Washington State Launches Activate 3.8 Campaign to Address Gender Wage Gap



In Washington State, a new initiative is aiming to address the substantial gender wage gap highlighted by a recent study. According to the study, women in Washington earn, on average, $18,400 less annually than their male counterparts, giving the state a disappointedly low ranking of 49th in terms of gender pay equity across the U.S.

Key Takeaways:

– Women in Washington State earn $18,400 less per year than men on average.
– The ‘Activate 3.8’ campaign intends to promote gender pay equality in Washington.
– The initiative includes support for career opportunity development and policy reform.
– Tech companies Amazon and Microsoft have reported pay equity, but inequality persists in leadership roles.

Campaign 3.8 Kick Off

The Washington State Women’s Commission launched the ‘Activate 3.8’ campaign to combat this economic disparity on Friday. The campaign, named in acknowledgment of the 3.8 million women and girls living in Washington, aims to move the state from the bottom 10 states for gender wage inequities into the top 10.

Approximately 160 people attended the public launch event at Seattle’s Nectar Lounge, listening to speakers ranging from key corporate figures to state officials. Some prominent speakers included Governor Jay Inslee, Grace Yoo, the executive director of the Women’s Commission, and April Sims, president of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO WA.

Strategies for Change

Activate 3.8 is not narrowly focused and is employing a multifaceted method to increase awareness about pay disparities and advance various remedial measures. These measures include:

– Conducting a promotional tour across 10 cities in partnership with organization sisters such as the Girl Scouts, aiming to encourage women’s careers in tech, aerospace, construction, trade, and STEM fields.
– Facilitating organizations that provide workforce development training and increasing the visibility of resources for women seeking career opportunities.
– Advocating for workplace policies that benefit women, including child care access, reproductive healthcare, and workplace harassment services.
– Promoting the Women on Corporate Boards Act which states that 25% of public company board members should be women.

As Grace Yoo rightly said, there is no magic fix. It will require efforts from all spheres to tackle the existing gender pay inequality.

Tech Industry Report on Pay Equity

However, the gender wage disparity is not just about unequal salaries. Tech giants in Washington, like Amazon and Microsoft, have disclosed employee demographics data showing that while they almost achieved compensation equity at lower levels, but a considerable disparity exists in the higher, more lucrative leadership roles.

According to data from 2023, women at Amazon in the U.S. earned 99.9 cents for every dollar a male employee in the same role earned. Microsoft showed women earning $1.007 for every dollar men earned, given a comparable job title, level, and tenure. However, it is clear that these companies still have more men occupying the higher-paying leadership roles.

Activate 3.8: A Step Towards Equality

While the Activate 3.8 campaign doesn’t have specific goals or timelines, it signifies the state’s commitment to shrink the gender wage gap. It hopes to push businesses and corporations to make proactive efforts to equalize pay, diversify leadership roles, and offer more career opportunities to women in Washington.

In light of the upcoming presidential election, the discourse around women’s rights and their impacts on working women is more relevant than ever. Without doubt, endeavors like Activate 3.8 will not only put pay equity firmly on the political and corporates’ agenda but also empower women by giving them fair opportunities to thrive in their careers.

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