By Donita Naylor The Providence Journal, R.I.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Saying that pay equity for women is a building block of economic development, Mayor Angel Taveras on Tuesday unveiled a three-step plan that he said he would institute as governor to help Rhode Island's women achieve equal pay for equal work.
"This isn't just about fixing an out-of-date law. It is about setting the tone and building a culture of how business should be done in Rhode Island," Taveras said.
His plan would strengthen penalties for businesses that violate Rhode Island's pay equity laws and conduct a state workers' pay equity audit.
He would also continue the effort he made as mayor to appoint women to at least half the openings on boards and commissions.
Several Rhode Island women business owners stood with the Mayor in support of his proposal, including Margaret Carlton, owner of Craftland; Karen Beebe, owner of Queen of Hearts and Modern Love; and Jan Faust Dane, owner of Stock Culinary Goods.
The announcement was made at Craftland on Westminster Street downtown.
"Women across the state are being paid less, despite having the same qualifications and doing the same work -- and this isn't fair to our working families, our daughters, and our future workforce," Taveras said.
"With many families relying on two paychecks to get by, and with many women now serving as the primary breadwinners in their family, it is vital that those paychecks reflect equal pay for equal work."