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Bynum And Commission On The Status Of Women Launch Pledge Aimed At Closing Local Gender Pay Gap

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum is challenging local businesses to help close the city’s gender pay gap by signing a pay equity pledge.

The Tulsa Pay Equity Pledge was proposed by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women after the city audited its employee pay and found disparities.

Tulsa County women earn 84 cents to every dollar earned by men. Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women Vice Chair Dr. Meg Morgan said employers taking the pledge promise to tackle a variety of contributing issues.

"One especially problematic practice employers do … is asking women for their salary history. Beyond that, we know that certain biases may lead to different practices when writing job ads, reviewing resumes or interviewing candidates for jobs, and the research shows less than half of women negotiate for their salary," Morgan said.

Bynum said part of achieving his goal of making Tulsa a world-class city is addressing pay disparity.

"Tulsa has to be a city of opportunity for everyone," Bynum said.

Hilti North America COO Karl Neumaier said it was easy for them to be among the first employers to sign the pledge.

"If we have a stronger community with more equitable communities, it creates a better environment for all of us in the business community when it comes to recruiting, developing and promoting women and other communities that we need to take care of right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma," Neumaier said.

When the pledge was announced Wednesday, 13 employers had signed it: Arvest Bank, BOK Financial, Hilti, Matrix Service Company, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Schnake Turnbo Frank, Selser Schafer Architects, TTCU, Tulsa County, Tulsa International Airport, Tulsa Regional Chamber and Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation/Mother Road Market.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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