Seattle's gender wage gap ranks significantly worse than the four other closest cities in terms of population size, a new report has found.
In Denver, Boston, Baltimore, and Nashville, median income data shows that women workers make at least 86 cents on dollars earned by men. In Seattle, women make just 78 cents.
"I think we tend to think that Seattle has its act together," Adnan Mahmud, founder of civic data company LiveStories told The Stranger last week. "But the data shows otherwise."
The biggest gender wage gap in Seattle? The most educated workers.
For women workers who haven't graduated from high school or college, the gender wage gap in Seattle is still better than the national average, according to data from the American Community Survey. But the gap grows much wider for women who have earned bachelor's, graduate, or professional degrees.
While less educated workers have made some gains on the wage gap in the last five years, Seattle's gender wage gap for college-educated women has remained stagnant or grown, the LiveStories report found.
Other reports published in recent years have received similar results. One published by the National Partnership for Women and Families and LeanIn.org found that Seattle and Boise, Idaho, had the third largest gender wage gap among top 20 US cities. In 2014, Heidi Groover found that in municipal government, Spokane had more women as its highest-paid employees than Seattle did.
The report acknowledges that the tech industry is a significant portion of Seattle's economy, so a lack of equity in tech could have an outsized impact on Seattle's numbers. But the report didn't analyze data by profession, and also notes that many tech workers don't have advanced degrees. Similarly, the report adds, lots of Seattleites with advanced degrees don't work in tech.
Mahmud says that he wouldn't have expected a liberal city like Seattle to have such a large difference in the wage gap compared to other similarly-sized cities. "The consensus from people would be: If you get a higher education you can get better jobs, implying that the jobs will have more equal pay," he said. "Again, data does not show that."
Check out the full report here.