WRJ, WRN, and their partners are deeply involved in addressing the gender pay gap in the Reform Movement. This work continues to benefit people of all genders and identities in the Reform Movement and beyond.
On average, women working full-time in the United States are paid just 80 percent of what men in comparable positions are paid. Women of color make even less. This gender pay gap also exists in Jewish institutions at similar rates, including those of the Reform Movement.
While the Reform Pay Equity Initiative is geared towards Reform Jewish institutions, the featured materials will benefit everyone participating in the hiring process and tackling the issue of pay equity.
WHAT IS THE WAGE GAP?
The wage gap is the average difference between a man’s and a woman’s remuneration – a gap that exists largely due to direct and indirect discrimination against women in the labor market. In the United States, the female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.77 in 2012 and has only improved to 0.8 in 2017. It is currently 0.82, according the 2022 Pew study. This means that a woman working full-time earns an average of 82 cents for every dollar a man earns in America. The gap is much wider for women of color. While there is not currently enough data, it is also important to recognize the discrimination that people of nonbinary/genderqueer identities face. After positive movement forward, the narrowing of the wage gap has stalled. That is why our efforts are so important now.
WHY DO WE NEED THE REFORM PAY EQUITY INITIATIVE?
The issue of pay equity is often defined as a woman’s issue, yet we know it to be an issue of human rights and social justice. By engaging the entire Reform Movement around this issue, we are reinforcing the message that economic justice for women is at the core of our fundamental Jewish values.
- Read Rabbi Mary Zamore's Op-Ed Creating Workplace Equity that Reflects Jewish Values - RavBlog (ccarnet.org) August 30, 2023 in Religion News Service
- Read Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch's RAVBlog post for Equal Pay Day 2023
- Read Talia Shapiro Blank's WRJ blog about our RPEI work
- Read Rabbi Mary Zamore’s Op-Ed from June 2023
- Watch Rabbi Mary Zamore and Dr. Amy Beacom’s webinar on pay equity
WHAT DOES THE REFORM PAY EQUITY INITIATIVE ACHIEVE?
Through the RPEI, we comprehensively assess the salaries of the professionals who serve Reform institutions, develop plans to address inequities, and evaluate the impact of these interventions. We share tools and strategies to combat the gender wage gap and to help integrate best practices into every stage of employment, hire leading experts to conduct training and workshops, present at conferences, publish articles to educate Reform institutions about ethical hiring practices and implicit biases, and teach Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) students, our future leaders, about negotiation skills. We ensure Reform institutions can conduct salary surveys and create educational materials for the greater public. Meeting with our partner organizations on an annual basis, we continue to learn about important topics surrounding pay equity, discuss achievements, and look to areas that need to be addressed within the Movement.
The RPEI has worked with experts to aggregate and analyze the data from the Reform Movement in order to track the wage gap. Learn more about the detailed salary surveys and compensation data.
WHO PARTICIPATES IN THE REFORM PAY EQUITY INITIATIVE?
The RPEI is coordinated by Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) and the Women’s Rabbinical Network (WRN), with participation by all the arms of the Reform Movement, including affiliates and professional associations. These partners are the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), Associations of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE), Advancing Temple Institutional Development (ATID), American Reform Zionist Association (ARZA), Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Commission on Social Action (CSA), Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ), Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ), National Association for Temple Administration (NATA), Program and Engagement Professionals of Reform Judaism (PEP-RJ), Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), Reform Pension Board (RPB), Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ).
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE?
The Reform Movement champions pay equity by approaching the issue in a multi-pronged, systemic, and integrated manner. By increasing awareness, and by changing the systems that have allowed this inequity to flourish, we bring justice to working women and people of all identities, bolster Jewish professional fields, and strengthen our institutions.
- Elluminate (Formerly Jewish Women’s Foundation of NY)
- Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta*
- SRE Network*
- WRJ YES Fund*
- Women’s Rabbinic Network (WRN is a proud grantee partner of Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta, SRE Network and Women of Reform Judaism’s YES Fund; WRN is also a proud member of the SRE Network)*