How Does Equal Pay Day Affect You?

477391335If you haven’t been to our Equal Pay Day takeover yet, drop everything you are doing and go here now.

That’s better!

Equal Pay Day, marked on April 8th of 2014, is a day that affects every single one of us.

Did you know that due to the wage gap, we women work for free 59 days a year?

Did you know that by age 65, you will have lost an average of $435,000 in your lifetime?

Or that the wage gap hasn’t budged in a decade?

The scary part is that this isn’t an issue of the past, or of a different generation. Today, just one year after graduation, women are already earning only 82% of what our male counterparts earn. I was the woman who learned that I was making less than my male counterpart on my same team (same level of responsibility and same role) three years in. I assumed that if I put my head down and did great work what I deserved would come to me.

It is insane that in our day and age we are still having a conversation about a segment of our population getting compensated less for the same work than another segment based on physical differentiation. It’s 2014, and we can do better as a country and as a collective consciousness.

Equal Pay Day happens for a few reasons–some of them are structural and some of them are personal. Here at Levo, we have the opportunity to work with both sides of the equation.

On the structural side, we are working with institutions and with phenomenal company partners to look introspectively and ensure that their practices are as just and fair as possible–see our company collaborators at the top and bottom of the page here. We are also encouraging managers to evaluate their own performance with their teams with simple tools such as this one–if you manage a team, this is a great gut check for you.

On the personal side, let’s all take the opportunity to understand the causes of unequal pay and attack them together. Equal Pay Day is rooted in our fundamental discomfort with asking for what we need in order to be successful in our careers. This can be anything–this is not just about money. It’s about asking for feedback, asking for more responsibility, asking for a promotion, and then yes…asking for compensation that is commensurate with the value that we bring to our company.

When is the last time that you asked for something that you needed? We surveyed 10,000 of you and learned that over 90% of you had never asked for more responsibility, feedback, or a raise in your jobs–let’s get you more comfortable flexing your asking muscles.

In that spirit, we have teamed up with some incredible partners, from the United Nations to Lean In with many in between, to do three things: inspire, educate, and advocate.

1. Inspire: On this page, we will first and foremost share videos and inspirational quotations from leaders across industries. We have teamed up with them to draw attention to this critical day and share their advice and personal stories in learning how to ask in their careers. We will be updating these videos throughout the month of April as our campaign continues, so stay tuned to hear the perspectives from some of your role models.

2. Educate: Next, we will give you the opportunity to understand how Equal Pay Day affects youby learning a bit more about you (don’t worry, we promise not to share any of the data you input–this is exclusively so that we can do the next part) and then showing you how much money youshould be making based on your job title, location, years of experience and other information. All of this is based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data so you know you’re getting the best benchmark. Finally, we recommend a personalized three-step action plan to you based on your location, your job, and your salary relative to the average you should be earning, so that you can take action in getting closer to what you deserve.

3. Advocate: Finally, we encourage you to take a pledge to ask for more of something in your life, whether it be more feedback, mentorship, or whatever this campaign inspires you to recognize that you deserve.

Let’s ensure that every woman is aware of this day and its importance, and is equipped with the resources to do something about it to make it more equitable. We’ll be around all month with these insights and recommendations, so check it out, spread the word, and drop us a line to let us know how you have implemented #Ask4More in your own life–we’re here for you, and we’re all in this together.

To learn more about Equal Pay Day and Levo’s #Ask4More campaign, click here.