Press Releases

05/23/2017

New study finds King County gender wage gap closed 2.7 cents, now at 78.6 cents on the dollar

Chamber, Women’s Funding Alliance announce results of recent study at 100% Talent Wage Gap Summit
SEATTLE – Today, Women’s Funding Alliance announced new data on King County’s gender wage gap in partnership with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. The analysis, conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, shows women working full-time, year-round in King County now make 78.6 cents on the dollar when compared to their male counterparts, a gain of more than two cents.

The new data comes two years after the Seattle Metro Chamber and Women’s Funding Alliance launched 100% Talent, a joint gender equity initiative aimed at closing the wage gap for women in King County. The employer-led initiative celebrated this progress at its inaugural Wage Gap Summit today, where both organizations’ leaders appealed for continued dedication to the issue.

“This new data shows we are making gains to close the gap, but we still have a long way to go to make sure we are creating opportunity for everyone to thrive equally,” said Chamber President and CEO Maud Daudon. “That’s why we started the 100% Talent Initiative to identify real, actionable solutions that companies can initiate and improve upon. We’re proud of the 39 employers who have signed on and committed to tackling this issue. This initiative, and the employer engagement it entails, is crucial to moving further, faster, when it comes to achieving pay equity.”

“As we’ve worked to advance gender equity in our community, we’ve seen how closing the wage gap is critical to improving women’s well-being,” said Women’s Funding Alliance President & CEO Liz Vivian. “Our new data and the growth of 100% Talent are encouraging signs of progress. We appreciate our partners for joining us in moving tactical solutions forward, both for women and for the health of our economy.“

The study investigated the latest numbers from American Community Survey data to provide a look at the region’s progress. In addition to narrowing the raw wage gap in the region, the latest numbers also show that more than 27,000 women have entered the county’s workforce, and that median annual earnings for women have increased from approximately $50,000 per year to $55,000 per year.

However, the data also tells a story of more progress to be made: on average, women still earned annual salaries that were less than their male counterparts in multiple high-paying occupations, such as in medicine, law, software development, financial management, and general management roles. Women are also still underrepresented in high-paying fields, (such as software development, skilled trades, and executive management); and are overrepresented in low-paying ones (such as administrative work and childcare).

In addition to ensuring everyone is paid for 100 percent of the valuable work they do, the 100% Talent Initiative aims to tackle the systemic factors that contribute to the wage gap: hiring, negotiations, and performance evaluation practices; the need for flexible work arrangements and equal female representation in senior leadership; better pipelines for women and girls into middle- and high-wage industries; and unconscious bias in organizational culture.

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About The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

The Seattle Metropolitan (Seattle Metro) Chamber of Commerce engages the innovation and entrepreneurship of its 2,200 members to advance economic prosperity, advocate for a vital business environment, and build sustainable and healthy communities in the Seattle region. Founded in 1882 by local business leaders, the Chamber today is an independent organization representing a regional workforce of approximately 700,000 people. For more information, visit www.seattlechamber.com.

About Women’s Funding Alliance
For more than 30 years, Women’s Funding Alliance has led the way to improve lives and create change for women and girls. Women’s Funding Alliance is the only organization across Washington State dedicated solely to advancing leadership and economic opportunity for women and girls. Through strategic partnerships, grant investments, and community engagement, Women’s Funding Alliance brings critical issues to light and mobilizes our community to take action. Learn more at www.wfalliance.org.

Local and National
Press Contact

The Seattle Metro Chamber is a leading business voice in our region. If you have a press inquiry, please contact:

Alicia Teel
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aliciat@seattlechamber.com
(206) 389-7262

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Greater Seattle Partners, a public-private economic development corporation in our region, assists visiting foreign journalists. For more information, please contact:

Sophie Hubbell
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Greater Seattle Partners
SHubbell@greater-seattle.com
(206) 389-7319