AAUW and Boston Mayor Collaborate to Close the Gender Pay Gap

September 28, 2015


Did you know that in 2014, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 79 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 21 percent? With the slowing progress we’ve seen in the last decade, that overall gender pay gap won’t close for more than 100 years. For women of color, it will be even longer. AAUW is not willing to wait that long. Women can’t afford to wait that long, so we’re taking action.

Last year, AAUW asked President Obama to take action to increase pay transparency and accountability for federal contractors, and he did. We are working hard on Capitol Hill and in statehouses across the country to pass legislation that will close the gender pay gap. And we’re urging CEOs to proactively address the gap in their own companies and bosses to address their biases. As we continue to fight for the structural changes that women need, we’re also giving women tools they can use to improve their lives today.

According to AAUW’s 2012 research, women just one year out of college already face a 18 percent pay gap. The gap increases over the course of a woman’s career to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. One possible explanation for a portion of the pay gap is a gender difference in willingness to negotiate salary. Negotiating a salary can make a real difference in earnings, and men are more likely than women to negotiate their salaries. The AAUW Start Smart and Work Smart salary negotiation workshops help break down that barrier. Designed to empower women with the skills and confidence they need to know their worth and successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages, these workshops have already reached thousands of college students and working women.

Now we’re taking these programs to the next level. Together with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, we will bring the AAUW Work Smart salary negotiation workshop to half of the working women in Boston over the next five years. With more than 85,000 Boston women expected to be trained in salary negotiation by 2020, Boston will become a model for the rest of the nation, and the city’s 16 percent gender pay gap will take a hit.

Work Smart: Salary negotiation for women


More important, the women of Boston who attend an AAUW Work Smart salary negotiation workshop will start to see the benefits in their paychecks. They will feel better knowing that their families are getting their fair share and that their daughters are growing up in a city that cares about them. All women can benefit from seeing stereotypes about women in the workplace broken down. AAUW is fully committed to making this bold and necessary vision a reality, and we are delighted to engage in this vital effort in Boston. Working with the mayor and the Office of Women’s Advancement, we will close the pay gap in this city, and with your help we will close the gender pay gap across the United States.

Not in Boston? You can bring an AAUW Start Smart or Work Smart salary negotiation workshop to students on your local campus or working women in your community. Learn more about these two-hour salary negotiation workshops and how the gender pay gap affects you.

By:   |   September 28, 2015