Earlier this week, we announced that WordStream has signed Mayor Walsh’s groundbreaking 100% Talent Compact. As a part of this pact, WordStream will work with Boston Women’s Workforce Council, a public-private partnership between the City of Boston, Boston University, and more than 220 other Boston-area employers committed to closing the gender wage gap.
In their 2017 report, the Boston Women Workforce Council found that women in the Greater Boston area earned an average of 77 cents to the dollar as compared to their male colleagues. The discrepancy was even larger for Black/African-American women and Hispanic/Latina women, who earned 52 cents and 49 cents to the dollar, respectively.
When CEO Howard Kogan was approached about WordStream’s opportunity to participate in the 100% Talent Compact, he brought the idea to me, and we were both in complete agreement: this is exactly the kind of community impact that we strive for. Not only does the mission of the 100% Talent Compact align with our company values, it was also spectacularly well-timed with some exciting internal efforts.
Committing to Wage Equality
As a customer-focused company, WordStream’s goal is to provide exceptional service and products to our customers. The only way we can do that is to have an impeccable talent base that is fairly compensated and treated well.
Like other companies, WordStream regularly audits employee salaries to identify and rectify any disparities in pay. While this internal system helps us ensure that our hiring practices are fair and competitive, we know that we can accomplish more working together with other organizations in the Boston community.
One of our core company values is transparency. As a signer of the 100% Talent Compact, WordStream will report salary every two years for the Council to review and analyze collectively with other Boston-area companies. Gathering and reporting this data will be key in remaining transparent in our commitment.
By publicly acknowledging and prioritizing our commitment to helping end the gender wage gap, we are making WordStream’s stance and values clear, and we’re making sure that we’ll be held accountable if we don’t.
Forming Women of WordStream
Around the same time that WordStream was approached about the 100% Talent Compact, a grassroots effort was forming internally.
Last summer, WordStream asked each department leader to nominate one woman from their team to attend InfluenceHER Week, a two-day conference with speakers and panels discussing topics like how to network, maintain a work-life balance, or save for your retirement, all aimed to empower women in the workforce.
Afterwards, the WordStream employees who attended gathered to discuss what they learned and, as a part of the nomination process, determine how to present highlights to the office.
The attendees found that they wanted to bring more than just highlights back to the office.
Global Advertising Manager Tara Castagna, one of the employees who attended, said that the event was inspiring for all of them. But it was also a unique opportunity for women across departments to come together for personal and professional growth.
“When I started on the sales team in 2011, I was the only woman in my department, and working on a team with exclusively male colleagues was intimidating,” Tara explained. The demographics have changed since then, but the need for a community hadn’t. “InfluencerHER made us want a unified community of women at WordStream.”
“And it’s not only about female empowerment,” she said. “It’s also about creating a better workplace for everyone.”
Women of WordStream, which just officially launched last week, was formed with this mission. The employee resource group will ensure that we have a community in our company that is supportive of women, not just in experience but also in growthpath and compensation by facilitating educational, motivational, and professional development events and partnering with InfluenceHER.
Moving forward, WordStream will be an active participant in the Boston Women Workforce Council’s efforts to collect information, analyze data, and educate the community. We also hope that our participation will encourage other organizations to sign the 100% Talent Compact, to make Boston the best area in the country for working women.
And here at WordStream, we will continue to evaluate and participate in efforts that enable us to hire the best talent, retain the best talent, and have a positive impact on our community.