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Building an Equal Pay Revolution for Women
Building an Equal Pay Revolution for Women
by The Luupe
Ladies Get Paid is helping women around the world balance the scales of pay inequity through community building, education and more.
Claire Wasserman founded Ladies Get Paid in 2016 to counter pay inequity. She began hosting educational workshops, programming, master courses, and events in 20+ cities across the United States, creating outlet for women and non-binary individuals to network and inform each other about how to overcome these obstacles. The expansive community and platform of over 70,000 women now provides countless tools and resources for women to succeed. They also have a conference coming up on May 24th.
In honor of equal pay day, we sat down with Claire to learn more about its goals and many steps forward.
The Luupe: In your mind, what is the biggest challenge to pay equity right now?
Claire Wasserman: The biggest challenge to pay equity - and there are a number of them - is the lack of adequate paid family leave and subsidized child care policies in this country. The wage gap really starts to widen when a woman has her first child (it’s called the “Motherhood Penalty” and ironically, when men become fathers, they often get a raise which is referred to as the “Fatherhood Bonus.) If we can better support families as well as help companies with off-ramp and on-ramping new parents, we can keep them in the workforce and protect their wages and future earning potential.
The Luupe: You offer remarkably helpful courses - some free, some at affordable pricing. How did this piece of the platform come about and how's it working so far?
Wasserman: Pre-pandemic, we were an entirely in-person business. We organized workshops and meetups on a regular basis, our annual conference had 1,000 attendees, and I toured the country to 19 cities, hosting town halls for women to talk about work, self-worth, and money.
The Luupe: Wow - that's amazing! And you kept it afloat virtually during the pandemic?
Wasserman: Obviously the pandemic changed all that. While it was terrifying at first, the pandemic forced us to pivot to something we should’ve probably focused on way earlier: video content. Now, we host everything online and have amassed a video library of 100+ hours of webinars, plus our conference is going to have closer to 20-30k registrants this year :)
The Luupe: What themes and programming are resonating most with your community right now?
Wasserman: Crypto, crypto, crypto! Also, personal finance in general. Because even though the economy was devastated during the pandemic, there were a lot of people who made a ton of money, whether through the traditional stock market or things like Gamestop. The women in our community were like, "hold on. Some people are getting rich, why not us?!"
Even though things still feel a little shaky these days (though interestingly, the job market is in favor of the employee for the first time in a while), women are more interested in investing than ever before. And we’re here to help them…
The Luupe: LGP is such a powerhouse for pay equity. Have there been any success stories to women associated with the project?
Wasserman: So many success stories! Everything from people quitting their jobs, to starting businesses, to standing up against sexual harassment. But also “smaller” things like speaking up at a meeting, sharing an idea, or simply setting boundaries. I feel incredibly honored to have played a role in their career journeys!
The Luupe: Where do trans and non-binary voices fit into your mission and the pay equity gap?
Wasserman: There’s not a lot of data on the pay equity gap when it comes to trans and non-binary folks so I can’t speak to specifics. However, anyone in this society that doesn’t fit the “ideal” (white, cis-gender, male), is at a disadvantage in so many ways, work and money included. They're welcome to join Ladies Get Paid, no matter how they identify!
The Luupe: How do you ensure the cultural diversity and intersectionality of the women you are reaching, speaking to, serving, and collaborating with?
Wasserman: We’ve always been very deliberate about partnering with organizations who do work specific to marginalized populations, elevating them through things like exposure to our community, featuring them as speakers or instructors, donating proceeds, etc.
When I wrote the Ladies Get Paid book, I hired a DEI expert to be what’s called “sensitivity editor” and from the very beginning, we worked together to ensure that I was aware of my blindspots and that the experiences of women of color weren’t an afterthought. I’ve received so many beautiful messages from all different kinds of people, telling me that this was among the first books they’ve read that reflected their actual work life experiences. I’m really proud.
The Luupe: What have been some of your biggest challenges as an organization?
Wasserman: While I think it’s possible to do good and do well, I think there can be inherent tension when trying to monetize a business with a social mission. You have to be careful with what you price things and how you scale.
The Luupe: Women have lost 5.5M+ jobs since the start of the pandemic. What advice do you have moving forward? And what advice has been most helpful to women struggling with unemployment since 2020?
Wasserman: Companies are struggling with how to retain and attract talent - take advantage of this. Apply for jobs that might be out of your comfort zone. Push for improved policies at work, including pay transparency and paid family leave. And get involved in your local elections.
The Luupe: What's the next step?
Wasserman: Our annual conference, Get Money Get Paid, is happening (virtually) on May 24th. We’ve made it FREE for the first time and will include a jobs fair. Speaking of which, we’re coming out soon with a jobs board, plus a lot more stuff around “Ladies Get Crypto”..so stay tuned :)
The Luupe: Thanks so much for your time and wonderful work. And Happy Equal Pay Day!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Luupe is a one-stop production company that is raising the bar for professional brand imagery on a global scale. With a highly curated and diverse network of professional women and non-binary photo and video creators across 80+ countries around the world, we are reinventing how brands produce original, local, and authentic visual stories that connect with a global audience. Our mission is to champion and amplify diverse perspectives from around the world — in front of and behind the lens.