Last Wednesday Mayor Murray and I announced bold, new steps to close the gender wage gap. As a woman I often faced gender wage inequity as a journalist, I could not be happier to announce our action plan which is based on the recommendations of the Gender Wage Inequity Task Force. This Task Force went to work last year researching the gender wage gap in Seattle, and developed a Gender Justice Initiative with a list of solutions for this disparity. With the Mayor’s support, we can fully move forward on action for equal pay in Seattle.
Working with the Personnel Department and Office of Civil Rights, we are digging in. First, we plan on collecting more and better city worker demographic data to find exactly where these gender wage disparities exist. With this data, we will work to adjust pay, practice, and policy for the ten thousand plus employees at the City of Seattle. We also plan to develop training to address gender equity in the workplace and will work with other city departments to determine how to implement a more consistent approach to performance management and employee discipline.
A paid parental leave study is already in the development process. We also are looking to create new programs that will directly support women. These will include leadership, management development and recruitment programs for women, and programs that particularly work to help women and other underrepresented employee groups advance in their careers. Finally, we plan to delve even deeper into this issue by engaging the private sector in issues regarding gender pay equity.
Currently, I chair the first Council committee in Seattle’s history to take on the issue of gender pay equity. I will use this venue to track the city’s progress. Please visit my webpage for more information on the Gender Wage Equity Initiative and stay up to date on the issue through social media channels. Your informed voice is crucial in making these steps possible! The wait is over, let’s make this happen!