I’m Katharine Smith, the president of the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of NYS Women, Inc. Our mission is to build powerful women, personally, professionally and politically.
Our NYS Women, Inc. Legislative Platform specifically includes pay equity and economic self-sufficiency for all working women.
That advocacy goes back to our origins as the former Business and Professional Women: our umbrella organization, BPW/USA, was a leader in passing landmark civil and women’s rights legislation including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Women’s Business Ownership Act, and the Equal Pay Act.
President Kennedy recognized BPW’s advocacy for passage of the Equal Pay Act -- aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex -- by giving our National President the first pen he used when signing the Act into law in 1963.
Working women in WNY have made dramatic strides over the last several decades. Today women populate the work force in greater numbers than ever before. Today we need to make a difference for tomorrow.
NYS Women, Inc. has partnered with PowHer New York, a statewide network committed to securing economic equality for all New York women, to advocate for passage of Assembly Bill A6707, which would prohibit employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees.
This Bill will have a powerful impact on women as well as people of color: African American and Hispanic men also start out with the disadvantage of lower wages.
From our chapter’s very beginnings in 1934, the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of NYS Women, Inc. has strived to make a difference in the lives of working women.