FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7/21/2014
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Seafair Princesses at Council Today, Addressing Gender Pay Gap
Seattle – Councilmembers Jean Godden and Sally J. Clark welcomed the Seafair Princesses to City Council today to discuss gender pay disparity in Seattle and how the Seafair Foundation’s Scholarship Program for Women participants can help take action to address the problem. Councilmembers engaged with the young women, who agreed to become "Gender Pay Ambassadors," bringing awareness of the pay disparity to their respective communities. The young women then visited Full Council, where Councilmembers proclaimed July 21, "Seafair Foundation Day."
"These young women are our future leaders, and I’m thrilled to have them engage in the issues of equal pay and gender equity," said Councilmember Jean Godden. "I’m thankful for Seafair Foundation’s Scholarship Program for Women which provides more than $20,000 in scholarship assistance to young women seeking academic scholarships and leadership development."
Councilmembers discussed the recent study which 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. Work to address the disparity is currently underway.
"The Scholarship Program for Women empowers young women to reach their personal and professional goals by showcasing their academic abilities, community service, and public speaking skills," said Beth Knox, Seafair President and CEO. "Visiting City Hall and meeting female civic leaders is an important addition to their experience with Seafair and the community."
With a mission to promote philanthropy, diversity and community involvement, participants/princesses represent Seafair at nearly 20 community events and parades. Participants are also paired with respected local female professionals in a Mentorship Program. This program provides the opportunity for participants to gain professional experience through networking and exposure to the business world.
The Seafair Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable partner of the Seafair Festival, was established to create and build opportunities for Seafair’s youth education, cultural and community engagement programs. Their mission is to empower our future leaders and connect Greater Puget Sound through unique experiences. The Seafair Foundation is passionate about celebrating the culture and unique assets of your community, which contributes to the quality of life for those who live, work and play here.