Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Data Driven Approach to Ending the Wage Gap


Originally printed in Quartz:

More than 20 years that have passed since the National Committee on Pay Equity first called for action on the gender wage gap. But not much has changed. Women continue to earn less than men, and research shows that women often have less successful salary negotiations, sacrificing tens of thousands of dollars in future earnings. As a woman who works in the tech industry, I often find myself asking: What will it take to truly drive change and close the gender wage gap?

For me, the answer is data.

After I graduated with a PhD in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley, I was interviewing for a job as a data scientist in San Francisco. My prospective new boss said, “I know you make about $14,000 a year as a graduate student at Berkeley, I’m going to offer you more than that.” And he did! Imagine my excitement when my starting salary was much more than my graduate stipend.

At the time, I had no idea what I should be making, nor did I know how to negotiate, as my last “job” had been in a completely different industry. What’s more, I had no other comparable offers to use as a baseline. I attempted to a higher salary because I was told that you always should, but I was ultimately unsuccessful.

Read the full story at Quartz.