On Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Women’s Foundation Encourages Policymakers to Remove Salary History from Hiring Process

Banning salary history inquiries in hiring shown to help break the cycle of pay inequity

KANSAS CITY – Ahead of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on August 22, marking the day when black women’s earnings finally catch up to those of white men, the Women’s Foundation is pressing policymakers to close the pay gap by banning salary history inquiries in hiring.

Black women make just 61 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men, and salary history inquiries make it harder for women to close the gap. Kansas City recently adopted an ordinance barring employers from asking job applicants about their salary history, and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page did the same for county government hiring.

“It’s a basic issue of fairness: equal work deserves equal pay,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation. “The pay gap facing black women is staggering and unacceptable – undermining our economy, harming our communities, and short-changing millions of women across the country. That’s why we’re intensifying our efforts to enact policies that will close the pay gap – and salary history bans is one of those solutions. A woman’s unfairly low previous salary should never be the basis for her new one. Leaders in Kansas City and St. Louis have led the way on this issue and it’s time for other state and local leaders to follow suit. Removing salary history inquiries from the hiring process can help break this cycle and, combined with other common-sense policies to promote pay equity, can help close the pay gap once and for all.”

In addition to pushing for salary history bans, last year the Women’s Foundation joined the American Association of University Women and former Kansas City 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. To register for a free, online salary negotiation workshop, visit: https://salary.aauw.org/

Women nationwide are typically paid 80 percent of what men are paid, and women of color face pay disparities that are far wider. The gender pay gap widens to 61 cents for Black women, 58 cents for Native American women and 53 cents for Latinas.