Pay Equity Advocates Urge Support for Kansas City Ordinance to Ban Salary History Inquiries in Hiring

KANSAS CITY – The Women’s Foundation and the Women’s Employment Network today announced their support for a local ordinance to combat the gender pay gap by banning employers from asking about a job applicant’s salary history. Ordinance No. 190380 is being considered by the Kansas City Council’s Transportation & Infrastructure Committee today. The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Scott Wagner, would make Kansas City the 15th municipality to adopt such a ban.

“Women in the Kansas City region make just 79 cents for every dollar made by men, and research has shown that these pay gaps often follow women throughout their careers,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation. “No woman should be denied equal pay for equal work just because her last job paid her less than her male colleagues. This ordinance will help break the cycle of pay inequity and ensure women aren’t held back or discriminated against because of their previous salaries. We thank Councilman Wagner for working to break down barriers to equity and ensure equal pay for equal work.”

In Kansas City the overall gender pay ratio for the Kansas City metro area is 79 percent (a 21 percent gap).

“Giving women the tools to shape their own futures and secure sustainable employment will do more than increase their paychecks – it will also improve our entire economy,” said Sherry Turner, CEO of Women’s Employment Network. “This ordinance will build on the progress WEN and our partners have made by making sure women are paid based on their skills and experience and not limited by their previous salaries.”

Last year, the Women’s Foundation joined the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Mayor Sly James to announce AAUW Work Smart in Kansas City, the first phase of a large-scale initiative to help close the gender pay gap by empowering 1 million women to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits across Kansas and Missouri. WEN has hosted multiple salary negotiation trainings in the region, giving women the skills needed to negotiate the pay and benefits they deserve.

In 2015, Women's Foundation developed pay equity best practices in partnership with the University of Missouri. The Pay Equity Best Practice Guidelines seek to improve standards for pay equity and achieve measurable results with best practices for employers in both the private and public sectors.

The full report and guidelines are available at

More information about the Women’s Employment network is at: