Today Treasurer Goldberg announced the creation of \u201cJust Ask!\u201d the first in the nation state-wide salary negotiation training program with workshops for women. This program will provide women with the tools they need to overcome the negative impacts of wage inequality. This new initiative is launched in collaboration with the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office, the Community Colleges Presidents, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.\n\nFacilitators for the workshops will be trained members of the Commission on the Status of Women and workshops will be held at the fifteen community colleges across the state. Both the Commission and colleges will serve as outreach ambassadors to attract participants to the workshops. These initial workshops are licensed by AAUW and will be geared toward women entering the workforce. They will be two hours and will educate participants on recognizing the gender wage gap and will give them the tools they need to be successful. \n\n\u201cWith this new, statewide salary negotiation program, we are helping women across Massachusetts to \u2018Just Ask!\u2019 to be paid what they are worth, because when women are paid equally, we all benefit,\u201d said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. \u201cThese workshops will give women the essential tools they need to empower themselves in the workplace, especially during salary negotiations.\u201d\n\n\u201cWe applaud the Commonwealth for taking legitimate actions on multiple fronts to close the gender pay gap and to ensure positive change that impacts women, their families, and the state economy,\u201d said Kim Churches, the chief executive officer of AAUW. \u201cThere\u2019s no silver bullet to closing the pay gap, but with these workshops, women can begin to chip away at their own personal pay gaps and earn what they are worth in the marketplace.\u201d\n\n\u0022Closing the wage gap is critical, not only for our female students but also for the economic health and well-being of the Commonwealth,\u201d said Ellen Kennedy, president of Berkshire Community College. \u201cWhen we invest in our students and give them resources to make a positive change, we empower them to invest in themselves.\u201d\n\n\u0022This program will address a critical issue and continue our mission of promoting rights and opportunities for women throughout their lives. The gender wage gap affects every family in our state and actively addressing wage inequality through salary negotiation will give women the resources they need to achieve economic security,\u0022 stated Jill Ashton of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.\u00a0 \n\nFormer Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Murphy and founder and president of The Wage Project said, \u0022The gender wage gap will only be eliminated when working women and allies act to ensure that women are paid fairly. It is critical that every working woman understand how to negotiate to get paid her\u00a0worth in the marketplace and act on her own behalf.\u0022\n\nOn day one, Treasurer Goldberg created the Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE), led by a deputy treasurer, with the deliberate goal of implementing a range of economic empowerment initiatives that include closing the gender wage gap, increasing access to financial education, improving college affordability, and investing in STEM careers and education.\n\nFor more information on OEE visit http://www.mass.gov/treasury/empowerment or follow @EmpowermentMA on Twitter.