Marilyn Watkins, EOI policy director, has been appointed as a member to Seattle’s Gender Equity in Pay Task Force. The task force is in response to recent findings by the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) that Seattle has the largest gender wage gap in the nation.
After conducting an internal audit following NPWF’s findings, the City of Seattle discovered a 9.5% wage gap at City Hall, with women being paid 73 cents on the dollar compared to men. The city employs around 10,000 workers and the average salary difference equates to $16,346 a year.
Marilyn is a lifetime advocate for women’s issues – from pay equity to family and medical leave. For the last decade, Marilyn has been leading the fight in Washington for Family and Medical Leave Insurance and she has also been key in the campaign for Paid Sick Days in Seattle. Before joining EOI’s staff, Marilyn taught women’s history and researched the role of gender in American economic and political life. As a member of the task force, Marilyn will bring an expert understanding of women’s economic security and the public policy solutions that empower working women.
The task force will review data on the gender pay gap and develop proposals to assure more equitable wages among City government employees and contractors, as well as improve economic security for all working women. Task force members include representatives from academia, the legal field and other city-level commissions focusing on women’s issues. It is co-chaired by Julie Nelson, director of Office for Civil Rights and Patricia Hayden, YWCA director of specialized and integrated services.
If you’re interested in taking an active role in the city’s fight for pay equity, members of the public are invited to join the Seattle Women’s Commission and the Office for Civil Rights tonight for the Equal Pay Forum from 6 – 8 p.m. tonight at Seattle City Hall.