Senator Elizabeth Warren has unveiled a proposal for executive actions that would boost wages for women of color, Bloomberg reports, with the Democratic presidential candidate saying she would impose stricter rules on companies that seek federal contracts and would diversify the top ranks of the federal government.
“For decades, the government has helped perpetuate the systemic discrimination that has denied women of color equal opportunities,” the Massachusetts senator wrote in a post on Medium announcing her plans. “It’s time for the government to try to right those wrongs — and boost our economy in the process.”
Black women working full-time in the U.S. have median weekly earnings of $709, while Hispanic or Latino women earn $631, Bloomberg reports, citing Labor Department statistics for the first quarter. That compares with $826 for white women and $1,033 for white men.
Under Warren’s proposed plans, she would deny contracts to companies with poor records on diversity and equal pay, according to Bloomberg. She would also bar employers from asking job applicants about past salaries and criminal histories. In addition, federal contractors would be required to pay all workers a $15 minimum wage.
To diversify the senior ranks of the federal government, she said, she would focus on recruitment from minority-serving colleges, among other initiatives.
Warren also said she would direct the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to closely monitor sectors that employ women of color and have high rates of discriminatory practices, such as the low-wage service industry, according to Bloomberg.
“It’s time to build an America that recognizes the role that women of color play in their families and in the economy, that fairly values their work, and that delivers equal opportunity for everyone,” Warren wrote on Medium.