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Professional women’s organizations in Milwaukee team up to address equity

(April 3, 2019, Milwaukee Business Journal)

Three professional women’s organizations in the Milwaukee area have teamed up to form a new collective focused on equity.

Professional Dimensions, Tempo Milwaukee and Milwaukee Women inc formed the Women’s Leadership Collaborative. The collective wants to address all instances of disparity and is starting with pay equity, according to a news release.

Last year, a report by the American Association of University Women said Wisconsin ranked No. 26 nationally for gender pay equity in 2017 for full-time working women compared to white men performing comparable work. The report defined the gender pay gap as the difference between men’s and women’s median earnings.

For 2017, AAUW said women’s median earnings in the U.S. were $41,977 compared to $52,146 for men. In Wisconsin, women’s median earnings were $40,930, while men earned median pay of $51,346.

Jennifer Dirks, president and chief executive officer of Tempo Milwaukee, said a united front is critical to address gender disparities.

“By forming this collaboration, our goal is to leverage the power of our collective memberships to address key issues through a defined process – including local research and solutions,” Dirks said in the announcement. “Pay equity will be our first challenge, but not our last.”

The collaborative does not replace the three organizations, but instead provides a unified voice to advocate for issues related to equity for women professionals. Each of the groups brings its own expertise and membership base, the release says.

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