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Christina Ratleff
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Gender Equity in the Workplace

One in four women in Central Ohio is economically insecure, and gender and race wage gaps shape the local story: Women earn significantly less than their male counterparts across the board. According to research conducted by the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, on average, women earn 81 cents for every dollar earned by white men, and Black and Hispanic women earn just 64 cents and 61 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by white men.

Since its inception, the Columbus Women’s Commission has driven community dialogue to better understand the root causes of pay inequity; by examining data, we can  better inform the public on how to create attainable, measurable change to close the gaps. 

In 2017, the Commission launched The Columbus Commitment: Achieving Pay Equity pledge. Today, more than 250 local business, nonprofit and public employers have signed the pledge to commit to help close the gender wage gap in Central Ohio and address workplace policies that limit economic opportunity for women. Read more about the Columbus Commitment & Adopters HERE.


  • In the fall of 2019, the Columbus Women’s Commission surveyed the Columbus Commitment Adopters to learn some of the policies & practices these companies have changed or created for gender equity. Additionally, we wanted to hear what areas the adopters felt successful and what topics they may need more support/resources on. We learned that there has been a lot of positive movement by Columbus employers toward gender equitable workplaces. Click here to see the results.

  • More than 260 local employers have signed The Columbus Commitment to better understand and internally address gender- and race-based wage disparities. 

  • The Commission has hosted two annual Columbus Commitment: From Signature to Action events, providing pledge-adopting employers with strategies to reduce the wage gap and implement workplace policies for gender equity. Local leaders have shared best practices with more than 500 attendees at these events. 

  • The Commission’s Lunch & Learn series (launched in 2018) aims to create learning opportunities for Columbus Commitment adopters. These events feature topics such as paid family leave, implicit bias, workplace policies, and pay analysis.


The City of Columbus is leading by example with three impactful internal policy changes made in 2019 to affect gender and race-based workplace inequities:

  • The City now pays all its full-time city employees a minimum of $15 per hour 

  •  The City has adopted a paid family leave and caregiver policy for all full-time employees

  • Implicit bias training has expanded for city employees to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace

In July 2019, the City received a CityStart grant from Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) to create a sustainable roadmap for financial stability and empowerment. Columbus’ application was submitted jointly by the Columbus Women’s Commission, on behalf of the Mayor’s Office, and Columbus City Council President Pro Tempore Elizabeth Brown. With the support of CFE Fund, our internal workgroup is working to craft the City’s municipal financial blueprint and identify implementation steps based on the needs of residents, key city priorities and partnership opportunities. We look forward to sharing the blueprint with our Columbus community in 2020.


Columbus Commitment

Adopter Events

Past Events

Resources for the workplace

PDF Sig to Action

Equity graphic


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