A Guide: How-to Vote Equal Pay Every Day
Why it matters, what are the numbers, and how we can all champion equality in our daily lives.
The global pandemic and economic crisis have brought into focus enormous long-standing inequities for women in the workplace. In response, LUNA® has partnered with the TIME’S UP™ Foundation on their Time’s Up Pay Up initiative to do something about it.
We stoked the fight for equality by donating to TIME’S UP to help launch a body of research to learn more about how women, men, and our communities are being affected by the COVID-19 crisis and recession. (Full results here.)
Now that the results are in, we’re shining a light on this information and sharing expert tips from frontline equality advocates to empower you to raise your voice for equal pay every day.
We tapped advice from three major players in the fight for equal pay.
- Angie Jean-Marie, Director of Public Engagement, TIME’S UP Now
- Megan Rapinoe, Defending FIFA World Cup Champion, US Women’s National Soccer Team
- Matthew Dillon, VP of Government Relations and Social Impact, Clif Bar & Company
Vote Equal Pay Every Day. Your Go-To Guide:
Voting in local, state, and federal elections is one of the most important things you can do in the fight for equal pay. But we can all do more in our daily lives. From supporting women running for office to speaking up for pay equity in our own places of work, we're sharing easy and effective ways you can make a difference by voting with your voice every day.
Make a plan to vote.
TIME’S UP is partnering with When We All Vote and United State of Women on the Gender Equity Voting Collaborative to ensure that all women, from all communities, and across generations are registered and ready to cast their ballots. Visit When We All Vote’s Voter Resources Hub which is a one-stop shop for everything you need to make your plan to vote—from registering to vote to requesting and researching your ballot. This is a historic but unique election year given the impacts of the pandemic. The most important thing you can do to fight for pay equity is to make sure you have all of the information you need to vote and make your voice heard. Take action today and register to vote.
Support women this election season.
(During their campaigns and while they’re in office.)
We caught up with Angie Jean-Marie, Director of Public Engagement at TIME’S UP Now, to get her insight on political advocacy at this moment. Angie is a fierce advocate for equal pay for all women and she now leads strategic partnerships and advocacy campaigns to advance safety, fairness, and dignity for women at work.
She reminded us that a record number of women are running for office, including a record number of Black women. And that the pay gap we see in workplaces is also reflected in politics, so fundraising for and donating money to women running for office are critical. The gap is remarkable. A recent report found that women running for Congress have raised an average of $500,000 less than the men.
How to be an ambassador or advocate of a candidate you support:
Some practical guidance from Angie:
- Do your research to identify candidates whose values align with yours.
- Write up talking points to express why you’re so excited about your candidate, how this candidate is committed to equal pay and gender equity, and why your community (friends, family, and colleagues) should care.
- Bring up candidates in conversation, whether with friends from a safe social distance or online.
- Host a virtual dinner party or fundraising event with your friends.
- Volunteer your skills (think experience such as social-media outreach, videography, spreadsheets, or event organizing).
Engage with your elected officials.
Angie shared with us the importance of continued support for elected officials after the peak of activity around the election. She emphasized that voting is one way to be civically engaged, but that accountability and follow up are critical to our democracy.
Ways to support elected officials fighting for gender equity through their term.
- Sign up for their mailing list to stay up-to-date on what they’re doing.
- Participate in local events and town halls hosted by your elected leaders (virtually for now, of course).
- Share your pay equity story or related story about discrimination you’ve faced in the workplace with your elected leaders. Your story can enable them to create and advocate for gender equity policies.
- Call up your legislator and ask their position on issues such as equal pay and gender equity.
Angie reminded us that not only is it entirely ok to contact your elected offices but it’s actually the responsibility of your elected leaders to be in communication with their constituents.
“Take advantage of these open lines of communication,” she said. “What elected officials need when they’re forming their policy platform is to understand the stories of the people who live in their district.”
Angie recommends a practical approach to checking in with your elected officials after elections.
Simply set a timer for six months down the road. When your timer goes off in six months, ask yourself:
- What is this person doing in office?
- Are they pushing the policies that were in their election platform?
- What is their voting record?
- What does their community outreach look like?
