Mayor Menino Kicks Off Programming to Make Boston Premier City for Working Women
“Women on Main” roundtable discussion, salary negotiation workshop first in series of events
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For Immediate Release
March 14, 2013
Released By:
Mayor's Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Press.Office@cityofboston.gov

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced the first two pieces of programming to support his efforts to make Boston the premier city for working women. In his 2013 State of the City address, Mayor Menino announced a new “Women on Main” initiative for 2013 to better serve and connect women business owners throughout Boston’s Main Streets districts. He also announced the City of Boston would become the first municipality in the country to help women negotiate for fair pay. A small group of women entrepreneurs will meet with the Mayor and Director of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development, Sheila Dillon, Friday morning for a roundtable discussion that will help shape the “Women on Main” initiative. On Monday evening, the City will host its first free salary negotiation workshop at City Hall.

“Just a few short weeks ago, I said we would focus our efforts in 2013 to make Boston the premier city for working women,” Mayor Menino said. “I’m proud to announce today our progress, and the exciting programming we’ll offer over the next few days for working women in the City of Boston. We can certainly do better when it comes to pay equity for women and overcoming hurdles female business owners face. These two events are just the start in addressing these issues and advocating for the women of our city.”

“Women on Main” Roundtable Discussion

According to the US Census Bureau, fewer than 30 percent of businesses in Boston are owned by women. While this puts Boston on par with national averages, the numbers fall short of aspirations for the City of Boston and its working women. Women business owners are a vital part of the City’s Main Streets districts, and in turn are a vital part of Boston’s neighborhoods. The “Women on Main” networking group will strive to better connect businesses to one another and foster peer to peer learning. “Women on Main” will also enable the City to learn more about their unique challenges, so we can help businesses get the tools they need to grow and thrive.

“As the Mayor always says, the strength of Boston is in our neighborhoods,” said DND Director Dillon. “It’s critical to the economic health of our city that we ensure that all of our neighborhood businesses are strong and have the best possible resources available to them.  That’s why receiving input from these women entrepreneurs is so vital. We are pleased to join the Mayor in hosting this important conversation, which will help us enhance the services the City offers our women-owned businesses.”

Friday morning’s roundtable discussion will include a series of exercises and discussion around specific topics and gather input from attendees on what the initiative should look like, what it should aspire to achieve, and how the initiative should be structured to best serve Boston’s women business owners.

How to Get Paid What You're Worth: A Salary Negotiation Workshop

A recent report from the American Association of University Women revealed that recent female college graduates are only making 82% of their male classmates. Even after controlling for the many factors that might affect earnings – from GPA to weekly hours worked to industry sector – women graduates are only making 93% of the earnings of their male peers. And, regardless of age, pay inequity persists throughout the State of Massachusetts and in Boston. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in Boston who are working full-time earn 81% as much as their male counterparts, as a percentage of the median weekly wage.

As one of the youngest cities in the country, Boston cannot afford to allow young women to begin their professional lives at an unfair financial deficit. Together with local partners, we will remedy this gap – starting with giving young women the skills to negotiate for fair salaries. Monday evening’s highly interactive, nuts-and-bolts workshop, entitled Work $mart, will focus on salary negotiations for working women in any sector. It is designed to give participants the tools, techniques, strategy and confidence to get paid fairly. The workshop is being offered jointly by the City of Boston and the WAGE Project. The WAGE Project is a grassroots, action-oriented organization dedicated to enabling every working woman in America to be paid what she is worth. The session will be hosted by Evelyn Murphy, Ph.D economist, former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts, and the founder and President of the WAGE Project.

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