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Seattle Mayor launches a ‘gender justice initiative’ after report on pay gap

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is creating a task force to figure out why male city employees earn 9.5 percent more than female workers. (Seattle City Hall file photo)

Seattle is launching what the mayor calls a Gender Justice Initiative after revealing a report that shows the men who work for the city make 9.5 percent more than women.

The report, from the city’s personnel director David Stewart, also shows men make up about two-thirds of the city work force and are more represented in the highest-wage jobs.

Stewart repeats an often debated phrase that in the U.S. “a woman working full time is paid 77 cents for every dollar of wages a man earns for performing the same work. The result is a gap in earnings that equates to $11,084 annually in lost wages for women.”

Seattle’s wage gap is a bit worse, according to an April 2013 report from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

That report said, “In the Seattle metro area on average, a woman who holds a full-time job is paid $44,535 per year while a man who holds a full-time job is paid $60,881 per year.”

It found women who work in the city of Seattle are paid 73 cents for every dollar paid men make.

Looking at those numbers, Mayor Mike McGinn ordered a review of public employees in the city.

Seattle employs 9,885 city employees – about 36 percent women to 64 percent men.

Stewart concludes, “The overall difference in the average wage paid to women and men is 9.5, with men paid the higher average rate.”


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