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. , 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.
Though WIBLI aims to empower Seattle-area professionals to create significant change for themselves, their workplaces, and their communities around gender equity issues, both the Chamber and our partners at Women’s Funding Alliance felt that something more could be done to reduce 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 the partnership between WFA and the Chamber is the 100% Talent Seattle initiative, which we launched in June 2015. This five-year regional initiative brings employers together to:
Expand the use of best-practice solutions.
Shine a positive light on businesses tackling the gender wage gap effectively.
Get ahead of one-size-fits-all directives by being proactive.
Today, we’re proud to count more than 20 employers representing a local workforce of more than 120,000 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.