Workplace Equity Initiative

A- A A+

Workplace Equity Initiative for Thurston County

“Leading the W.E.I. to a Prosperous Community for All”

While job growth is strong and unemployment is dropping (6.3%, Feb 2016), women in Thurston County earn $0.68 for every $1.00 by their male counterparts. This disparity does not take into account the other significant factors that affect wage potential like race & ethnicity, parental status and LGBTQ identity – which often lead to lower wages.

If we continue with business as usual, women will not reach pay equity until 2071.

This is a significant long-term problem for our community to solve. It has direct consequences for the Thurston County labor market, our regional economy and our quality of life. Further, wage inequity conflicts with our mission and values of social equity, inclusion and fairness.


YWCA will encourage and expand the use of best practice-solutions locally while shining a bright light on employers that are promoting gender equity and tackling the wage gap.

We are inviting businesses & agencies to join the Wage Equity Initiative and lead the WEI in our community. YWCA efforts are informed by the significant work of the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Funding Alliance and other forward moving initiatives in Boston and San Francisco.

To enroll into W.E.I., each business is asked to adopt 3+ employer-led strategies that have been proven to reduce the wage gap. Strategies include, but are not limited to: improving workplace flexibility, removal of bias from the hiring process, empowering women to negotiate, improvement of wage transparency, increasing representation of women at senior levels, seeking gender and racial diversity among investment partners, and/or fair employee performance evaluations.

YWCA’s W.E.I. team will offer issue education, outreach, business guidance, training & coaching, tools for success and/or connection to other mentor businesses for each W.E.I. enrollee and will track and monitor progress and successes while celebrating achievements.


  • Clear demonstration to the business community that their business is a leader in wage equity
  • W.E.I. logo decal for the business
  • Exclusive invite to a YWCA W.E.I. Recognition Lunch
  • Inclusion in ads placed in local chamber materials and/or local media
  • Social media mentions
  • And more…