Women working in King County make 78.6 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn, according to a new study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research for the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Funding Alliance.
That number has increased by about two cents since 2013 when a similar study was last conducted. If the gap continues to narrow at this rate, girls born in 2000 will have to work until they are 70 years old before achieving pay equity.
“This new data shows we are making gains to close the gap, but we still have a long way to go to make sure we are creating opportunity for everyone to thrive equally,” said Chamber President and CEO Maud Daudon in a press release.
The study was commissioned by 100% Talent, a joint initiative between the Seattle Chamber and the Women’s Funding Alliance. Its findings are based on 2015 stats from the American Community Survey.
Another study conducted in 2017 by LeanIn.org and the National Partnership for Women and Families found Seattle women earn about 20 percent less than men, tied with Boise, Idaho, for the third largest gap among the top 20 U.S. cities.
Since 2013, 27,000 women in King County have entered the workforce, according to the 100% Talent report. During that time, the median annual earnings for women in King County rose from $50,000 to $55,000 but they are still earning $15,000 less than their male counterparts.
“Women still earned annual salaries that were less than their male counterparts’ in multiple high-paying occupations, such as in medicine, law, software development, financial management, and general management roles,” the report says.
A number of Seattle organizations, including 100% Talent, are working to reduce that gap by bringing more transparency to compensation and targeting some of the systemic causes of inequity like recruiting and retention.