How Contently Is Supporting International Women’s DayBy Dave Goldberg March 8th, 2017
You may have heard about “A Day Without Women,” the strike that falls on International Women’s Day. The idea is if women refuse to do any paid or unpaid labor and hold on to their dollars in solidarity, the economy will feel the impact of a world without an entire gender.
This is an incredibly important message to send. But organizers from A Day Without Women recognize that not all women can afford to take off work, and not all work environments restrict women’s rights. (For more info on the movement’s goals, click here.)
At Contently, we wanted to find a way to participate in “A Day Without Women” while supporting our female employees who are (valiantly) choosing to show up for work.
Today, we asked several female employees to lead an educational seminar on Women’s Herstory. These women decided to turn it into a collaborative event, taking time to honor every woman in the company for her achievements, and interviewing our HR director to better understand how Contently ensures a more equal work environment.
In addition, we’ve decided to make a symbolic gesture. Since women are paid, on average, 80 percent of what men make for the exact same job (although that is not the case here), we have decided that the women of Contently will have the last 20 percent of the day off. Our hardworking ladies will leave at 3:24pm and do whatever they feel is right to change the world on their own terms.
And yet, one day is not enough.
As a white male founder, it’s not only my desire to honor the achievements of the women in this company, it is my duty.
It may seem counterintuitive for me to speak up on International Women’s Day. But only when people with societal privilege (here’s looking at you, guys) stand up and acknowledge both flagrant and subtle forms of discrimination, can we make progress combating them.
This year, a pillar for International Women’s Day is “securing executive statements of support.” With executive support comes accountability from those who wield economic power. Consider this your proud executive statement of support to promote and fight for women’s economic, political, and social equality.
The sad truth is that in 2017, discrimination against women still exists in the workplace, even when leadership takes aggressive steps to fight against it. We don’t tolerate discrimination inside of these walls. Yet despite demanding respect for and from all of our employees, we recognize systemic issues are at play. Men and women are socialized differently. This subconscious stereotyping impacts people, in unique ways, years later when they enter the workplace. (For example, studies show men tend to be promoted based on potential while women are rewarded for past performance.)
Our HR director has thoroughly combed through every role at this company to ensure that when women and men are equal in skill and role, they are equal in pay. We then have a rigorous professional development plan tailored to the individual.
At Contently, we cherish our female leadership not simply because they are women, but because they bring a perspective this company needs to succeed. And we support the personal development of every woman here, which is why we jumped on board when a few brave women announced they wanted to start a women’s organization. (The org site, Ette All, launches today.)
Each day, we aim to build a company that embraces differing views, and gender is one of those factors that influences how one sees and experiences the world. As such, we, the founders, want to emphasize our commitment to the progression of feminism and demand equal rights for women and men.Image by Liz Lemon / Flickr