A million dollars. Put on your bald cap, extend your pinkie and do your best Mike Myers impressions. “A meelion dollars.”
We sat in on the OPEN Imperative press launch/webinar yesterday in preparation for Equal Pay Day.
A few background explanations for you.
What is the OPEN Imperative?
OPEN stands for Organizations for Pay Equity Now. It’s a new group of employers, VCs and influencers committed to eliminating gender pay gaps through data-driven action. OPEN Imperative set the audacious goal of closing the gender pay gap among startups in the next five years. According to experts, the gender-based pay gap will take decades to close.
What is Equal Pay Day?
In the United States, Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the year the average woman must work to have earned what the average median man had earned the entire previous year. (Note: women of color must wait even longer!)
I always find it remarkable how close Equal Pay Day (this year it’s today, March 15) is to International Women’s Day (just last week). International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Too bad we can’t get paid the same for those achievements. This is where those million dollars come in. According to Dr. C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women lose a million dollars over the course of their careers. Just for being women. As she says, for her, “It’s personal.” (Side note: Dr. Mason coined the term “shecession” an economic downturn where jobs and income losses affect women more than men.)
Two suggestions for you and your business
- Survey, measure and analyze. Katie Hughes from General Catalyst talked about how AirBnB, a General Catalyst company, performs an annual pay equity analysis and how, over the years, this analysis has grown increasingly sophisticated. Don’t until your company has a Chief People Officer, or whatever other “thing” you are waiting for. Start today.
- Look what’s happening around pay equity in harbinger states. Some states are creating rules, policies and regulations intended to address pay equity. What’s unusual and “just in California” today (or some other place) could become much more commonplace tomorrow. For example, some states have made it illegal to ask what someone is currently earning in an interview. This means that the offer, when it’s made, is much more likely to be based on the value of the role, versus previous rates of pay.
Kudos to the Open Imperative. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the two press releases we shared today: OPEN Imperative Sets Equal Pay Moonshot to Close the Gender Gap Among Startups and Startup CEOs Name Gender Pay Equity a Top Priority but Their Teams Lack Resources to Act.