Best Practices

Businesses and individuals can take multiple actions that will contribute to reducing the wage gap and achieving gender equity in Washington State. Our suggested 27 best-practice solutions have been shown to work and offer a logical starting place to launch this conversation. While no one action is a panacea, the broad array provides a flexible toolkit of actions that employers and industries can tailor to their unique business needs and environments.

For toolkits, guides, articles, and research on how to effectively implement these best practice solutions, our Signatory Resources have been curated in collaboration with industry leaders. This password-free experience allows any employee at the signatory organization access to a wealth of resources.


      1. Demonstrate that gender diversity is a high priority.
      2. Reorient workplace culture to emphasize results over “seat-time.”
      3. Offer training to acknowledge and disrupt implicit bias.
      4. Publish policies that foster an inclusive culture.
    • HIRING
      1. Create an initial applicant screening that is free of gender bias.
      2. Seek diversity in the applicant pool and evaluate candidates as a pool.
      3. Enlist diverse evaluators in hiring.
      4. Evaluate starting salaries for new hires.
      1. Conduct regular compensation evaluations for employees of all levels.
      2. Conduct negotiation training for employees and managers.
      1. Regularly train managers on conducting effective performance evaluations.
      2. Publish employee performance philosophy or principles in a manner easily accessible by employees.
      1. Evaluate causes of attrition among women, including mothers and women who do not have children.
      2. Offer paid family leave.
      3. Offer onsite or subsidized childcare, childcare referral, or back-up childcare services.
      4. Create and generate awareness of programs that confer employee schedule control, including flex programs.
      5. Train managers to manage a flexible workforce.
      1. Mentor and sponsor women for leadership positions.
      2. Provide structural support to move women up the talent pipeline.
      3. Actively recruit women to executive level and board positions.
      4. Achieve equitable gender representation on senior search and compensation committees.

Employers who want to engage outside their four walls can be part of building a more diverse and qualified future workforce through an additional set of eight best-practice solutions.

    1. Support initiatives that expose and connect girls and women to STEM careers, skilled trades, and other fields where they are underrepresented.
    2. Support the expansion of STEM high school and college courses.
    3. Evaluate female students’ perceptions of your industry.
    4. Support recruiting, outreach, and training programs for women in STEM careers, the trades, and other fields where they are underrepresented.
    1. Seek gender diversity among investment partners.
    2. Showcase successful women entrepreneurs, and support incubators and co-working spaces to support entrepreneurs with families.