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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Young Women, Verizon Strikers Demand More

This week in our Women in Comms roundup: entry-level women ask for more money -- and get it; Verizon workers demand better contracts; 4-H refocuses around STEM; and more.


Interested in joining Women in Comms on our mission to champion change, empower women and redress the gender imbalance in the comms industry? Visit WiC online and get in touch to learn more about how you can become a member!


  • To mark this week's National Equal Pay Day, the point when the typical woman catches up with a man's earnings from last year, Hired released the results of a study on more than 100,000 men and women's salary expectations and what companies offer both genders. It found that tech companies offer women an average of 3% less than men for the same roles with the disparity growing to 30% less for some companies. Across all types of roles, men receive a higher salary offer than women for the same job title at the same company 69% of the time. The gap is biggest at larger companies. (See Happy(?) Equal Pay Day, Ladies.)

    Source: Hired
    Source: Hired

    On the flip side, Hired finds that the average woman on its platform sets her expected salary at $14,000 less per year than the average man. This "expectation gap" tends to widen as years of experience increases and is greater in roles that have more men in them, Hired finds.

    The good news from the study is that this all could be changing. Women with under two years of experience ask for an average of 2% more than their male counterparts, and they are getting what they're asking for with offers being made to woman that are 7% higher than to junior men. In fact, when women at all levels ask for more, they tend to get it, Hired says. So, the lesson here is -- know your worth and always ask for more! The worst they can say is no. (See Mind the Gap: Is Public Shaming the Way to End Pay Inequity?)

  • Union workers striking against Verizon this week claim, amongst many things, that the operator's new contract allows it to move jobs far from home and require workers to work away from home for up to two months at a time -- a challenge for any parent and a stark contrast to the promotions on its job site about how great the company is for women developing their careers. It's a timely reminder that the challenges women in tech face can be markedly different depending on their status. (See Verizon Workers Go on Strike.)

  • Andrew Bosworth, Facebook 's vice president of advertising and pages, attributes a lot of his success to his days as a child spent in 4-H, a non-profit program traditionally known for providing agricultural experience. The group now provides hundreds of classes and is rebranding itself to focus on STEM. Given how early kids' interest in STEM tends to drop off, Bosworth thinks this will be helpful in sparking more excitement in these industries, but -- he says -- the conversation also needs to change. "It's staggering that we've managed to make it so unexciting and so unappealing," Bosworth told CNN Money of STEM. "You can't tell a 12-year-old, 'Hey, this is really important to your future job growth,' and have them get super pumped about it." Rather, he says, you need to show them how fun it can be with hands-on experiences and social interaction.

  • TaskRabbit has appointed its COO Stacy Brown-Philpot to the post of CEO, making her one of the few black women to lead a Silicon Valley company. She replaces another woman, Leah Busque, the marketplace's leader for the past eight years, who will become executive chairwoman. Brown-Philpot spent 12 years at Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), sits on HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s board, is the director of Black Girls Code and founded the Black Googler Network.

    — Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

  • Sarah Thomas 4/15/2016 | 12:20:33 PM
    Re: Girls in Science The hands-on approach is what makes STEM so fun and come alive for any age, especially for things like robotics and engineering. Tech seems to be a harder sell still, but teaching coding in a way that's relevant to young kids, who probably already all have iPhones and use mobile apps, could help there too.
    Kelsey Ziser 4/15/2016 | 11:55:09 AM
    Girls in Science Yes, there's definitely a need for a hands-on approach to STEM. Girls in Science (NC Museum of Natural Sciences program) is a great example of a hands-on program for middle school girls to participate in and get excited about science. I hope those types of programs not only build interest in science and technology but also embolden girls once they enter the work force. 
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