Women’s Foundation Celebrates Passage of Kansas City Ordinance to Combat the Gender Pay Gap

KANSAS CITY – In a victory for pay equity, the Kansas City Council today unanimously passed an ordinance to combat the gender pay gap by banning employers from asking about a job applicant’s salary history. Ordinance No. 19038, sponsored by Councilman Scott Wagner, makes Kansas City the 15th municipality to adopt such a policy.

“This a great step forward for pay equity that strengthens Kansas City's position as a national leader in promoting equity and opportunity for all,” said Wendy Doyle, Women’s Foundation President & CEO. “Women in Kansas City make just 79 cents for every dollar made by men – while women of color face even wider pay gaps, which can follow them throughout their careers. 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 and the entire City Council for embracing this sensible reform that will pay dividends for Kansas City families for many years to come."

In Kansas City, the overall gender pay ratio is 79 percent (a 21 percent gap). In Missouri and Kansas overall, women are paid 78 cents and 77 cents, respectively, for every dollar made by men.

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.

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 http://www.womens-foundation.org/equal-pay