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New initiative to help close the gender pay gap in the KC region

Posted at 9:31 AM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 18:59:17-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Monday morning, the American Association of University Women, the Women’s Foundation and Kansas City Mayor Sly James made an announcement regarding a new initiative to close the gender pay gap in the region.

American Association of University Women Kim Churches, Women’s Foundation President Wendy Doyle, along with James, spoke on the initiative.

The initiative will be a pilot program that will train one million women in both Kansas and Missouri on how to negotiate salaries and benefits.

Through this partnership with AAUW, the Women's Foundation and Mayor Sly James, this training will be the first phase of the initiative.

"That will be part of a multi-pronged approach in terms of working with employers, and with the right policies and laws at a local, municipal state and federal level to really close that pay gap once and for all," said AAUW CEO Kim Churches. 

According to AAUW, women nationwide are paid 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. 

Here in the Kansas City Metro region, it's 78 cents.

Churches says this training will not only be a confidence builder, but it will help women to better understand the marketplace.

"Sadly today, men negotiate four times as much as women do," Churches said. "So what we're trying to do is level that playing field so you get the soft skills, the confidence building skills coupled with the hard data and analysis of what your skills and abilities can bring to the place."

This announcement comes after the city council recently voted to ban salary history to join the workforce in the city.

Women's Foundation President Wendy Doyle says it's that step and the negotiation training that are steps in the right direction for a complex issue.

"Now we recognize that closing the pay gap is not going to be completely resolved with salary negotiation training it's a very complex issue but it is a solution and a step forward to making that happen," Doyle said.

It's so complex that 2030 is the target date to close that gender pay gap.

"It seems like 2030, although a realistic goal, seems an awfully long time to wait to do the right thing," Mayor Sly James said. "It's another critical skill set that women will have and take greater control of their careers and to get the pay that they deserve."

To learn more information on these training workshops, click here.