Going Splaces: Women & Money
This past Thursday women from the creative workforce came together to discuss a mutual issue at our Bowery loft. Working Not Working put together a panel to start a conversation about the wage gap between men and women in the workplace. Panelists included Leta Sobierajski, Lotta Nieminen, Rachael Yaeger, Michelle Higa Fox, Amy Woodside, Agatha Kulaga, Dayna Evans & Perrin Drumm. Across numerous industries women confessed their discomfort in addressing the issue with not only their male peers, but female peers as well. Despite there being a panel present in the room, the night was by and large a discussion. Two microphones traveled through a packed room. Graphic designers, photographers, writers, and other creative professionals discussed their personal experiences sharing both evidence to the existence of the issue and giving advice to women just beginning their careers. One audience member shared an experience she had being given a job offer only to find out that her less qualified male friend had been offered a 30% higher salary for the same job (don’t worry man friends, we didn’t hate on you too much); a member of the panel – a freelance graphic designer – told a story of an experience with a client who, in response to the rate she set for her work, called her and said she wasn’t asking for enough money. The list goes on.
The room was a mixture of different opinions, but candid ones. And for a topic of discussion such as this one that’s exactly what you’re looking for. There’s no quick fix or formula to righting this antiquated wrong. Equal pay rate may not be achievable instantly across the board, but what the discussion brought into focus is a woman’s control of her own equality. Many of the most powerful women in the room called on their peers to stop being shy, to ask for more than they expect to get, and to support your female co-workers. Or you could follow one of the panel member’s advice to “behave like a frat bro.”
On a lighter note, Working Not Working created a Spotify playlist of songs about money featuring only female artists (yes, Rihanna’s in there) Click here to listen.
Words & Photography by Katy Hallowell