Weber Shandwick Seattle recently participated in the inaugural 100% Talent Wage Gap Summit. The 100% Talent initiative was developed in collaboration by The Women’s Funding Alliance and Seattle Chamber of Commerce in response to a 2013 study ranking Seattle the worst in the country for gender wage gap. Since the kick-off of the initiative, Seattle has narrowed its wage gap by nearly three cents on the dollar.

The first-ever Wage Gap Summit explored the ways we, as a community, can think, act, share and invest in collectively eliminating the gender pay gap in King County.

Weber Shandwick Seattle was fortunate enough to have two participants, Michelle Maggs and Brooke Shepard, involved in the important discussion. “Having more women (in senior roles) isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s an imperative,” said Maggs as she kicked off her panel focusing on senior leadership and representation. She moderated a powerful conversation with panelists from Leading Women, the Boardlist, EnergySavvy/Ada Academy, and Moss Adams.

Given 80 percent of men still make up the executive ranks in companies, Shepard’s panel examined how men should play a key role in tackling gender equity in the workforce. “It’s too easy to get applauded for something that should be automatic,” Shepard said. Dan Spaulding of Zillow Group also participated on the panel, with Suzi LeVine, former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, and her husband Eric LeVine, of CellarTracker, as moderators.

Weber Shandwick Seattle is a signatory member of the 100% Talent initiative, which requires a three-year financial commitment in addition to selecting six pain points to focus on solving from a list of 27 best practices identified by 100% Talent. We’ve chosen ours from the organizational culture, performance evaluation and work-life balance categories and look forward to improving our current policies to ensure fairness and equality for all of our employees.

Alix Spurgeon is an AAE at Weber Shandwick and a University of Idaho alumna. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Kari Kato is an Executive Assistant/Front Office Coordinator at Weber Shandwick and an alumna of Western Washington University. You can connect with her via LinkedIn

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