Boston Women's Workforce Council Works To Fill The Wage Gap
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Boston Women's Workforce Council Works To Fill The Wage Gap

Megan Costello and MaryRose Mazzola come to BU!

60
Boston Women's Workforce Council Works To Fill The Wage Gap
Anima Anwar

In a small but rapidly growing corner of the Mayor’s Office, Megan Costello and MaryRose Mazzola work closely to bring Boston to the forefront of the gender equality movement—and they have.

Thursday, March 23, Costello and Mazzola came to Boston University to mediate a student town hall on women’s advancement and gender equality, hosted by BU’s Diversity in Law Association. The DLA invited the two leaders of the mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement and the Boston Women’s Workforce Council to discuss women's issues in the professional world, particularly the wage gap in the greater Boston area.

Unfortunately, Boston’s approach to eliminating the wage gap and issues in gender representation is unique to Boston. No other city in the country has taken data-driven steps to actively seek out a solution to this issue by combining both public and private sector efforts. The Office of Women’s Advancement works to meet these goals with a three-pronged approach.

The first prong is legislation, a crucial step in protecting vulnerable and underrepresented populations. Most recently, Massachusetts passed the equal pay bill (one of only four states to do so), which will ensure that employers can no longer ask for salary history. Because women are currently paid less than men, by reporting a lower salary history for the same job as a male candidate, a female candidate usually ends up receiving a lower salary. The hope is that this bill will help eliminate the gap by getting rid of regulations that amplify this pattern.

The next part of this approach is the Boston Women’s Workforce Council. This Council operates under the assumption that employers have a role to play in equal pay; it is not solely the responsibility of the government or individual women. The Council works with employers, anonymously collecting data from signers, to examine the wage gap problem and to also see where gender inequality may manifest itself in a company's organizational structure. The data can show predominantly where women are in an organization, retention rates, and prevalence in managerial or leadership positions.

The Women’s Workforce Council works with employers by holding them accountable to a 100% Talent Compact. This agreement facilitates research revealing internal representation and wage gaps, ensures employer anonymity and provides employers with concrete opportunities and ways to implement solutions. Currently, this initiative has around 200 signers, each committed to the mission of promoting gender equality. The Council also holds quarterly Best Practice Conferences where representatives from these employers gather to discuss their strategies and walk away with action plans to set into motion. This interactive, transparent partnership establishes a long-missing sense of trust between the government and business that will be essential for promoting equality, both now and in the coming decades.

The third prong is free salary workshop classes for women in the Boston area. While the responsibility should not solely rest on individuals, these workshops give women the tools they need to negotiate fair salaries. Furthermore, these classes teach women how to negotiate like women. People generally think about negotiation embodying male qualities, and many women endure social and professional backlash if they negotiate the same way men do, even if they are successful. These classes teach women how to use their personal strengths to their benefit in hopes that they can overcome these social stigmas.

From the current data gathered by this initiative, much of the previous literature and public conception regarding the wage gap has been confirmed. In fact, the wage gap for the greater Boston area is slightly larger than what was previously thought according to current analyses, with women making 23 cents less to the dollar of their male peers. This also only reflects reports from participating companies, employers with an interest in minimizing this gap, implying that in reality, this gap is probably larger.

The significance of this project is how progressive Boston appears ideologically, but also how much work still needs to be done in this supposedly progressive and liberal city. Many are surprised that there is such a significant wage gap in the area; as Mazzola phrases it, it doesn't jive with people's expectations. That's where the major backlash for this initiative comes into play. But what is positive is that Mayor Walsh does in fact practice what he preaches and is leading this city toward gender equality. Just as crucial are the business leaders in Boston, "socially oriented and progressively minded," willing to join forces with the government and lead by example. These already effective initiatives are incredible markers of Costello's and Mazzola's successes, as well as the success of our city.

The Speakers:

Megan Costello, the Executive Director of The Office of Women’s Advancement started the conversation with a bit of personal background. She began her professional life by working in Newton, MA for the mayor and then spent eight months in Iowa working on Obama’s reelection campaign. She also campaigned for Sen. Ed Markey D-MA and currently works for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. A crucial motivator behind her work is the values of Walsh, both personally and politically. Coming from a working class family, in Costello’s words, he as a lot of personal perspective gained from real-world problems like cancer, gun violence and alcoholism. His political style is both hands-on and humble, spurred on by the question, “How do we get to yes?”. After his campaign for Mayor, Walsh invited Costello to stay in his office and look into what Boston was doing for women and girls. The shocking lack of findings here drove Costello to stay in Boston and build up the city to its progressive ideal.

