Simmons SOM Partners with Mayor Walsh

May 28, 2014

Catherine Minehan

Mayor Walsh announced a newly created-partnership with Dean Cathy Minehan and the School of Management at Simmons College.

On Friday, May 16th, Mayor Walsh convened his first meeting of the Boston Women's Workforce Council under his Administration. During the meeting, Mayor Walsh announced a newly created-partnership with Dean Cathy Minehan and the School of Management at Simmons College.

The Council's mission is to work with the businesses in the Greater Boston area in a private-public endeavor to eliminate the gender 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.

We had the chance to speak with Chair of the Council, Dean Minehan about what this exciting partnership means for Simmons.

What inspired Simmons' involvement with this initiative?

Simmons is a natural fit for the Boston Women's Workforce Council because of our long history of advancing women and our status as an institution that educates women leaders, particularly in the business world. With Simmons as a partner, the Council now has access to the College's academic and business contacts, and expertise. My role as both the Dean of the School of Management and the Chair of the Council was the initial inspiration of the partnership, and it quickly became clear that a public-private partnership between the City of Boston and Simmons was the perfect way to effectively advance the goals of the council.

How will this partnership affect Simmons students?

The Council is groundbreaking, a first-in-the-nation initiative that has enormous potential to create widespread, institutional change not only in Boston, but around the country. The Council will serve as a national and international model for the other cities who look to solve the wage gap by working directly with the business community.

Students will benefit enormously from the national attention Simmons will receive from the media, governmental, and policy outlets, and will also benefit from strengthened and newly created relationships with businesses in the Greater Boston area. Additionally, the Council will have internship opportunities available for Simmons students, and will periodically hold events on campus to update students on what the Council is doing, what we are learning, and how they can be involved.

The Council will publish reports on the status of the wage gap in Boston. These reports, and the data related to them, will be invaluable to academics at Simmons, and will offer a wealth of opportunity and resources for students, faculty, and others looking to study the issue of women's advancement in corporate America.

What do you hope to accomplish in the first year of this initiative?

The next year will be spent working to sign additional companies to the 100% Talent Compact, holding a conference to share best-practices on achieving wage equality, and producing the first of two reports on the status of the wage gap in Boston; the conference and the first report will happen in late fall/early winter of 2014. During this period we will also seek and receive funding for the operations of the Council from the businesses who will use its work. Over the next twelve months we will provide Compact signatories with the tools they need to evaluate, analyze, and close the wage gap in their companies, and will work with each company individually to address specific needs and challenges. The Council also plans to hire additional staff and will continue to create a strong organizational infrastructure that will allow us to work effectively and efficiently.

By the end of 2016, we will:

  • have a minimum of 100 companies signed onto the "100% Talent Compact"
  • have held three conferences to share best-practices
  • have produced two reports on the status of the wage gap
  • be sharing the Council's model nationally and internationally, and be looked at as a leader in innovative solutions to closing the wage gap.