The state of California has joined over 60 employers in signing the Equal Pay Pledge, which is one of First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s initiatives to close the gender pay gap.

“This is so exciting because we’re really walking the walk and practicing what we preach,” Siebel Newsom said. “We’re hoping that as California goes, we can inspire other companies across the state.”  

What You Need To Know

  • California has joined companies such as Apple, Twitter and Adobe in signing the Equal Pay Pledge

  • The Equal Pay Pledge is one of First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s initiatives to advance pay and gender equity

  • The state is creating a new chief equity officer position to ensure pay equity in California’s government workforce

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint the chief equity officer later this year

As the state’s largest employer with 246,000 employees, Siebel Newsom said it was important to have California lead by example.

Employers that sign the Equal Pay Pledge agree to conduct an annual, company-wide gender pay analysis, review hiring and promotion procedures to reduce unconscious bias, and promote the best practices to close the pay gap.

While the Golden State has the strongest pay laws in the country, the First Partner notes there is still a lot of progress to be made.

Siebel Newsom said California will also create a chief equity officer position to help advance pay and gender equity. The chief equity officer will focus on improving hiring practices and ensure that the state’s government workforce represents its population.

“The Equal Pay Pledge and the chief equity officer are really value statements we want to institutionalize in California government and in the economy — around valuing women, seeing women, respecting women,” adds the First Partner. “We do that by closing the pay gap, which ultimately will address both the racial and the wealth gaps.”

The mother of four adds that she has been committed to gender equity since before she was First Partner and looks forward to continuing the work she’s started since she and Gov. Gavin Newsom arrived in Sacramento.  

“It’s so critical now more than ever, given the times, given the recent and occurring ‘shecession’ as a result of the pandemic and given that women are the backbones of their families and our communities and our economy,” she points out.

Siebel Newsom’s announcements came a month after the governor proposed spending $1.4 million to improve awareness of state pay equity rights.

According to data from the most recent Cal HR Women’s Earnings Report, the state worker gender pay gap has been trending downward since 2010. The latest statistics show the civil service gender pay gap was 21.3% in 2010 compared to 14.3% in 2020.

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