Gina Trapani Launches “Narrow The Gap,” An Online Tool Highlighting Pay Inequity
10:00 am, March 10th | by Amy Tennery
And it’s with this in mind that Gina Trapani, a developer and the co-host of “This Week In Google,” created Narrow The Gap. An online tool that highlights the salary inequity in the U.S., Narrow The Gap launched this week, showing in vivid, vibrant detail the pay disparity in various careers.
The Jane Dough caught up with Trapani to learn more about Narrow The Gap and find out what’s next for this worthy project.
What was your motivation behind launching Narrow The Gap?
My goal is to promote the Department of Labor’s Equal Pay Challenge. I’m an app developer, and a lot of other developers follow me on social networks, so I knew putting together something that described the problem in simple terms would generate interest in the developer community to make more apps like this.
There’s a ton of data about women and salary on Narrow The Gap. What tools do you think women need to start proactively seeking pay equity?
Women need an awareness of how bad the problem is on average in their occupation, stronger salary negotiation skills, and the willingness to be the whistleblower when their or their loved one’s employer is breaking the law.
This might seem obvious, but why do you feel that pay inequity is such a huge issue for women?
Women make up nearly half of the labor force and mothers are the primary or co-breadwinners in the majority of families. When women aren’t paid fairly, families suffer. The American economy suffers.
I was shocked to find from your site that some of the careers with the biggest pay gaps required some of the most education. Did it surprise you that those careers had such profound disparity in pay?
Looking through data provided by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, what surprised me about this problem is how many facets it has. The pay gap shows itself across occupations, location, education level, and ethnicity in all sorts of interesting and surprising ways.
What’s the feedback been like so far?
Enormously positive, with a small but vocal dash of negativity–i.e., “these numbers are cooked,” “men are more skilled/smarter/experienced/valuable,” “it’s all women’s fault for having babies,” etc.
Are there any kind of spin-off projects we can expect to see from the site?
I hope very much that the site inspires more developers to highlight this data in interesting and informative ways. The Equal Pay App challenge is accepting submissions until March 31st.
April 17th is Equal Pay Day, so I hope we’ll see more apps launch then.