Lunch Talks

Claire Wasserman

Founder of Ladies Get Paid
May 12, 2017

I could do something small, you could do something small, then I realized we could be a lobbying force.

Claire Wasserman is the founder of Ladies Get Paid, an organization that helps women rise up at work. Through education, community, and activism, their mission is give women the tools they need to advocate for themselves at work. Since launching in the summer of 2017, Ladies Get Paid has grown to over 5,000 members worldwide. They have been written up in Time Out New York, Refinery29, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and New York Magazine, among others.

  • A group of people are sitting in a spacious, well-lit room arranged in a circle. Above the participants, a projector screen displays the words "NOW GO GET PAID." The space has eclectic décor, including framed posters and various artworks on the walls.
  • A group of people socialize and enjoy food in a modern, industrial-style space. Some are seated, while others stand near a long wooden table with snacks and beverages. A mezzanine level is visible above, and the atmosphere is casual and lively.
  • A presentation screen displays the text: "Intimate lectures featuring the world's top creative talents. Once a month(ish) at Hyperakt in Gowanus, Brooklyn." The room is dimly lit with several people gathered and conversing, some holding drinks.
  • A group of people are gathered in a room, socializing and enjoying drinks. Some are holding cans while others sip from cups. There are pitchers and disposable cups on the table in the foreground. Shelves with books and other items are visible in the background.
  • A group of people are gathered indoors in a bright, airy space with large windows. Some are seated around a long wooden table with food and drinks, while others stand and chat. The atmosphere appears social and casual, with a mix of relaxed and active interactions.
  • A large, oval-shaped metal tub filled with several empty beer cans of different brands is placed on a concrete floor. The tub is partially surrounded by a wooden surface, and a person's foot is visible near the top right corner of the image.
  • A group of people sitting in a dimly lit room watching a presentation projected on a screen. The slide reads "Intimate lectures featuring the world's top creative talents." Various posters adorn the walls, and the audience appears attentive.
  • A person is giving a presentation in front of a group. On the screen behind them, there is a large image of another person smiling with the text "HOLY SHIT I'M EMPLOYED!" The audience is seated, and various artworks are visible on the walls.
  • Two people are giving a presentation to an audience. They stand in front of a projector screen displaying two phone screens. The image on the right phone depicts a plant, while the left phone displays the text "RESOURCE" repeated multiple times.
  • A presenter stands in front of a screen displaying text that reads, "Anxiety. No one is you. Community is everything. Let it go." There is an audience facing the screen, and the room has various artworks on the walls.
  • A woman stands in front of a projector screen giving a presentation. The screen displays text reading: "ANXIETY. NO ONE IS YOU. COMMUNITY IS EVERYTHING. LET IT GO." The background is dimly lit, and another person's silhouette is visible in the foreground.
  • A group of people are sitting in chairs in a room, facing a large screen that displays the text "NOW GO GET PAID." The room has various posters and decorations on the walls. One person is speaking into a microphone while others listen and some drink from cups.
  • A large group of people are seated in a circle in a spacious room with high ceilings. A projector screen reads "NOW GO GET PAID." The attendees appear to be engaged in a discussion or workshop. Light streams in from tall windows on the right side of the room.

The Accidental Feminist

When you first meet Claire, you’re impressed by her energy. She’s a tour de force. But what’s more is her passion. Like many women, Claire’s path towards feminism was one of self-discovery. Claire is the founder of Ladies Get Paid, a company dedicated to building a network for women to advocate for themselves at work.

Claire aptly named her presentation “Accidental Feminist,” highlighting that she wasn’t always the advocate she is today. She struggled to share her story of countless microagressions and gender politics in the workplace. Through countless conversations amongst her working women friends in person and on Slack, she found a common thread. She wasn’t alone.

Her candid honesty paid off. Ladies Get Paid is somewhat of a unicorn — it’s part corporation, safe haven, think tank, and support center. They provide professional development, education, a platform for women to speak their truth, and support with financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Above all, it’s a community both online and off. Through town halls, workshops, and team building programs, Ladies Get Paid is actively changing the way we think about equality.

It’s no surprise that our Lunch Talk was one of the most unique we’ve had to date. What began as a compelling presentation of Claire’s story and work ended as a thought-provoking town hall conversation. With a mix of perspectives, ages, cultures, and gender identities, we sat together and listened to each other’s stories. What made the biggest impression was the sense of the work that is left to be done.

It’s important that we have these conversations, but what’s more is that we work tirelessly to make these conversations inclusive and representative of all cultures and communities, as these struggles in the workplace are universal. The work Claire and Ladies Get Paid does is a formidable step in the right direction.

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