ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Women have been fighting for equal pay for years. Now, the City of Albuquerque has taken a big step toward making it happen in more businesses.
Danielle McPhaul dreams of being a designer. “I plan on working in the costume industry, so this is like a great starting point,” Danielle told KRQE News 13. She’s currently serving an internship at Off Broadway, a vintage clothing and costume shop in Nob Hill.
“It’s really laid back here,” Danielle said. While she hasn’t entered the work-force in her field just yet, Danielle, like most people, wants to be treated and paid equally.
“I think people think that it’s already equal, until they like look at their paycheck and they’re like, ‘wow I’m being paid less than my co-workers,'” she said.
Still, national statistics show women are paid on average 23 percent less than men in the same roles. According to the White House Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women report, two-thirds of women function as the primary or co-bread winners for their families.
“Something better has to be done,” Gilbert Montaño, Mayor Richard J. Berry’s Chief of Staff, told KRQE News 13.
As of last week, the City of Albuquerque is now offering incentives to any business applying for city contracts, if they can prove men and women are paid within 10 percent of each other.
Montaño said the goal is zero percent. “In order to get there, we want to start the businesses down at least some sort of path,” he explained.
Already, three business applicants with the city have met that standard.
“In the long run, it’s going to be very fruitful,” said Montaño.
“It’s a long time coming, I know that this has been an issue gosh since when I started the work force,” said Ken Ansloan, Manager of Off Broadway, referring to equal gender pay. He said Off Broadway pays employees equally and promotes fairness.
The city hopes its incentive will encourage more businesses to follow suit, and pave the way for people like Danielle.
“I just want to design clothes and get paid the same as everyone else,” Danielle said.
The city evaluated the workforce in Albuquerque, and found men and women in the same roles are currently paid within about five percent of each other. That margin has shrunk since 2013.