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Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs and Deputy Director Linda Hughes announced today that the Freeholder Board has taken an important step in advancing equal pay for women as the County continues to actively promote gender equality in the workplace.
“The unfortunate reality is that a wage gap between men and women persists across the country regardless of industry, occupation, or education level,” said Director Gibbs. “This unequal situation hurts not just women in the workplace, but their families as well. As Freeholder Director, I will work to ensure that Burlington County continues to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
During its meeting tonight, the Freeholder Board adopted a resolution prohibiting all County departments from asking job applicants for their past wage history or investigating the prior salaries of their applicants. This action will immediately guarantee that county employees, regardless of their gender, are earning salaries that are commensurate with their qualifications, experience, and skills.
The County’s new equal pay policy is identical to Executive Order #1 signed last week by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
“For years, the County has combated gender inequality by creating paths for women to begin and advance their careers,” said Deputy Director Hughes. “Burlington County has the distinction of being the only county in New Jersey in which the Freeholder Director and Deputy Director positions are both held by women.”
In addition to Director Gibbs and Deputy Director Hughes, other women in leadership positions at the County include: Sheriff Jean Stanfield, Surrogate Mary Ann O’Brien, County Administrator Eve Cullinan, Warden Mildred Scholtz, Holly Cuccuzzella, Director of the County Health Department, Shirla Simpson, Director of the County Human Services Department, Mary Pat Robbie, Director of the County Department of Resource Conservation, Ranjna Das, Director of the Burlington County Library System, and Gina Wheatley, Clerk of the Board.
“While we give attention to gender equity and equal pay through this resolution, it is important that we advocate for other issues impacting women in our communities as well,” added Director Gibbs.
Director Gibbs has made it a priority to grow the Burlington County Advisory Council on Women, which works to identify and address issues that affect women in Burlington County, raise public awareness of the special needs and roles of women, and enhance the quality of life for all women. Additionally, she has directed the County’s Department of Human Resources to provide mandatory sexual harassment training and retraining for all county employees.
“These steps will help to make certain that Burlington County government remains as a positive and welcoming work environment for all and may serve as an example for others in our county and region to follow,” concluded Director Gibbs.