FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2021
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MAYOR DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES PAY EQUITY CABINET TO FIGHT RACE AND GENDER BASED WAGE DISPARITIES
City Hall veteran Dina Simon appointed to lead the Cabinet
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced a new Pay Equity Cabinet to address race and gender-based pay disparities in New York City. An Executive Order will make the Cabinet a permanent part of City government to ensure that pay equity is a mayoral priority into the future.
“Pay equity is critical to the safety and overall wellbeing of the most marginalized and vulnerable workers in our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It can make the difference between having one job or two, or between stable housing or none. This Administration has taken bold steps to combat the forces of inequality that hold people back, and this cabinet builds upon the progress we have made to close the pay gap and ensure every New Yorker is treated with the respect they deserve.”
“Immigrants and people of color, essential workers who carried us through the bleakest days of the pandemic, are at the forefront of the fight for equal pay,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “New York City continues to pave the way with Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law and other workplace protections, and the Pay Equity Cabinet is a bold step toward closing the race and gender pay gap once and for all.”
Building on the work of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE), the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), and the Commission on Gender Equity (CGE), the Pay Equity Cabinet will use the intersection of gender, race and tenure to address the factors contributing to pay inequity across the City. Starting next month, senior leadership within city government will be invited to join the Cabinet and working groups will be formed to begin making recommendations for immediate and long term strategies to tackle wage disparity. More specifically, the Cabinet will explore ideas including:
A “blind recruitment” process across agencies to remove identifiers related to race and gender.
A uniform policy with clear criteria for promotions and guidance on how to reduce salary inequities for discretionary roles that are the same or comparable.
A third-party evaluation of civil service titles, starting with positions that have discrepancies of $10,000 or more between race and/or gender.
A higher wage floor for lower-wage, entry-level frontline positions through collective bargaining.
“It’s an honor to lead the inaugural Pay Equity Cabinet and continue my lifelong mission to uplift and support employees to thrive,” said Dina Simon, Executive Director of the Pay Equity Cabinet. “To advance the Cabinet’s important work, I look forward to launching impactful programs and policies in support of women and BIPOC New Yorkers in the workplace to attract and retain the best and brightest in City government. I also want to thank Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray for making gender and race equity a top priority and giving me this great opportunity to serve New York City and help reimagine the future of the public sector workplace.”
Gender and racial equity have been top priorities since the beginning of the de Blasio administration. Under the Mayor’s leadership, the City created the first ever Commission on Gender Equity, strengthened human rights laws to protect caregivers, expanded lactation accommodations, and passed extensive sick and safe leave legislation. New York City was also the first municipality to institute a Salary History Ban, which makes it illegal for public and private employers to ask about an applicant’s salary history during the hiring process. These measures helped break the cycle of workplace inequity that perpetuates lower salaries for women and minorities.
About Dina Simon
Dina Simon will serve as Executive Director of the Pay Equity Cabinet. Dina brings more than 20 years of senior leadership in local government positions, including as an integral member of the Taskforce on Racial Equity and Inclusion. She has robust experience in local government and has held senior leadership positions, including Human Resources Director at NYC Office of the Comptroller, Deputy Commissioner of Human Resources at NYC Department of Correction, First Deputy Commissioner at NYC Department of Correction, Senior Advisor to the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor at the NYC Department of Veterans’ Services, and Chief of Staff at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Dina holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Long Island University, C.W. Post, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from SUNY Brockport.
Dawn Pinnock, Executive Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Jacqueline M. Ebanks, Executive Director of the Commission on Gender Equity will continue as co-chairs of the Pay Equity Cabinet.
“To best serve all New Yorkers, the City workforce should reflect the diversity of all New Yorkers. Building and sustaining a diverse workforce means creating opportunities and taking on barriers like pay inequity,” said Dawn Pinnock, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and Co-chair of the Pay Equity Cabinet. “The Pay Equity Cabinet will help address the root causes of pay inequity and marshal the City’s resources to meet this challenge. Equity is a core value at DCAS and is central to everything we do. I’m proud to bring this commitment to the Pay Equity Cabinet and to build upon the work we do at DCAS every day.”
“Achieving pay equity is central to ensuring the health, safety, and overall well-being of all New Yorkers, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. As we have seen during the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, New Yorkers of color, women, immigrants, and those with caregiving responsibilities were the hardest hit and are having the most difficult time recovering,” said Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director, New York City Commission on Gender Equity and Co-Chair of the Pay Equity Cabinet. “At CGE, we have prioritized achieving pay equity since our founding in 2015 and I look forward to working with Executive Director Simon to see this mandate through.”
“For too long people of color have been underpaid and undervalued having never realized their full earning potential because of institutional inequities,” said Sideya Sherman, Executive Director of the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. “Today’s announcement is a critical step to break the cycle of wage disparity to ensure that Every New Yorker receives equal pay for equal work.”
“I commend the administration for taking this bold step toward addressing the longstanding race and gender pay gaps in our city,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “The median annual salary in our city is more than $20,000 higher for men than for women, and the divide is even greater when race enters into the equation. The reasons for pay inequity are systemic discrimination and racism. We need to stop the perpetuation of these inequities in our culture.”
“Economic justice in our city starts with ensuring all New Yorkers regardless of their race, gender, sex, or sexuality are paid fairly and equally for their work. Many of our municipal workers are immigrants, people of color, women and others that were on the frontlines during the pandemic as essential workers keeping our city safe,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “They deserve not only our gratitude for their service, but a commitment that we will continue to fight against pay discrimination in our municipal workforce. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for prioritizing pay parity with the creation of the Pay Equity Cabinet and my sisters in the Women’s Caucus, CWA Local 1180, PowHer NY, and all the advocates that have been pushing to eliminate the wage gap in our city.”
“The launch of the new Pay Equity Cabinet is a positive step forward in the ongoing fight to eliminate wage disparities, particularly for women, immigrants, and people of color,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “All New Yorkers deserve equal pay for equal work, and I look forward to seeing the impact of the Cabinet’s efforts to help achieve pay equity.”
“As the Chair of Women and Gender Equity and Councilwoman for 37th Council District, I understand firsthand the importance of addressing race and gender-based disparities throughout City government,” said Council Member Darma Diaz. “As the Chair of Women and Gender Equity and Councilwoman for 37th Council District, I understand firsthand the importance of addressing race and gender-based disparities throughout City government. These systematic disparities coupled with the COVID 19 Pandemic have adversely impacted our communities. Equal pay for equal work is a right, not a privilege. I strongly believe that workers should be paid their whole dollar, despite their gender or race. I commend the Mayor for creating a permanent Pay Equity Cabinet to address and ultimately end race and gender-based disparities throughout City government.”
“For years, women of color have been underpaid and as a result overworked, juggling two or more jobs, in order to support their families. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the consequences of pay disparities that disproportionately affect Black and Latina women,” said Council Member Farah N. Louis. “These are the faces of our frontline and essential workers who risked their lives to care for others and keep our city open. The newly-announced Pay Equity Cabinet comes on the eve of Latina Equal Pay Day, recognizing that the future is female and that our city must do all that we can to promote equity and fairness. It is time to close the gender wage gap and end workplace discrimination.”