To mark Equal Pay Day on April 9, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced the members of his Women’s Workforce Council, including Elizabeth Hoenscheid, CEO of Top It Off, in West Roxbury.
"I am delighted and honored to be a part of Mayor Menino’s Women’s Workforce Council. There is a lot of work to be done to realize pay equity, and it’s an honor to be part of a great group of women who are shinning the spotlight on this important issue," said Hoenscheid to Patch.
The council will tackle challenges facing Boston’s working women with its first priority to address the wage gap, as Boston seeks to become the first major city to achieve pay equity for women. Council members include women from leaders in engineering, medicine, law, technology and retail sectors, and include small business owners, entrepreneurs, senior executives, as well as academic, labor and nonprofit leaders.
“Pay equity is about fairness,” said Menino. “When women are earning the same as men, it makes it easier to manage student loan debt, save for retirement and care for their families. It’s the right thing for women, for families and for our community. I’m looking forward to working with this impressive group of women business leaders to ensure our working women a level playing field.”
Hoenscheid harkened back to a former Massachusetts politician.
"On the 50th anniversary of the 'Equal Pay Day,' it is time to rededicate the efforts to achieve the goal of President Kennedy. Unequal pay for equal work should not be something that Americans tolerate, not for women, not for anybody," said Hoenscheid.
"Women in the United States are paid on an average of 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male colleagues - Boston is a little better - women earn 83 cents for every dollar our male colleagues make. This is true for every step along the career ladder. If a women is elected mayor of Boston, should she automatically be paid 17 percent less than Mayor Menino? If Top It Off hired a male CEO, should he automatically make 17 cents more per hour than me because of his gender. Of course the answers are no. The same must be held true for every job and position in our great country," said Hoenscheid.
"We must make that gap disappear through a combination of continued awareness and training. We need to break down the societal norms that have historically brought us here," said Hoenscheid. "And as important, we need to build skills in our girls and women that empower them to demand their worth. Skills such as negotiation are essential. It has been 50 years in the making but the time is now for true equal pay for equal work."
Members of the council include:
- Cathy Minehan, Dean of the School of Management, Simmons College (Chair)
- Tricia Adams, Co-Owner, Marla’s Obsessions
- Ruth Bramson, CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass.
- Victoria Budson, Executive Director, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School
- Elizabeth Hoenscheid, CEO, Top it Off
- Dr. Paula Johnson, Chief, Division of Women’s Health, Brigham & Women’s Hospital; Executive Director, Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology
- Trish Karter, CEO, LightEffect Farms
- Zorica Pantic, President, Wentworth Institute of Technology
- Kelly Pelagrini, Co-Founder, Charlestown Nursery School
- Alison Quirk, EVP, Chief of Human Resources and Corporate Citizenship, State Street
- Priti Rao, Executive Director, Mass. Women’s Political Caucus
- Micho Spring, President, New England, Weber Shandwick
- Jennifer Springer, General Counsel, SEIU Local 888 and EVP-at-Large, Mass AFL-CIO
- Beth Williams, CEO and President, Roxbury Technology Corp.
- Raquel Webster, Senior Counsel, National Grid
- Wendy Zinn, Executive Director, Huntington Avenue YMCA