Today, the Governor’s Office hosts an equal pay summit in downtown Baton Rouge. Co-chair of the summit Aprill Springfield says equal pay is good for families, businesses, and the state. She says women make up about half of Louisiana’s workforce but live in the second highest rate of poverty in the US.
“Closing the pay gap could free up as much as 11 billion more dollars that consumers in the state would have in hand to reinvest in the economy,” Springfield said.
Springfield says the three panel summit will cover the facts about pay equity, business solutions and practices, and a call to action. She says pay equity would also help the state by moving more people off government assistance programs. She says Louisiana’s wage gap equates to more than $16,000 a year.
“That is a year’s worth of mortgage payments, more than a year’s worth of rent, childcare. It can mean a huge difference to working families,” Springfield said.
Springfield says equal pay boosts productivity in the workplace, helps with recruiting, and increases competitiveness. She says an equal pay bill died in last year’s legislative session, and they’re hoping with this call to action that pay equity can finally be achieved in Louisiana.
“Ninety percent of people in the state, and as businesses start realizing that this makes businesses stronger and more competitive, they’ll start talking to legislators and hopefully we will have success this session,” Springfield said.