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Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Joan M. Quigley to ensure gender equality at the workplace was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

“Women have made great strides in the workplace, but the glass ceiling has not been shattered quite yet,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “These revisions will give employers best practices to ensure gender parity in the workforce, and give more women the same professional advancement opportunities that their male counterparts currently benefit from.”

“Progress has been made, but there’s still more work to do when men continue to earn more than women in most metropolitan areas of the country,” said Quigley (D-Bergen/Hudson). “We must educate employers and the public in general about the disparities and the best approaches to remedy these discrepancies, so that we get closer to complete gender equity in the workplace.”

The bill (A-2563) revises the duties of the Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education (which is part of the State Employment and Training Commission) to include:

  • conducting studies and promoting research to develop means to correct gender inequitable practices, including practices leading to pay disparities between men and women;
  • disseminating this information to employers, labor organizations, professional associations, educational institutions, the media and the general public;
  • developing and making available information on best practices for workplace gender equity to enable employers to evaluate job categories based on objective criteria; and,
  • establishing a statewide recognition of exceptional practices to promote gender equity in the workplace.

Established in 1999, the New Jersey Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education consists of representatives from business, education, and government. It performs research and distributes information addressing barriers to full and gender-equitable participation in the workforce and in education. The SETC partners with the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University to provide operational support to carry out program initiatives and day-to-day operations of the Council.

The bill was released by the Assembly Labor Committee by a vote of 8-0.