Governor Bullock, Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Task Force Release Recommendations to Narrow the Gender Wage Gap

A woman working on pottery project MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock and the Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Task Force today released the final report from the Task Force under his administration, which highlights accomplishments and provides resources and recommendations to continue to narrow the gender wage gap.

“All Montanans deserve equal pay for an equally hard day’s work,” Governor Bullock said. “I established the Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Task Force because when we fight for equal pay, we fight for more money in the pockets of Montana’s hardworking families. What’s good for Montana’s families is good for our economy, and the work to close the gender pay gap must continue to ensure that all Montanans, regardless of race or gender, have equal opportunity to prosper.”

The report provides information for continuing efforts to narrow the gender wage gap and includes recommendations for individuals, employers, elected officials, and local governments. It encourages women to pursue educational and career paths in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) activities and learn effective wage negotiation strategies. It encourages employers to use fair hiring practices and pay competitive wages to recruit and retain a diverse and high-performing workforce, as well as to offer childcare solutions such as flexible work schedules, telework opportunities and on-site child care. The report also recommends implementing policies that promote paycheck transparency and paid family leave and provides a resource guide to implement changes similar to the resolution approved by the City of Bozeman to expand data collection, use best practices and commemorate Equal Pay Day.

In seven years, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Task Force has held Equal Pay Summits with as many as 300 attendees, proposed legislation to the Montana State Legislature designed to narrow the gender pay gap, partnered with the Department of Administration to conduct a pay equity audit of state government, hosted trainings/webinars to empower women in the workforce to negotiate for higher pay, worked with business owners to update internal policies, secured signatures from business owners, individuals and organizations across the state to take the Equal Pay for Equal Work Pledge, and showcased the stories of trailblazing Montana women succeeding in male-dominated industries in its 2020 Equal Pay Day Art Exhibit.

“Governor Bullock’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force has been a powerful agent for raising awareness and elevating the public conversation around the gender pay gap in the state since it was founded in 2013,” said Jen Euell, a member of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Task Force. “The Task Force has held three conferences educating and engaging diverse stakeholders in working together to solve the issue. In addition, the group has advocated for policy changes to advance equity, supported wage negotiation workshops for women, engaged workplaces in working toward equity and offered statewide outreach and training to continue to educate more of the public on how we all benefit from the advancement of women in Montana and how we can work toward equity together.”

Governor Bullock created the Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Taskforce less than a year into his administration to raise awareness of the gender pay gap and develop private-public partnerships to narrow Montana’s gap. Since 2013, the pay gap in Montana has narrowed from 68.4 percent to 73.2 percent. He recently extended the Task Force through 2022.

Find the report here and learn more about the Task Force at EQUALPAY.MT.GOV.

Tags: Equal Pay Task Force and Montana Department of Commerce