On Friday, December 4, 2015, Governor Jay Nixon signed Executive Order 15-09, directing state agencies and encouraging private employers to “identify and address any gender wage gaps by utilizing Preliminary Guidelines and eventually the Pay Equity Best Practice Guidelines” (forthcoming, Erickson et al, 2016). The IPP team traveled to Kansas City to attend the annual Women’s Foundation Luncheon and to witness Governor Nixon’s signature, on one of those rare and rewarding occasions when research leads to policy change.
“We need to ensure that all Missourians are getting a fair shake and an equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” Governor Nixon said, “Shortchanging 50 percent of the workforce is bad for women, it’s bad for families, and it’s bad for our entire economy. Equal work deserves equal pay – period. My executive order sends a strong message that Missouri intends to be a leader in creating an economy of opportunity that works for everyone.”2
Governor Nixon signed the order at the Women’s Foundation Luncheon held at the Sheraton Hotel, in Kansas City, in front of a crowd of 1,600 attendees, sharing the stage with other such notables as Kansas City Mayor, Sly James, Women’s Foundation CEO, Wendy Doyle and Keynote Speaker, Co- Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington.
In 2014, the Women’s Foundation contracted with the Institute of Public Policy, of the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri, to examine the Status of Women in Missouri. That comprehensive report, released in December 2014, led to legislative efforts, public awareness and education on wage disparity, among other issues affecting women. The Institute and Women’s Foundation will work together on finalizing the Pay Equity Best Practices Guidelines.
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