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10 Prominent Women Leaders Share Their Thoughts on How to Close the Gender Wage Gap

5 May 2020 1:08 PM | Women of Martech Content (Administrator)


In this series, scores of prominent women leaders shared their insights about necessary steps to narrow and eventually close the gender wage gap. Here are some highlights. 

Shanna Hocking (Associate Vice President at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

Promote women’s financial security: Women need additional training on salary negotiations to help account for bias against women. Many organizations have started to offer coaching for women, but they are not broadly available. In addition to understanding how to ask for a raise or negotiate a salary, women could also benefit from money management training, which has historically been something that men were expected to do.

Dr. Tana M. Session (Organizational Development Strategist and Consultant)

Women should raise their hands for new and bigger projects to gain leadership experience and exposure to decision-makers. This will take some strategic self-promotion skills, but it is necessary to help elevate your career and your salary. Also, actively seek out promotions or new positions even if you do not have all of the listed requirements for the job. Men do it all the time.

Gail Becker (CEO of CAULIPOWER)

Supporting pay equality for women also means supporting women-owned businesses. When people talk about the ‘wage gap,’ they often overlook the overwhelming disparity that exists for female entrepreneurs. During my time in corporate America, I saw firsthand the far-reaching effects of gender inequity, but I never experienced its impact as deeply as I did when I left to start CAULIPOWER.

Angela Peacock (Founder of PDT Global)

As a society, we need to ensure people are incentivized to drive the inclusion change that will lead to the pay gap closing. So all managers, for example, should be made accountable for driving the change. Targets around promoting greater numbers of females or insisting on a more balanced slate when recruiting are essential. But more essential still is offering a dynamic and measurable system that is linked to performance — where managers have to have made some practical things happen in order to drive the right environment for all people to flourish. We need to start aligning inclusion to the things that matter to people — salary, bonus and promotions.

Cate Luzio (CEO of Luminary)

There is a serious talent pipeline problem across all industries. If over half of all new hires are women, we should see stronger diversity at all levels and in leadership. We won’t close the wage gap or reach gender parity if we don’t promote women early and often — and on potential, not just performance. It’s critical to invest in women throughout their careers to make sure that we don’t lose them mid-career.

Julia Shapiro (CEO of Hire an Esquire)

Rethinking the early narratives we have about boys and girls: Letting children develop who they are as people and being careful not to provide unconscious nudges towards gender stereotypes. Personality traits are shown to be evenly distributed across populations and children begin to become “gendered” based on social cues and this actually has an impact on career choices and earning potential. One small example is that children show no preference for gendered toys before gender is reinforced. Girls receive toys such as dolls that promote skills like empathy. Boys receive blocks and building toys that promote spatial, logic, and problem solving skills, which are conducive to success in STEM careers and standardized tests.

Grace Atwood (Co-Host of Bad on Paper Podcast and Founder of The Stripe)

I would say that it’s so important that women advocate for each other and openly discuss money with their peers, male and female. I remember early in my career discovering that my male coworker was being paid considerably more than I was and using this information to leverage a raise. There’s definitely a stigma associated with talking about money, but those uncomfortable conversations will help you negotiate better.

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