Workforce Equity at the City of Seattle
In 2013, a National Partnership for Women and Families report revealed that women in the Seattle region have the largest pay gap in the country. Under former Mayor McGinn’s administration a Gender Equity in Pay Task Force was established to examine institutional and systemic causes of gender pay inequity at the City and provide a comprehensive set of recommendations to address the gender based pay gap.
In April 2014, under the current administration, Mayor Murray and the Council passed a joint resolution directing the Seattle Department of Human Resources (SDHR) to work in collaboration with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) to further study, identify and begin to address potential policies and practices responsible for pay disparities based on gender, race, sexual orientation or identity. In response to the resolution three studies were conducted to provide data to help direct future Workforce Equity Initiatives. The studies informed the Paid Parental Leave Legislation which was approved by City Council on April 6th, 2015 and have also led to the Workforce Equity Initiative Executive Order on March 31st, 2015 declaring Workforce Equity a priority of Mayor Murray’s Administration.
Within the Executive Order the Seattle Department of Human Resources (SDHR) in collaboration with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) has formed an Inter-departmental Workforce Equity group and a city-wide Human Resources Leadership Team to develop and implement models and metrics for Workforce Equity that addresses the gender and racial/ethnic gaps on a systemic and organizational level. Through these collaborations SDHR is working to create consolidated and aligned HR policies and practices to create consistent and equitable treatment of employees Citywide.