Equal Pay Executive Order Issued at Women's Foundation Annual Luncheon

Arianna Huffington, Governor Jay Nixon, Mayor Sly James Inspire Largest Crowd Ever To Keep Working For Change

Kansas City, MO – Today, the Women’s Foundation capped a year of results for women of all ages as Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed an executive order to advance equal pay for equal work at their annual luncheon. Mayor Sly James announced a new partnership with the Women’s Foundation to address workplace barriers for women and increase family friendly policies. International icon Arianna Huffington headlined the annual luncheon, inspiring the audience of nearly 1,600 people to lead in their communities.

During the Women’s Foundation luncheon, Governor Jay Nixon signed Executive Order #15-09, to promote gender pay equity in the workplace by directing state agencies and encouraging private sector organizations to use best practice guidelines to identify and address gender wage gaps.

“Last year, we challenged ourselves to work for change to address real issues such as equal pay with real solutions,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of Women’s Foundation. “Our work is paying off with real results for women and their families.”

Governor Jay Nixon signs EO #15-09 regarding equal pay with Women's Foundation's President & CEO Wendy Doyle.

Governor Jay Nixon signs EO #15-09 regarding equal pay with Women's Foundation's President & CEO Wendy Doyle.

“We need to ensure that all Missourians are getting a fair shake and an equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream,” Gov. 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.”

In late 2014, the Women’s Foundation announced initial findings from a comprehensive statewide research project with the University of Missouri that showed women in Missouri are paid only 71 cents to the dollar men make. 

Since that time, the Women’s Foundation has been working with policy makers to find solutions to close the gender pay gap, including supporting bipartisan legislation and raising awareness around the issue to educate and generate public support. In addition they have been developing equal pay best practices in partnership with the University of Missouri, and will release the final guidelines in April 2016.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who opened the luncheon, announced a new partnership between Women’s Foundation and the city of Kansas City to address issues and encourage family-friendly workplace policies. The new initiative, When Work Works, is part of a national campaign that provides benchmarking to businesses and rates them in the areas of workplace flexibility, paid leave policies and more. The project will be administered in Kansas City as well as statewide in Missouri and Kansas. 

“As Mayor, I like to work with people who get things done. Because I like to keep my promises,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “And I know when I call on the Women's Foundation, they will deliver results.”

The Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using philanthropy, research and policy solutions to make meaningful change.  More information about the organization can be found at www.Womens-Foundation.org.