FIRST THOUGHT: The Fight for Wage Equality
We talk a lot about the wage gap at On The Dot because, girlfriend, it’s 2018 and it’s still a dang issue. Let’s talk about what you can do when you find out Lazy Larry in your office gets paid more than you for the same position. First, do some research about what your position is worth, including benefits and bonuses, and talk to others in your field about their compensation. Yep, that’s right, I’m giving you permission to talk about the big M word—money. Be sure to practice negotiating before asking for that raise, and most of all, believe you are worth it!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $400 Billion
While a big piece of the wage-gap pie comes down to sexist bosses and bad company policies, much of it also has to do with the fact that we ladies feel shy or awkward kicking down the door and asking for what we want. Walk boldly and have an understanding of the facts, which include that diversity in the workplace benefits both companies and employees. In tech in particular, a strong focus on diversity could yield the industry an additional $400 billion in revenue each and every year.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Erica Baker, Senior Engineering Manager at Patreon
Today’s Woman to Watch, Erica Baker, has long been strongly advocating for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. As Erica says, she likes to slay big problems—including the lack of diversity in tech—with weapons like logic and data. And as the senior engineering manager at Patreon, a tech company that powers membership businesses for creators, she manages the infrastructure engineering team while working to expand access to tech education for all.
Here’s how Patreon works: The company helps creators get paid for what they’re already creating, like videos, web comics, songs and the like. And Patreon provides access to creator communities for patrons, aka fans, who can pay for all the content they love in support of the creators. Fans pay their chosen subscription amount, most of which goes to the creators. This creates a cycle through which fans can expect stellar continuous content and creators can produce it knowing they’ve got reliable income. It’s also a tactful way to support women in industries like animation, comics and games with your almighty dollar. That’s what we call a win-win-win!
Of course, for members who employ the company, the tech has got to be solid. That’s where Erica and her team of techies exceed expectations. About 2 million patrons and 100,000 creators rely on Patreon’s technology every month, with creator earnings projected to reach $300 million in 2018 alone.
As a tech mastermind, Erica has spent a long time nailing her game in the tech world, from working for giants like Google and Slack to her current gig with Patreon. But never one to let her focus on inclusion, diversity and tech education slide, she’s also a founding member of Project Include, a tech mentor for Black Girls Code and a board member at Girl Develop It.
Erica made some serious waves back when she worked at Google when she asked colleagues about their salaries and, with their permission, disseminated a spreadsheet with the data, which, of course, highlighted the gender pay gap at the tech giant. It was a fearless move made possible by Erica’s pluckiness and knowledge that the law would have her back. (Yep, it’s totally legal to share how much money you make!) So, ladies, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut or like some stale policies need to be updated, take Erica’s lead and brazenly champion some change in your workplace!
QUITE THE QUOTE
As equal-pay crusader Erica Baker said:
“It might cost your company a little bit more to pay women what they’re worth, but it’s worth it.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.