Virginia needs workplaces to be supportive of families, not counter to them; it’s simply good for people and society. Oftentimes, this requires legal frameworks to reinforce and incentivize employers to follow family-friendly policies, including equal pay, paid sick leave and maternal as well aspaternal leave. When our workplaces support families, everyone wins. But since women still bare the majority of household work on top of professional work, these workplace policies benefit women especially.
The gender pay gap has to be closed. When I served as a Commissioner on Seattle’s Women’s Commission (appointed during law school), I chaired initiatives to promote transparency in payrolls, encourage young women to follow STEM careers (starting in the fifth grade), and disaggregate data beyond simply gender so that the discrepancy could highlight and account for the even larger gaps that exist for women of color.
During my time in Geneva working with the United Nations, I led the #equalpayday women’s rally and walk out based on the fact that women (even internationally and even within the UN system) make 20% less than our male counterparts. So, we all walked out 20% early that day in protest. As these examples demonstrate, I am not afraid to call out employers on their shortcomings and as a legislator, I promise to promote these policies so less businesses can be called out and more can be praised. I would work to require that employers provide at least12 weeks paid family and medical leave and I would fight for pay equity by signing Paycheck Fairness Acts into law.