California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) announced Wednesday that Adobe, Mattel, and Twitter were among the seven new companies to sign the California Equal Pay Pledge, bringing the total number of companies who have signed to 65. The announcement comes as women bear the brunt of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, which could also widen the pay gap.
“All women have a right to be valued, seen as equals, and paid equally,” said California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “As the pandemic threatens to undo nearly three decades of progress for women, now is the perfect time for companies to support women workers and build equity in the workplace. I applaud the companies who have signed the pledge to help California transform the strongest equal pay laws in the nation into the smallest pay gap in the nation.”
“Women across industries, including the tech world, continue to experience vast gaps in pay – a reality worsened by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dalana Brand, VP, People Experience and Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Twitter. “We believe that pay equity is critical to building diverse and inclusive workplaces, and a better, more equitable world. Signing on to this pledge is an extension of our commitment to pay equity across the board at Twitter.”
California has some of the strongest equal pay laws in the country but women in the state still earn 88 cents for every dollar a man earns. That number plummets to 62 cents for Black women, 55 cents for Latina women, 90 cents for Asian women, and 50 cents for Native American women. These gaps create staggering financial losses: California women lose a combined total of $78.6 billion each year because of the wage gap — dollars that could help pay for basic necessities at a time when women have lost 5.4 million jobs nationwide.
“At Adobe, we believe everyone deserves respect and equal treatment and one of the most important ways to demonstrate that is by ensuring we pay our employees fairly, regardless of gender,” said Katie Juran, Adobe’s Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion. “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made on pay parity, and on Equal Pay Day, we’re reinforcing our commitment by joining the Equal Pay Pledge in our headquarters state of California.”
Launched in 2019 as part of the First Partner and CCSWG’s #EqualPayCA initiative, the Equal Pay Pledge challenges California employers to conduct an annual company-wide gender pay analysis; review hiring promotion processes and procedures to reduce bias and structural barriers; and promote best practices that will close the pay gap to ensure equity for all workers.
“The economic crisis brought on by the pandemic may have triggered significant new economic instability, but many women in California were already struggling to pay the bills prior to this crisis,” said CCSWG Chair, Dr. Alisha Wilkins. “Women in our state faced a significant wage gap, and lack of economic security was particularly acute for women of color, making it even more difficult to weather the current crisis. We are honored to work with the First Partner to champion real change for the women of our state as we rebuild, reframe, and reimagine what life can look like for the women of California going forward.”
In addition to the Equal Pay Pledge, the First Partner and CCSWG have partnered with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office to promote the Workplace Rights Ambassador Program (WRAP) and have developed a series of #EqualPayCA training to ensure California workers understand their rights under California’s equal pay laws. These trainings give women tools and resources to ensure they can advocate for themselves in the workplace and know how to take action if they believe their rights are being violated and streamlines women’s ability to enroll in key benefits and take advantage of legal protections designed to support them.
The First Partner is also embarking on a listening tour in collaboration with the California Partners Project (CPP), a nonprofit the First Partner co-founded, to hear about the challenges California families are experiencing during the pandemic. On Monday, the First Partner, CCSWG, and CPP joined five working moms for a wide-ranging conversation focused on the impacts the pandemic has had on them and their families. Following this series of conversations, CPP will use the insights gathered to expand their toolkit of strategies to help families cope.
The eight new companies to sign the California Equal Pay Pledge are:
Blue Shield of California
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group
Sacramento Municipal Utility District
For a full list of California Equal Pay Pledge signatories: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Equal-Pay-Signees-032021-4.pdf
For more information about #EqualPayCA visit: https://www.gov.ca.gov/equal-pay/
For more information about CPP visit: https://www.calpartnersproject.org/