In the wild: Claire Wasserman
Claire Wasserman is an inspiration. Co-Founder of Ladies Get Paid, she works to provide the tools, resources, and community to help women negotiate for equal pay, and power, in the workplace. Go in the wild with Claire in Soho with her Remus 2 Burgundy Waterproof.
What inspired you to start Ladies Get Paid?
Inequality. In particular, the wage gap. The fact that hispanic women make 55 cents on the dollar is abhorrent. But the question was, what can an individual do to combat such overwhelming, systemic obstacles like the wage gap? My first step was teaching women to negotiate their salaries. At least they could close their own gaps.
In the era of #MeToo, what are some key insights you’ve learned from your town halls about sexism in the workplace?
Sometimes things are in black and white but more often, in grey. A common thread is an experience that isn’t blatantly sexist but makes us uncomfortable or feels wrong. Because it’s insidious and almost imperceptible, it’s too easy to stay in self-doubt. But then, if you decide to do something, the question is, what? The best thing you can do - which is what Get Paid provides - is to seek a community of other women who can help you support and strategize. As tough as it can be, you should never feel alone.
What is the best piece of advice you could give to looking to progress in their workplace?
Don’t underestimate the support you need from other people. Seek and build relationships with people of influence at your company. They are the ones who can advocate on your behalf in rooms you’re not invited to (yet!) Also, be that person for other women. Tell their bosses that they’re doing a good job and vocalize your support for them in meetings.
What is your definition of success?
From early on in my career, I defined success as “freedom.” Whether it was autonomy at previous jobs, starting my own company, or being able to live (sort of) bicoastal, success has manifested itself in various ways over the years, with the one constant being independence of choice.
What is one piece of advice you would tell your younger self?
Let go of trying to be perfect. It’s unattainable and a waste of energy.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is my co-founder and girlfriend, Ashley. She is extremely passionate and dedicated about helping women, particularly in politics. She’s also undeniably and unapologetically herself.
5 things that are always in your bag?
1. A little pouch I got in Mexico City that holds necessities like Advil, floss, hair elastics, and tampons. 2. Hydra Beauty Chanel lipgloss. It’s outrageously luxe and worth every penny. 3. A heart shaped crystal that brings me good vibes 4. Bose headphones (a must-have for anyone who works in a co-working space) 5. The New Yorker (usually more than one, I'm always running behind.)
What is your biggest fear and how do you overcome it?
My biggest fear is not being able to accomplish everything I want to before my time is up on this earth.
What podcast are you listening to/book are you reading at the moment?
Every morning I listen to the Daily, New York Times’ podcast. I’m currently reading “The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America” by Charlotte Alter. I’m also reading my own manuscript…my book (entitled Ladies Get Paid, of course!) is coming out January 2021!
What’s something every working woman needs out of a handbag?
Something lightweight with little compartments is key. I’m always lugging around a million things and can never seem to find anything.