“It persists that we’re not being paid equally.”
Business and Professional Women of Boulder is a volunteer run, membership based organization that was established in 1923. BPW Boulder President Sharon Simmons says the mission is “to build full participation, equity, and economic self-sufficiency for working women. Together we are powerful: professionally, personally, and politically.”
Recently BPW Boulder has been working on legislative issues, particularly those concerning equal pay for women. Simmons says they are trying to reinstate a state-wide study into wages. She says that to move forward with pay equity, real data on wages in the state is needed. “They had a committee for pay equity and it started up years ago and it was supposed to run for 10-15 years but it cut off at 4 years and the reason that was in the media and in the newspapers and on the web was that somebody complained that it was costing tax payer money.”
Right now, according to statistics from the Bureau of Labor, women in the state are earning about 78 cents for every $1 that men made in 2013. That is a widening of the pay gay as in 2003, women were earning 84 cents for every $1 that men made. “It persists that we’re not being paid equally.”
Simmons says that in addition to the pay equity issue, there are many other issues facing working women in the county. “We hear about housing, we hear about being able to survive in Boulder, it’s expensive to survive in Boulder, that’s a big issue.”
Another area that BPW Boulder is working on having Boulder sign on to CEDAW (United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). The United States is one of 5 countries that have not signed off on this treaty.
BPW Boulder meets on the third Thursday of each month for dinner or lunch. Once a quarter, BPW Boulder has a Meet & Greet on the last Thursday of the month.