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  • Writer's pictureKatie Moussouris

Put Your Pay Equity Where Your DEI Mouth Is

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

As we come to the final weeks of a difficult year, my heart is full of hope and cheer. Not because we’ve seen two notable examples of organizational lip service for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, but because organizations showing their true colors means we get to show ours too against such a sharp contrast. And what a stark difference between organizations only talking the talk versus those of us walking the walk.

Please walk with me, as I commit a significant chunk of my hard-earned money toward a cause I will never give up: pay equity for all genders and races. I’m so incredibly pleased to announce my inaugural donation to the PEN Foundation of $1.5 million USD to demonstrate my full commitment to the important goal of pay equity in our lifetime. Additionally, my company, Luta Security, is the first of what I believe will be many others to take the Pay Equity Now pledge.

As I previously shared on this site, I dropped my lawsuit against Microsoft to invest my money and time into two initiatives that will drive systemic change towards pay equity in our lifetime.

  • A gender and economic equity law center at a U.S. university focused primarily on financial empowerment through claims in employment and related situations

  • A foundation to continue fighting for pay equity in our lifetimes called the Pay Equity Now Foundation (PEN Foundation), because the PEN is mightier than the patriarchy!

If you or your company is interested in joining this timely and vital cause that truly impacts us all, you can now donate to the PEN Foundation, and organizations can take the pledge to commit publicly that they will enforce pay equity themselves directly. Individuals wanting their employer to match their donation, we’d love that, especially if those employers have a bad track record in pay equity and DEI.

While the PEN Foundation will now gladly accept donations, that’s actually not the point of this blog. I’d rather have organizations simply stop underpaying their employees than donate to the PEN Foundation. It’s that simple. I would like organizations to take the pledge, prioritize paying all genders and races equitably, and commit to doing so from now on.

To take the PEN Foundation’s Pay Equity Now Pledge, your organization simply needs to agree to the following:

1. We acknowledge that bias exists in all humans and human-made systems, and the pay gap is a symptom we must actively treat now, while also working toward eradicating the root causes.

​2. We will audit hiring, leveling, job assignment, pay, and promotion outcomes, looking for evidence of racial or gender inequity.

3. We will take corrective action to pay equitably each and every year, and at every new acquisition.

You may also view the pledge at:

Email us if you’d like your company logo up on the pledge page, firmly standing on the right side of history. Microsoft failed to pay and promote women and underrepresented groups fairly and equitably, and now they refused to take the pledge, because it means they will have to take direct action and be accountable, not just use the same empty words and gaslighting that got us all here.

Women and people of color deserve fair pay now, not in 50-205 years as current pay data trends project. You have the power to make pay equity a reality right now whether personally or at your organization. Pay equity is a choice, because pay equity comes down to an ongoing organizational commitment to audits and action. Organizations must choose to enforce pay equity, and workers can help by refusing to work at organizations that refuse to fix what is ultimately willful economic harm caused by the white supremacist patriarchy.

We need real change, lasting change, and deliberate dismantling of systems of systemic oppression. We have so much work to do, work that starts with me, you, and every organization around the world doing what is right, not just saying they are committed, but ultimately taking no action. Employers please take the pay equity pledge, and commit to pay equity now.

Please join me in this labor of love and economic justice.

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Press Release

Katie Moussouris made a $1 million gift to establish the Anuncia Donecia Songsong Manglona Lab for Gender & Economic Equity at PSU Law.


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