MaryRose Mazzola began her career in politics with a state senate campaign and proceeded to work for the senator once he had entered the office. She then became his political director for a statewide run. After her stint in the state house, Mazzola went on to graduate school for a Master’s in Public Policy at Harvard's Kenedy School, with a focus on data analysis and women’s issues. After graduating, Mazzola joined Costello in the Office of Women’s Advancement, but then returned to the campaigning to help Michelle Wu win her seat as the city council president. After that last campaign, Mazzola began her work for the Boston Women’s Workforce Council and has since been working tirelessly to bring the Council's goals to fruition.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

244374

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
SAMARA

Before launching cult-favorite lifestyle brand SAMARA, Founder and CEO Salima Visram founded The Soular Backpack — an initiative that provides solar-charged backpacks to children from her home of East Africa. The backpack charges a light so that children can do their homework without the damaging and detrimental effects of kerosene.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

426725

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Odyssey's 2020 Presidential Election Guide For The Undecided Voter

Donald Trump or Joe Biden? The country will decide on November 3 — but if you haven't decided yet, keep reading.

3550

With just days left until Election Day 2020, millions of Americans have already voted in a historic early voting turnout. But if you're waiting until Election Day to cast your vote and haven't decided who will get your vote, this is the guide for you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

How To Write About The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

149774

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dark Castle Entertainment

Zodiac signs make it VERY easy to predict a personality trait that each person would have in certain situations. Now that it's Halloween time, let's take a look at what each zodiac sign would be in a horror movie, shall we?

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

251531

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

My Nana Was Just Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer, And I Have No Idea How To Cope With It

One of my biggest influences — one of the few people I could talk to about anything — is sick now.

1307

How do you go from having a nice family Halloween party to the next week being destroyed by news from a doctor? How do you look your loved one in the eyes that previously were not filled with sickness, just to look at them now and only see their disease?

Keep Reading... Show less
HBO

Three-time Emmy winning show, "Euphoria," is a high school drama that revolves around the melodramatic life of drug addict Rue Bennet, portrayed by Zendaya Coleman.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

5 Ways To Cope With Election Day Anxiety

The 2020 presidential election is less than a week away, and if that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.

311

We all know that this year's election will be different in more ways than we can count. Insert quote about unprecedented times here 🙂.

For those of us with anxious tendencies, this election will be more stressful than most, and I think a lot of people will agree when I say that I'm dreading election day. The constant poll-checking, projections from analysts, and 24/7 news coverage will be enough to have any sane person ripping their hair out.

Keep Reading... Show less

Even though Domestic Violence Awareness Month is coming to an end, it is so important to remain alert and aware of exactly what domestic violence is, who can be affected by domestic violence (hint: everyone), how to get help if you need it, and even how to be the best support system possible if you know any survivors.

So, before you close out October, here's a brief run-through of what you need to know about domestic violence, whether you're going through it, survived it, or know someone who has.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Vulnerable Stories That Were Shared This World Mental Health Day

Everyone has a mental health experience. These creators bravely shared their stories with us.

8281

Everyone has a mental health story. Whether it's a story that's shared publicly or privately, it's something that has the ability to make a big impact in someone's life. For many, these mental health stories are ongoing, ever-changing in how they play a part in an individual's life.

Odyssey believes in the community that can be formed when these stories are shared. As October 10 was World Mental Health Day, many of our creators took the opportunity to speak out about their personal struggles with mental illnesses.

Keep Reading... Show less
Fox Atomic

Halloween is days away and that means that November is basically here, aka the holiday season. I love Halloween movies, preferably the ones that are more cute or funny than innately scary.

If October has been a crazy busy month for you, you may have forgotten to watch some of your favorite Halloween movies, but you still have time! This week I know I have been bingeing my favorites, and you need to add some of these to your list if you need to get in the last minute Halloween spooky spirit.

Keep Reading... Show less
ABC

Don't get me wrong, we definitely saw some red flags from Clare in episodes one and two of this season of "The Bachelorette," but after (spoiler alert) Yosef got sent home last night, she's quickly become the villain of her own season, waving some pretty bright red flags we can no longer ignore.

To get more specific, last night Chris Harrison told the guys they'd all be getting dates after Clare canceled the cocktail party following the fight with Yosef (please let this be the last time I have to think about this a**hole). Unfortunately for the men, Clare also ended up completely ditching the first group date she promised them. Yes, that's right, she stood up the men who were supposed to have a fun day with her and showed up hours later without an apology (or a reason).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments