Dow Jones Sponsors Take The Lead Day To Move Closer To Gender Parity

Forty-two years is too long to wait.But 2059 is the year estimated that women in this country will be paid the same as men for the same work.We all agree, we gotta go faster.That is the impetus behind the sponsoring partnership between Dow Jones Co. and Take The Lead Day, to take action now to move that date closer into the near future. Both partners agree action needs to happen now to change the present and the future.“Project 2059 is a program Dow Jones is creating with potential partners to raise awareness around pay equity, but more importantly to show what actions you can take to pull that date forward.  So we are are pleased to be the presenting sponsor for Take The Lead Day and would like to use the day for a data, information and story-gathering opportunity to inform Project 2059,” says Fara Warner, vice president of custom content at Dow Jones & Co., parent of Wall Street Journal.“Women still earn on average about 80 cents to a man’s dollar nationwide, according to the National Women’s Law Center, and the gap has not narrowed appreciably in the past decade,” according to Mitchell Hartman in Marketplace.  “What Project 2059 seeks to do is give people information and activities that they can take and use to move that date forward,” Warner says.This also aligns with the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal’s new advertising campaign with the tag line, “Good things come to those who don’t wait,” and the refrain, “Are you ready now?”That mission aligns with Take The Lead Day, a global day of action for women to make progress toward gender parity in pay and leadership by 2025.[bctt tweet=”#TakeTheLeadDay is a global day of action for women to make progress toward gender parity “ username=“takeleadwomen”]“Take The Lead Day presents an opportunity to keep raising our voices, band together, strategize and be solution-focused and resolute in our intention to change the landscape and reach gender parity in leadership,” says Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead.“Our mission is to prepare, develop, inspire and propel women to take their fair share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025,” Feldt says.A 2017 Joint Economic Committee report revealed key findings on the gender pay gap in this country. According to the study, a woman working full time, year-round earns $10,500 less per year than a man, based on median annual earnings. This disparity can add up to nearly $500,000 over a career.The report also states that a woman working full-time, year-round earns only 80 percent of what a man earns in a year.  Women of color face even larger wage gaps. Compared to white men, African-American women, on average, are paid 62 cents on the dollar and Latinas are paid 54 cents on the dollar.“There is a lot of conversation about how we address pay equity in leadership, but what action can I do today to move that forward,” Warner says.That is the focus of Project 2059, a data visualization platform that will demonstrate how individual and collective actions can move the date of pay fairness closer to the present.Why is this important?According to the Economic Policy Institute in 2016, “The average woman worker loses more than $530,000 over the course of her lifetime because of the gender wage gap, and the average college-educated woman loses even more—nearly $800,000.”The report continues, “It’s worth noting that each woman’s losses will vary significantly based on a variety of factors—including the health of the economy at various points in her life, her education, and duration of periods out of the labor force—but this estimate demonstrates the significance of the cumulative impact. And, as explained later, the gap may play a role in the retirement insecurity of older American women.”In a recent speech at her alma mater, Yale University, Anita Hill said, “I think we need to start looking at gender equality and inequality not just from a thin slice of the economy.”According to Quartz, Hill said concentrating on Silicon Valley pay inequities is too narrow, gender pay gaps can be addressed in all fields.“We put the tech industry out there as an example of economic success, we need to be asking the question ‘economic success for who?’—even if we get equality for the women who work in the c-suite, is that going to filter into the rest of the community?” Hill asked.Incorporating solutions, strategies and actions is the goal of Project 2059 and Take The Lead Day.[bctt tweet=“Incorporating solutions, strategies and actions is the goal of #Project2059 and #TakeTheLeadDay” username=“takeleadwomen”]Raakhee Mirchandani, editor-in-chief of Moneyish.com, published by Dow Jones and part of the WSJ digital network and the Senior Content Development Editor at Dow Jones, will address Powertopia participants on the kick off livestreamed session, “Take Action-Create a Movement: Leadership Parity from Living Room to the Boardroom.Mirchandani is also a celebrity ghost “writer, columnist and pediatric cancer crusader. She’s a contributing parenting columnist at Elle and frequently appears on Sirius XM Radio as a guest and host. Her work has appeared in the New York Post, RedBook, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, HuffPo, NBCnews.com and on the “Today” show.Moderated by Feldt, the panel also includes Jewelle Bickford, Co-Chair, Paradigm for Parity; Rohini Dey, Owner & Founder, Vermilion; Patricia Russo, President, Women’s Campaign School at Yale University; and  Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO, BRAVA Investments.Throughout the day, at Take The Lead Day, Dow Jones will offer an area to gather information on a survey for Project 2059. The simple survey of 10 questions, with 5 questions each at two sites, will ask, “What actions do you believe on a scale of 0 to 5 are the most important to get women closer to pay equity and how will everyday actions make that happen?” says Warner.Those questions include how important is it negotiating that first salary on that first job; how important are organization-wide projects to reach pay equity; how important are anonymous resumes and how important is it that you can no longer be asked about past salary?“For that first salary, young women tend to leave a lot of money on the table,” Warner says. “And they will never make up that $20,000 to $30,000 gap.”Banning of inquiries about salary history is gaining momentum.“Multiple cities and states have passed laws recently banning employers from asking a job candidate for their salary history during the employment screening and interviewing process. The goal, advocates said, is to redress the persistent gender pay gap in America,” Hartman writes.“Massachusetts adopted a salary history ban last year. In 2017, California, Oregon, Delaware, and Puerto Rico followed suit, along with New York, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and New Orleans. (Philadelphia’s ban has been put on hold pending a legal challenge.) Legislatures in New Jersey and Illinois also passed laws, which were vetoed by their governors,” Hartman writes.New York City last week became the first to put the salary history question ban into action—and violation has a steep price.[bctt tweet=“New York City last week became the 1st to put the salary history question ban into action #progress” username=“takeleadwomen”]“New York City, in an effort to combat the gender pay gap, became the first U.S. city to ban employers from asking job applicants about previous salaries,” according to Reuters.“Under the city’s new law, the first of its kind to take effect in the country, employers who ask applicants about previous salaries or search for the information in public records will be subject to a fine of up to $250,000,” Reuters reports.“By banning questions about salary history, we are putting a stop to an employment practice that perpetuates gender wage discrimination and hurts all New Yorkers,”  Public Advocate Letitia James, who introduced the legislation, reported in a statement.These are all actions that can move the date of projected equity in 2059 closer.“That date feels so far away to some, but Project 2059  will show how every daily action like being a boss who does give the raise, or a financial advisor who creates an investment fund” can pull the date closer, says Warner.“It’s broadly about helping women to become more financially secure,” she says. “Pay equity is one of the biggest issues.”And pay equity is a symptom of broader issues in the workplace for women.“There is a direct connection between money earned and power,” writes John Doyle in the Globe and Mail. “Money earned is a litmus test and represents the capacity to rebuff predatory and exploitative behavior. As long as women are paid less in the entertainment and media worlds, those arenas are rife with undisguised, observable subordination. Predators prey on subordinates in Hollywood and in life.”Learn more about how you can work toward gender parity and fairness in leadership at Take The Lead Day November 14, a global day of action for leadership parity. Register for an event or host your own. Sign up and register here.