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Leaders of Ellevate Network and WomenWerk to Speak About Gender Pay Gap on International Women’s Day at SXSW Event

Ellevate CEO, Kristy Wallace, and WomenWerk Co-Founder and CEO, Nekpen Osuan, to speak at SXSW Event, Danger in Silence: #TimesUp for Pay Inequity – March 8, 11:00am


Though women now hold more than half of professional jobs, unequal pay across genders persists in nearly every industry where there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio. Men are still paid more for equal work, even when factors like taking time away for childcare are considered. Despite the fact that women live longer than men, they are more likely to live below the poverty line after retirement, and research done by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research indicates that Equal Pay would reduce poverty by half for families with working women. Equal pay is not only a woman’s issue – it is a human issue and it affects everyone.

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2019, WomenWerk will convene a panel of experts on pay inequality at the SXSW Conference to discuss the gender pay gap as it persists in Corporate America. Panelists will include Charlotte Burrows, Commissioner at the United States Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Hise Gibson, Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School; Nekpen Osuan, Co-Founder and CEO of WomenWerk; and Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network.

"WomenWerk is excited to be part of this important conversation on the movement to achieve equal pay for equal work in America,” said CEO and Co-Founder, Nekpen Osuan. “We know women of color are most adversely impacted by pay inequity and we are excited to celebrate our favorite day, International Women's Day, at SXSW discussing this topic. I am personally excited to elevate the stories and voices of our diverse members to raise the important consideration of intersectionality."

The event, entitled Danger in Silence: #TimesUp for Pay Inequity, will focus on the parallels between the #MeToo and Equal Pay movements, particularly on how communal silence and sector norms can further injustice. The speakers will also explore what social structures, mindsets, and practices lead to pay inequity; how individuals, companies, and systems can begin to move toward equity; and what key tactics companies and individuals can employ to help leaders and peers move toward transparency and parity.

“It is 2019 and we're seeing businesses make powerful advances in technology, healthcare, and product innovation yet continue to be held back by employee turnover, lack of employee engagement, and homogeneous thinking,” said Ellevate CEO, Kristy Wallace. “Companies lament the lack of women in leadership yet fail to recognize the reality that the average white woman makes $0.79 for every $1 a man makes, and for women of color this number is even worse. It is time for companies to acknowledge the important role that women play in the workforce, to take action towards creating equality in pay and leadership opportunity, and to take action towards transparency for pay equity.”

The panel, Danger in Silence: #TimesUp for Pay Inequity, will take place at the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas at 11:00am on March 8th, 2019 [JW MARRIOTT – ROOM 203-204]. The panel coincides with the release of a White Paper from Ellevate Network that will provide practical solutions to some of the business world’s most persistent issues of inequality. To receive the announcement of the White Paper release, sign up for Ellevate’s Newsletter here.

About WomenWerk
WomenWerk is a women’s empowerment non-profit based in New York City with the mission to amplify intersectional and inclusive voices in the gender equity movement. WomenWerk was founded in 2013 and is led by social entrepreneur Nekpen Osuan.

About Ellevate Network
Ellevate Network is a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed. We believe that when ambitious professional women get more opportunity — to have a voice in important conversations, to have a seat at the table where decisions are made, to steer our collective economic power towards that which we care about — it ultimately benefits everyone, and leads to a more equal world. Ellevate also works with companies committed to diversity and inclusion and has a proven track record of changing business culture from the inside out.