I’ve been saying yes a lot -- and often. I’m looking at salary transparency from all sides. How is this data informally shared and who has access to it. I’m also partnering with others who want to find simple solutions to this topic as well. As an introverted extrovert (yes it’s possible!) I approach it by going deep into the mechanics, listening, participating, and synthesizing information. And I’m learning a lot. Some fun, some disheartening, but all insightful.
I spent a Saturday at The Flatiron School for tech boot camps advising men and women, coders and thinkers, on pay transparency to see what they could come up with after a full day of brainstorming and coding. I felt the energy of passionate minds and know we can find solutions to this intractable problem. My other take away? Young women in their 20s already feel less valuable or worthy than their male counterparts. I was on a panel and many said it was the first time they thought about self-advocacy and taking stock of what decisions they need to make to not get behind their colleagues in pay. Most already felt behind.
Last week we hosted a webinar with Uncompany, a creative freelance staffing agency, to outline steps those new to the freelance space should take to understand the type of data available to them so them can determine their market worth. My take away: Freelancers are on an island of no information when it comes to their rates and are even more vulnerable than the rest of the population in sorting out how to price themselves according to their work value (sign up for the remaining webinars in this series here!).
I also gave a workshop on behalf of AAUW for their national, “Ask for More” campaign whose goal is to train 10 million women on salary and benefits negotiation. It was a wonderful two hours at the Brooklyn Public Library with people from all career levels and industries. We talked about how individuals can find data on their job’s market worth and how to use that information to have data driven salary conversations for upcoming jobs or raises and promotions. My take away: Women are feeling dejected and inadequately paid in the workforce when compared to their male counterparts. I met a woman in her late 40’s who was making 55k, but easily had the qualifications to be in the 6 digits. Her confidence was gone but I could see her awesomeness from a mile away.
I’m not disheartened; I’m energized and focused. In an interview I gave with Uncompany there was a quote I gave that still resonates, “I promised myself I would only launch a company if it was something the world needed. And the world needs to have conversations about money. Women and women of color need this especially.” I’m still sorting out and researching and thinking. More to come on all of that later.