BOSTON--Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh convened the first meeting of the Boston Women's Workforce Council under his Administration. During today's meeting, Mayor Walsh announced a newly-created partnership with the School of Management at Simmons College and others. EMC, a major Fortune 500 company in the Boston area, is the newest company to participate in the Council's work.
The partnership among the Walsh Administration, Simmons, and the Council marks a new chapter for the Council, which was originally formed in April 2013. The Council's mission is to work with the businesses in the Greater Boston area in a private-public endeavor to eliminate the gender wage gap, remove the visible and invisible barriers to women's advancement, and ensure that 100% of the talent pool is used to make Boston the best area in the country for working women.
"I am pleased to partner with Dean Minehan and Simmons College, which has a long and storied history of advancing women. I am deeply committed to closing the wage gap and to ensuring economic equality for women who work in the Boston area," said Mayor Walsh. "Partnering with Simmons College, and working with the members of the Council and other interested organizations allows us to elevate and expand the Council's scope and scale by ensuring we have the resources, contacts, and expertise needed to implement the Council's goals."
Cathy Minehan serves as the Dean of the School of Management at Simmons, and as the Chair of the Council. "I am thrilled with the prospect of continuing the work of the Council under Mayor Walsh's Administration," said Dean Minehan. "Our collaboration allows us to combine the best aspects of the public and private sectors, and provides us with a broad platform on which to discuss and solve the issues surrounding the wage gap in Boston, a reality that confounds both women workers and the businesses that employ them. Working directly with corporations under the Compact allows us to determine what wage-gap closing practices are realistic, effective, and cost-efficient."
Christina M. Knowles will serve as the Executive Director of the Council. Knowles most recently served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, and as the State Director and Lobbyist for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She has been named one of the Top 100 Influencers in the Commonwealth by the national publication Campaigns and Elections Politics Magazine.
The bulk of the Council's work focuses on 100% Talent: The Boston Women's Compact. The Compact is a voluntary agreement in which businesses pledge to take concrete, measurable steps to eliminate the wage gap and to report their progress anonymously every two years. Over 60 businesses have signed on. In addition to the most recent addition of EMC, three other key Fortune 500 companies have signed the Compact: State Street, Raytheon, and Mass Mutual. By the end of the year, the Council expects to have 100 signatories. It is also expected that contributions from signatories will provide the bulk of the Council's funding for the first three years of the initiative.
Over the next three years, the Council will hold an annual conference on best-practices in gender equity in the workplace and will publish two reports on evaluating the status of the wage gap in Boston. Simmons and the City of Boston will partner with at least one other organization who will handle the collection, analysis, and reporting of data.
For more information on the Boston Women's Workforce Council, visit: www.cityofboston.gov/women or contact Christina Knowles, Executive Director. E: firstname.lastname@example.org. O: 617-521-3826. C: 508-527-6007.