kate Gallego said. “So if we can close the pay gap and help women be financially sustainable, the city will be stronger for it.”

Arizona women make, on average, 82 cents for every dollar a man makes in the same role. Though that is higher than the national average, Gallego thinks the gender pay gap is too large.

“Our policy will mirror the federal law on equal pay and we hope that we will send a strong message to our business partners that men and women who are doing the same work get the same compensation,” she said.

Included in Gallego’s plan is a recommendation to institute financial literacy training through non-profit organizations that teach women the best way to negotiate salaries with an employer.

“Part of it is that we need to educate women about how to increase their compensation,” she said. “You should not be afraid to ask if you’re doing top-tier work, you should be able to go in there with evidence and ask for fair compensation.”

The council will vote on the proposed ordinance March 24.