If you’re interested in conducting business in New York City, but not sure whether paid parental leave is something you’ll offer, the city’s Deputy Mayor, Alicia Glen, has a message for you.
“If you can’t offer six weeks of paid parental leave to your employees — don’t do business in our town,” Glen said, prompting applause from the crowd gathered at the Brooklyn Museum on Wednesday night (May 16).
Glen, in partnership with New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, was at the museum to celebrate the launch of Women.NYC, a new online initiative that aims to easily connect women in New York with the resources they need to advance personally and professionally. The ultimate goal, she said, is to make New York the “best place in the world for women to succeed.”
“There are 55 Fortune 500 companies based in New York. How many female CEOs are there? One. One woman,” Glen said. “I’m done with it. And what better place for women to succeed than the most funky and diverse city, New York?”
Covering a variety of topics and services — from job searching and entrepreneurial aid to educational and housing resources — the initiative was conceptualized as a one-stop shop for women, something Glen said New Yorkers sorely need.
“If you can get the resources you need without having to search a million websites, how powerful is that?” she said. “Women have waited too long to get the power, the respect, and, yes, the money that they deserve… this is going to move the needle.”
The deputy mayor was also quick to point out that New York has already proven itself to be exceptionally pro-women — the wage gap, for instance, is the narrowest in the nation, with women pulling in 89 cents to the white man’s dollar, and asking for candidates’ salary histories is illegal as of late 2017. And yet, it’s time we accepted that any gap is too wide of one, as Glen put it — which is why, as part of Women.NYC, the city is calling for private-sector employers to close their gender wage gaps by 2028. Legislative options are also being explored that would force employers to make their pay gap figures public, a move that could be instrumental in achieving equal pay.
“That’s what this initiative is all about — is investing in women and giving them the resources they need to succeed,” Glen concluded. “Little girls are saying, ‘I can’t do it,’ and women are here saying, ‘Yes, you can and you will — we’ll show you.’”