On April 5, U.K. companies with 250 employees or more were required by law to reveal their pay data. The goal: Narrow the gender wage gap.
In response, many people across the world have shared their personal experiences, data, and opinions regarding gender pay differences. An Inc.com columnist, Heather Wilde, wrote about being paid 60 percent less than her male colleagues at the same level. The 2016 U.S. Census revealed it takes a woman one year, three months, and 10 days to earn what her male peer earns in one year. I personally quit a job once over a $5,000 gender wage gap.
Now that we’re really talking about this, let’s solve the gender wage gap once and for all. I believe achieving equal pay for equal work is possible. It takes time and effort and it isn’t easy, but it is a solvable problem. Creating true equal pay requires two things:
Commitment to a system that evaluates each individual relative to their peers.
Fluidness within the system created.
Through decades of trial and error, I believe I’ve found a system that works. It’s achievable by teams both big and small. It’s likely to raise a few eyebrows, and that’s OK. Sometimes, doing the right thing is hard.
Why the most senior woman at American Express decided to leave, and what her decision can teach us all
Until very recently, Susan Sobbott was the President of Global Commercial Payments at American Express, a storied company that has gone through significant transitions over past 100 or so years, and certainly in the last five. She spent 27 years there, and had a remarkable career as a senior executive spanning multiple divisions of the financial giant.
I first worked with Sobbott when I ran a company called Federated Media, and she ran part of American Express which included OPEN, Amex’s small business brand. Sobbott, a director of many commercial and nonprofit boards, was recently named one of the 150 women who shaped the world. But perhaps the most interesting thing about her is her recent choice to leave American Express after being passed up for the role of CEO. Most executives go silently into the night after this kind of news. But not Sobbott, who pointedly explained her reasons for leaving: There was only one job she wanted at the company, and the company didn’t give it to her. Below is the full transcript and video of our conversation at the Shift Forum last month. (While all conversations at Shift Forum are held under Chatham House Rule, Sobbott preferred her remarks be on the record. We’re thankful she did!).
There’s a reoccurring theme that continues to happen to me when I go out with my partner and we happen to strike up conversation with strangers. Be it at dinner, attending a wedding as a plus one, making small talk in an elevator, and even attending a conference as a speaker:
I am rarely asked what I do for a living. 😐
I’ll paint the picture for you- here’s a picture of me and my partner at an event…
A rebuttal to Gimlet’s Startup podcast on running both a family and a business
I’m a huge fan of Gimlet and love their new Brooklyn-based podcast Startup.
Yet, as a female tech entrepreneur (I’m the founder and CEO of Stride, a tech startup that’s self funded that my team and I have grown to 60 people in 3 years while I’ve battled cancer and raised 2 kids), a mother, and a New Yorker, I take serious issue with Season 5, Episode 4 — Running a Family and a Business.
NewCo Shift Forum Dialogs, in Partnership with Work Market
Joanne Wilson Started With Founders, But Now She’s Funding Movements Too
Joanne Wilson, better known to her fans as “Gotham Gal” for her enduring blog of the same name, has been a fixture of New York investing for nearly a decade. She’s an independent voice unafraid of controversial points of view, and coupled with her husband and Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson, comprises one of the most powerful couples in venture finance.
Twice in my career, I’ve left jobs because of gender discrimination resulting in unequal pay. One time I quit. The other time I got fired.
The time I quit, I was part of a gender balanced leadership team. It was amazing. We had a high level of trust and truly enjoyed building a team together. After being part of this team for four years, I learned that a male peer of mine in another department had been making more than me for the past four years, despite the fact that he was running a team of 2 and I was running a team of 65. I also discovered that another male peer of mine was promoted above me in both pay and title, despite having consistently poorer performance reviews than I had had over the years. I was confused. I felt betrayed and lied to. I did go to HR, who did try to help, but no real change came from it. So, I packed my bags and said my goodbyes.
When does fearlessly breaking the rules turn into recklessly crossing the line? Maybe it’s when a CEO repeatedly fondles an employee’s breasts in public. That’s what the former PR head of Thinx, which makes period-proof underwear for women, says the firm’s (now former) CEO, Miki Agrawal, did to her (New York). Agrawal says the charges are “baseless.”
Thinx is a headline-making New York-based startup with a deliberately transgressive approach to product and messaging. It sells underwear, but it also crusades on behalf of “girls in the developing world who don’t have access to menstrual products.” Its subway ads caused a stir, and Agrawal has a long track record of courting controversy. A key part of Thinx’s mission, Agrawal wrote on Medium, is to “break the period taboo once and for all.” As she put it to New York: “I just love the taboo space.”