- What have I done to empower them for success?
- What can I do next?
Take 10 minutes to fill out that 2020 Census.
Another major thing that’s happening this year aside from the election is the decennial census. Angie reminded us that typically the Census Bureau has relied on door-to-door contact to remind people to complete their form, but due to the pandemic, we’re at risk of not getting an accurate count. With the count ending in late September, 40% of households still haven’t responded. You can check on response rates in your community here.
Why is the census important for equal pay and policy equity?
The Census determines how billions of federal dollars flow into our communities and it impacts the number of seats each state receives in the House of Representatives.
Angie explains, “The Census is about the political power and resources that support a region. For equal pay, this plays out in a number of ways.”
For example, Angie said, the Census determines the funding structure for public programs that provide support and child care for working mothers. Lack of affordable child care options directly contribute to the pay gap for working mothers.
Advocate for equal policies in the workplace.
We wanted to get the perspective of Clif Bar’s Matthew Dillon. He’s VP of Government Relations and Social Impact and he’s been with the company for nearly a decade. So, 1) we wanted to pick his brain about being a male advocate in a women’s rights movement, and 2) we needed insight on how both companies and consumers can raise their voices for equal pay, every day.
At Clif Bar, 52% of leadership positions (director and above levels) are held by women.
Matthew stressed this clarification. “When we talk about equal pay, it’s important to remember that pay is just one indicator of equality or equity of gender. Opportunity in growth and access to higher level positions within the company are equally important.”
A company checklist:
Essential protocol to create a culture of equality.
- Do not ask for previous employment salary.
- Centralize salary negotiations through HR to ensure they’re fair and consistent.
- Conduct annual salary reviews to really identify disparity trends and how your company can solve for these disparities.
- Invite dialogue. There must be a comfortable environment for giving feedback.
- Create women’s leadership circles to provide guidance and advice.
On the job, remember there’s strength in numbers.
We love insight from LUNA Athlete, Megan Rapinoe. She pretty much knows all there is to know about fighting for equal pay. As Co-Captain of the US Women’s National Soccer Team, Megan and her teammates led the charge in a lawsuit that demanded salaries equal to the men’s team for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Team. They won the World Cup. They lost their lawsuit. (LUNA bridged the gap to pay equal bonuses for the world champs). But the famous Winger isn’t one to give up, and she continues to raise her voice to bridge the pay gap for all women in the workplace.
An employee checklist:
Key tactics to ensure equal policies for yourself and your colleagues.
- Ask questions to HR departments about processes to audit and monitor equal pay.
- Find allies amongst both female and male peers and supervisors.
- Challenge yourself to become an ally.
- Be transparent with colleagues -- across genders -- about salaries.
A challenge for men seemed to rise to the top of our discussions with Megan and Matthew.
Vote for equality with your dollar.
An impactful way to help women make a living equal to that of their male counterparts is to pay them directly. As the pandemic has devastated our nation’s economy and our global social justice movement has shined a crucial light on racial inequality, now more than ever we understand the impact of supporting small businesses, Black-owned businesses, and businesses owned by women.
When you’re ready to make a purchase (big or small), here’s where to start:
- Get on the web - research a company’s leadership team on their website. Support companies and businesses with women in their C-Suite and top leadership roles.
- Look to your community - utilize your local chamber of commerce to find a list of minority owned businesses.
- Reference the National Women’s Business Council to learn about empowering female entrepreneurs.
Start conversations about equity and equality at home.
Tips for constructive discussion about gender equality with family members:
- Be open to learning about our own biases (We’re counting on you, guys, but it’s important to acknowledge we all experience internal bias, regardless of gender).
- Have conversations with our spouses, partners, and children as to how we share workloads and what resources we bring to the household.
- Discuss how those resources are recognized, valued, and respected.
What to remember when the going gets tough.
Remember these essentials in your advocacy for equal pay everyday.
- Cast your vote locally, and at the state and federal level.
- Support women candidates running for office.
- Engage change-makers through their terms in office.
- Account for yourself and your community in the 2020 Census.
- Advocate for equal pay in your workplace.
- Vote equality by paying women through your purchases.
- Start conversations about equality at home.
- Keep your chin up.