New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.
At a meeting held Feb. 9, the New Orleans City Council unanimously voted to create a new committee to provide the council with expertise on matters of pay equity and wage discrimination. It's part of a broader campaign
by the Council and city officials to combat the dismal state of pay equity in Louisiana, where women make as little as 48 cents
on the dollar to men's earnings.
The ordinance establishing the committee describes the damaging cumulative effects of pay discrimination on women. Over a lifetime, lower wages mean women are less likely to be able to invest in continuing education to improve employment prospects. It's also harder to purchase a home, inhibiting wealth-building, and to plan for retirement.
"Job creation and economic opportunity are critical issues for women, many of whom struggle with economic insecurity and wage discrimination throughout their lives," the ordinance said. "Pay equity is not just a matter of fairness but the key to mothers and families making ends meet."
The committee, which was proposed last month by District D Councilman Jared Brossett and District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, will include representatives appointed by councilmembers, as well as delegates from the Office of Workforce Development and the Civil Service Department.