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Hearing of March 16, 2016 - Public Input into the Proposed Revisions to the EEO-1 Report

Written Testimony of Margot Dorfman, CEO
U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce

INTRODUCTION

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) appreciates the opportunity to submit comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) proposed revision of the employer information report (EEO-1) to collect additional summary data on wages paid to their employees including by gender, race and ethnicity. The USWCC fully supports this revision and expansion to require this information from more than just federal contractors.

BACKGROUND

The USWCC is the leading advocate for women on economic and leadership issues.  As the economic leader for women, the USWCC creates opportunities, drives progress, advocates, and provides tools and solutions to support the economic growth of women across America. The USWCC (uswcc.org) is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 2001 with over 500,000 members; its headquarters offices are located in Washington, D.C. 

The organization helps women start and build successful businesses, gain access to government contracts, grow as leaders and prepare for a secure retirement. We work to advance government policies that underpin Women's Economic Priorities - a positive economic environment with policies, budgets and leadership that support women as students, workers, mothers, breadwinners, caregivers, business owners, retirees and policy leaders.

OUR VIEWS

Women still only earn 79 cents on the dollar when compared with men's earnings, and the numbers are even worse for women of color. The median annual earnings for full-time, year-round women workers in 2013 was $39,157 compared to men's $50,033. Women business owners seek to offer fair pay, higher wages and benefits to their employees because many of them have been previously in workforces that did not offer these critical benefits. However, they are competing with companies that do not offer the aforementioned - which places undue competitive pressure on these women business owners.

By requiring businesses that employ more than 63 million employees to report summary pay data by gender, race and ethnicity, critical information will be available on possible discriminatory practices in certain industries and occupations in our nation. This will be an important tool in enforcing our country's anti-discrimination practices of certain companies and will help level the playing field for those business owners who are doing the right thing and practicing equal pay policies in their workplaces.

We also agree that by collecting this data, progress will be made in narrowing the pay gap because not only will it encourage better compliance with our fair pay laws by allowing company owners to evaluate how well they are doing vis-à-vis their competitors, but it will also provide EEOC with needed intelligence to better focus investigations on employers that are most egregiously circumventing our current equal pay laws.

Finally, the USWCC offers a different perspective on the implications of this proposal than many other organizations because our members are all small businesses. We assert that the benefits of collecting this critical information and data clearly outweigh any burden on the businesses that will have to report. We should add though that we do believe that the "burden" is negligible since our companies already are currently reporting most of this information on EEO-1 forms. Clearly having this additional data collected is very important to the USWCC members and women-owned small businesses nationwide.

For these reasons, we do support the additional pay data collection proposal.