Highlights Commitment to Engage Directly with Private Employers Across the State
BOSTON — State Treasurer Deb Goldberg and her statewide Advisory Committee on Wage Equality will host a panel discussion this afternoon at the UMass Center-Springfield. They will collaborate with business and thought leaders from across the Springfield region to explore and develop best practices to close the wage gap.
“Wage equality is not just a family issue, but an economic issue that affects the health and well-¬being of our entire state,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “These regional roundtables will help coordinate the strategies that will close the wage gap across both the public and private sectors.”
Today’s discussion will be the first in a series of five regional roundtables, where the Treasurer and her Advisory Committee solicit input on closing the wage gap from business leaders, academics, and employees. The Committee will then use this data to develop a wage equality toolkit for businesses and organizations.
The panel will include: Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts; Heriberto Flores, President and CEO of the New England Farm Workers’ Council; Denis Guyer, Operations and Special Projects Manager at Jane Iredale Cosmetics; Ellen Kennedy, President of Berkshire Community College; Betsy Larsen, Vice President for Compensation at MassMutual; Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; and Karl Petrick, Assistant Professor of Economics at Western New England University.
In March Treasurer Goldberg announced the creation of a new statewide Advisory Committee on Wage Equality, focused on helping both government agencies and private employers to review their pay structure and put a clearer focus on pay equity in hiring decisions and salary offers. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a leader on wage equality through his Women’s Workforce Council, serves as the honorary chair of the committee.
“We are thrilled Treasurer Goldberg has made wage equity a top priority,” said Elizabeth Barajas-Roman, CEO of the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts and a member of the Advisory Committee on Wage Equality. “The Office of Economic Empowerment is a new and powerful tool that will help Massachusetts lead the way on this important issue for women and families.”
“Addressing the issue of wage equality is something that is long overdue,” said Senator James T. Welch. “Treasurer Goldberg is showing real leadership by hosting these regional roundtables.”
“I admire and celebrate Treasurer Goldberg and the Office of Economic Empowerment for holding a roundtable discussion on wage equity in the city of Springfield,” said Representative Carlos Gonzalez. “Such discussions, which include the input of the business community, the general public and members of the legislature among many others, are vital if we are ever to close the wage gap that would ultimately strengthen our Commonwealth’s economy and family system.”