Women in Seattle's City Council Race

The general election could yield the first ever female majority

Much has been made of Seattle’s first-ever council race featuring seven of nine positions selected by geographic district. With 45 candidates, it certainly yielded a clamorous primary. But the general election holds the potential for another first: a female majority. Of the 18 candidates on the ballot, 10 are women, and five led in the primary.

A gender shift could add heat to the light recently shed on the city’s pay gap for women. Last year, Seattle was called out for having the greatest male-female pay disparity in the 50 largest U.S. cities—much of that gap is driven by our “brogrammer”-dominated tech sector. The city government, Seattle’s fourth-largest employer, is also part of the problem. According to an internal study, the city pays men 9.5 percent more than women on average. There’s no guarantee a female majority on the council would make this a priority, but as the votes roll in this month, one can dream.