A campaign to close the gender pay gap in Washington called Activate 3.8 was launched by the Washington Women's Commission (WSWC) June 28th in Seattle.

A study the National Partnership for Women and Families was reported by The Center Square claims women in Washington earned $18,400 less in wages than men in 2022. The gap is the second largest in the nation, behind Utah.  There is a combined annual  total of more than $1.6 trillion in gender pay gap in the U.S.

Women’s Commission Executive Director Grace Yoo says the gender pay gap is even worse for women of color.

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According to the Washington State Women’s Commission:

  • Latina women make $35,402 less than white, non-Hispanic men.
  • Native American women make $31,587 less than white, non-Hispanic men.
  • Black women make $28,405 less than white, non-Hispanic men.

The Washington State Women’s Commission claims that among the several reasons for the pay gap issue in Washington is  the disproportionate number of  men working in high salary sectors like technology and aerospace.  WSWC claims when women pursue those lucrative jobs, salaries decline.

The Commission cites a 2016 study from Cornell University that showed a decline in wages when more women entered the field of biology.
Are differences in the pay between men and women receive evidence of discrimination?
The public policy Hoover Institution published an article that argues the gender pay gap is not that simple and that men and women, even with identical qualifications, don’t make identical decisions about which jobs to take.
Men and women may want different work/life balances and expectations in their career choices.

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Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby