Council authorizes action to rectify Gender Pay Gap

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City of Seattle

Councilmember Jean Godden

Council authorizes action to rectify Gender Pay Gap

SEATTLE – City Council authorized an action plan today to close the Gender Equity Gap at the City of Seattle. The action plan was developed with significant input from the Gender Equity in Pay Taskforce, on which Councilmember Jean Godden served. The Full Council vote today was unanimous.

The action was a response to a recent study that found that, on average, women in the Puget Sound region are paid $0.73 relative to every dollar a man earned. Among City employees, women were found to have earned $0.90 for every dollar a man earned and comprise only 1/3 of the City workforce. Between 2013 and 2014, Councilmember Godden spearheaded an effort with former Mayor Mike McGinn and current Mayor Ed Murray to identify solutions to end the disparity.

“No one should have to face discrimination in the workplace, or anywhere else for that matter,” said Councilmember Godden. “We still have a long way to go to ensure women have equal opportunities, but thanks to the hard work of the Gender Equity in Pay Taskforce and Mayor Murray so far, we are well on our way.”

Action Plan steps 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

For the latest actions on City’s gender pay gap work please visit the Council’s webpage on the issue.

[View in Council Newsroom]