Governor Edwards, First Lady host equal pay summit
BATON ROUGE – Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards hosted the Louisiana Equal Pay Summit on Friday morning.
The summit was held in collaboration with the Governor's Office on Women's Policy.
According to officials, the summit was an expression of Governor Edwards' commitment to advancing equal pay for women and families in the state.
Edwards said that equal pay for equal work is the "right thing to do" and will also be a positive factor for state businesses and economies.
"With our state ranking the worst in the nation when it comes to pay disparity between male and female workers at 66 cents on the dollar, we know that closing this gap will bring increased economic prosperity to families, businesses and the state," he said.
Governor Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards both spoke at the summit. Additionally, there were three panel discussions focused on the wage gap in Louisiana, the economic development case for passing equal pay legislation and a call to action for citizens who want to voice their support.
"When women bring home a paycheck that is only 66 percent of what their male counterparts earn, the entire family suffers," First Lady Donna Edwards said.
Additionally, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome expressed her support to close the gender pay gap.
"I have been a long time champion of equal pay and I will continue to do everything that I can to raise awareness and develop solutions to address this issue," Mayor Broome said. "I'm also glad to support our Governor and First Lady's efforts too because when we as a city and state come together, businesses and employees benefit --it's a win-win for everyone."
The mayor also said that she is committed to working with the City Parish to acknowledge the critical role businesses play in reducing the pay gap by reviewing hiring and promotion processes and partnering with officials on the local, state and federal level to promote equal pay.