Timed to National Equal Pay Day on April 2, Jennifer Siebel Newsom (who is married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and prefers to use the title “first partner” rather than “first lady”) has teamed with state politicians and the gender equality organization Time’s Up to unveil an awareness campaign to close the pay gap in California.
Together with California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su and The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Newsom on Monday launched #EqualPayCA with the goal of educating employees, employers and labor unions, as well as the public, about the issues. They have signed 13 inaugural corporate partners — including Airbnb, Apple, AT&T, Shutterfly and Square — to a pledge that commits them to conducting annual gender pay analyses at their companies, as well as reviewing hiring and promotion processes to enact best practices.
Because every good cause needs a shirt, there will be a “Time’s Up Pay Up” shirt released with Prinkshop, a female-owned company whose products are made in the U.S. with non-profit and women-owned factories.
“California has the strongest equal pay laws in the nation — but there is still more work to do,” Newsom said in a statement. “That’s why I applaud these California companies for their commitment to pay equity, and why I am excited to partner with the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and Time’s Up to continue to work toward closing the pay gap. Together we can uplift California women to ensure a more equitable future for all.”
“Across industries, women in the workforce earn less money than men do, and women of color often lose out the most,” said Rebecca Goldman, interim chief executive officer of Time’s Up. “The time for equal pay for all women is now.”
Equal Pay Day is a symbolic day dedicated to bringing awareness to the wage divide; in the U.S. the date represents how far into the year women need to work to earn the same wage that men earned in the previous year. In 2018, several fashion brands launched initiatives around the day, including Tamara Mellon, Adidas, Alice + Olivia and Burton.