The Council is a first-in-the-nation, public-private partnership. Businesses pledge to take concrete, measurable steps to eliminate the wage gap in their company.
The Boston Women's Workforce Council is a public-private partnership between the City of Boston under Mayor Martin J. Walsh's Administration and Boston University dedicated to closing the gender wage gap. The primary work of the Council is the 100% Talent Compact, an agreement with over 245 area companies to better understand and work to close gaps in pay and representation.
The Council’s mission is to work with the Greater Boston business community to eliminate the gender-based wage gap, remove the visible and invisible barriers to women’s advancement, and ensure that 100% of the talent pool is used to make Boston the best area in the country for working women.
Companies who sign the Compact have the distinction of being identified as leaders in the Boston community in advancing Mayor Walsh's commitment to make Boston the best city in America for working women. In addition to joining a network of Boston's biggest and most innovative employees, signers are also included in major public events and communications of the Boston Women's Workforce Council. Signers will also have the opportunity once a year to participate in a discussion with the Mayor concerning their experience as a Compact signer and their ideas to reach gender equity in the Boston Workforce. Companies who sign the Compact are given the unique opportunity to discuss and learn the best strategies to reduce the wage gap from other Compact Signers at our Effective Practices Conference hosted by the BWWC and the Mayor.
The BWWC publishes a biennial public report that anonymously compares Compact signers' performances in closing the wage gap with other metropolitan Boston employers. Signers help shape the data collection and analysis process by working with the Council to determine which factors are important for their company's performance evaluation. With internal examination of their own wage and salary information, singers generate valuable data to guide management decisions in hiring, promotion, pay, and profession development investment.
The BWWC's first commitment is to ensure privacy and security of the Compact signer organization's data. As a result, the BWWC takes multiple measures to ensure this occurs:
Aggregate data. The BWWC has chosen to collect data in the aggregate, as opposed to collecting data about individual employees. This means that the data is submitted in totals of employee information. For example, compensation data is submitted as "Total Annual Compensation" for selected employees, as opposed to each individual employee's annual compensation. As Compact signer information is collected, all of these totals are added together, and the analysis will be completed with the total of all Signatory employee information.
Created a new software program. Over the past five years, the BWWC has consulted global experts in human resources, technology, data security, computer science, and corporate law in order to create a collection system that guarantees anonymity and security of the companies and their information.
Encryption Method. The staff and programmers from Boston University’s Hariri Institute for Computing who created the software program employed an encryption method that ensures the privacy and security of employee information. The program immediately disguises any submitted information with what is called a "pad"-- a very large random number that will disguise any values that are submitted. These pads are discarded when all the information is totaled, effectively erasing any trace of where the data originated but leaving all totaled Signer data for analysis.
Signer Pool. The results of the analysis will be completely anonymous for Signer companies. Since the data is collected in the aggregate, the analysis will be written about all signer organizations as as subset of companies within Boston.
The BWWC is a public-private partnership that is business-led and completely funded by our private sector members. We use these membership dues to pay the salaries of our employees and consultants, as well as develop and maintain the software system we designed for data analysis. Membership dues also guarantee complimentary tickets to our annual Best Practices Conference for each signing company/organization.
Like many other Boston-area organizations, membership dues are tiered based on number of employees that particular company or organization has in the greater Boston area. We are willing to make exceptions to small companies or nonprofits that are unable to afford dues.