City Council Unanimously Adopts Plan to Fix Seattle's Gender Pay Gap

Last summer, a widely publicized study from the National Partnership for Women and Families found that in Seattle, women on average make 73 cents for every dollar men make. African American women were found to make an even lower 64 cents for every dollar a man made, and Latinas 55 cents. A follow up review of women employed by the City of Seattle found similarly that women make 90.5 cents for every dollar a man earns.

In a unanimous vote today, City Council officially adopted an action plan to address this issue citywide, led by councilmember Jean Godden and the Gender Equity in Pay Taskforce.

The full plan, which can be read here, outlines how the city will attempt to fix the issue—including a further analysis of why the disparities exist, what policies lead to their proliferation, and the creation of a new position in the city's Personnel Department that will reach out to under-respresented populations.

According to the council, the highlights of the plan include:

-Creating a regional Gender Equity Initiative to encourage other employers in the region to address gender inequities.

-Developing a paid parental leave policy for the City to ensure parents can take time off to bond with new additions to the family.

-Undertaking a comprehensive review of existing City policy to determine which practices either cause or address disparity, then developing consistent policies and strategies across all departments

-Creating a centralized Citywide leadership and management development program to train under-represented employee groups to take positions of leadership

-Developing best practices and training so City managers remain aware of gender disparities and take proper steps to address problems

The council has also pledged to include "a gender equity lens in citywide initiatives, such as legislation to increase the minimum wage, with the Seattle community and region."

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