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The gender pay gap hasn’t closed much in the past two decades. In 2022, women earned only 82% of what men earned, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of median hourly workers of both full-time and part-time workers. Twenty years ago, that figure was almost the same at 80%. 

However, the wage gap is narrowing considerably for younger women and that bodes well for the future. Last year, women ages 25 to 34 earned an average of 92 cents for every dollar earned by a man in the same age group – a gap of 8 cents instead of the average 18 cents for women of all ages. 

Educated women entering the workforce today increasingly resist the discriminatory practices that pushed many of their mothers and grandmothers into underpaying occupations generations before. Confident women who are unafraid to negotiate for higher salaries can close the wage gap even more. 

At the New Jersey Women Business Leaders Forum, powered by NJBIA, Sept. 27-28, experts in career development, HR and law will discuss strategies for effective salary negotiations, signing bonuses and other tips that enable professionals to be paid salaries commensurate with their education, skills and experience without regard to gender. 

The panelists for the “Salary Negotiation & Pay Equity” session include: 

  • Helen Archonto, CEO, of the YWCA of Northern New Jersey and adjunct professor at Montclair University, who has 25 years’ executive management experience. Archonto is a national speaker, educator and activist on women’s empowerment and leadership. 
  • Shell Bobev, founder of Disrupt the Gap, a platform that empowers women’s lifelong financial independence through a multifront disruption of the gender pay gap by focusing on education, employer engagement and thought leadership. 
  • Andrée Peart Laney, Esq., legal adviser to the Employers Association of New Jersey, and an expert on employment law. A former senior trial attorney at the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Laney now leverages her expertise to facilitate employer compliance in all areas of labor and employment law. 
  • LaTonia Pouncey, president and CEO of TalentMixx Solutions, a full-service staffing, recruiting, and HR consulting firm. Pouncey, who is also a one-on-one coach at the WBLF, is a career and workplace expert who helps people discover what’s possible in their workforce and careers. 

The 9th Annual New Jersey Women Business Leaders Forum, which returns to North Jersey at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott, is the largest professional women’s conference in New Jersey. The event brings together hundreds of corporate and nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, and students each year to inspire and empower the building of successful businesses and to increase diversity in corporate leadership, both in the C-suite and the boardroom. 

The two-day event includes executive TED-style talks, multiple breakout sessions led by expert panelists, one-on-one coaching, help with building résumés, LinkedIn makeovers, and numerous networking opportunities to help women advance at every stage of their career. 

Details about the conference events, hotel accommodations, and the “Closing Deals in Heels” reception and “Smash the Glass Ceiling” after-party can be found here. For registration information and sponsorship opportunities, go to NJBIA’s website at