Our Story

In 2013, the National Partnership for Women and Families released a report that found Seattle had the worst wage gap among the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. [1],[2]   Following the release of this report, then-Mayor Mike McGinn convened the City of Seattle Gender Equity in Pay Task Force. Women’s Funding Alliance president & CEO, Liz Vivian, served on the task force.

In the meantime, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) reached out to the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce about convening a group of female business leaders to have a conversation about the gender wage gap. Sen. Murray challenged the Chamber and the Seattle business community to mobilize around this issue. The Chamber’s Women in Business Leadership Initiative (WIBLI) was born to empower Seattle-area professionals to create significant change for themselves, their workplaces, and their communities around gender equity.

Still, leaders at the Chamber and Women’s Funding Alliance felt that more could be done to engage employers in reducing the region’s wage gap.  Intrigued by the Boston Compact, a city-wide effort to decrease Boston’s gender wage gap through a voluntary, employer-led program that emphasizes best practices, our leaders put their heads together.

The partnership between the Seattle Metro Chamber and Women’s Funding Alliance made perfect sense:

  • The Chamber has built a reputation as a convener and leader in the business community, a resource for women in business and leadership, and has over 2,200 members throughout the Seattle metro area.
  • Women’s Funding Alliance has built a network of more than 5,000 donor activists committed to improving gender equity in our region, and has done groundbreaking research on the gender wage gap in King County and Washington State.

So, together, we started looking more closely at the Boston Compact, spoke with its leaders about how it worked, and started shaping a version tailored to King County. The result of our partnership is the 100% Talent Seattle initiative.

Today, we’re proud to count more than 43 employers representing a local workforce of more than 128,000 people in King County, collaborating on best practices, and driving change within the initiative.  Learn about our Signatories, and what it means to become a Signatory.

Join us!

 

Sources:

[1] Seattle Women and the Wage Gap, IWPR, 2013.

[2] What’s the Wage Gap in the States and Top 50 Metropolitan Areas?, IWPR, 2013.