Keeping with his promise to champion women’s rights in the workplace, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Tuesday that addresses the issue of unequal pay among federal contractors. While equal-pay advocates hail the move as a victory, many also say it doesn’t go far enough.
The executive order addresses the federal government’s gender wage gap by mandating that contractors publish wage data — by gender and race — to ensure compliance with equal-pay laws. The order also prohibits contractors from retaliating against employees who compare salaries.
“Restoring opportunity for all has to be our priority, making sure the economy rewards hard work for every single American. Because when women succeed, America succeeds,” Obama said in a speech to mark the signing of the order.
“We are going to work to make sure that our daughters have the same chance to pursue their dreams as our sons,” he added, urging businesses and the government to do more to hire women and achieve gender equality in a bid to lift families out of poverty and allocate more resources to child care, college tuition and retirement savings.