A call for intersectional pay equity

Closing the gender pay gap does not fix the pay equity gap for anyone. #IntersectionalPayEquity is the only way to achieve pay equity for all, including white women. Black, Native, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, White, Disabled, Not Disabled, Younger, Older, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Pansexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Heterosexual, Female, Nonbinary, Male, and More. #EqualPayDay. CC BY-SA Elizabeth Johansen. Learn more at http://bit.ly/intersectionalpayequity
Closing the gender pay gap does not fix the pay equity gap for anyone. #IntersectionalPayEquity is the only way to achieve pay equity for all, including white women. Black, Native, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, White, Disabled, Not Disabled, Younger, Older, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Pansexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Heterosexual, Female, Nonbinary, Male, and More. #EqualPayDay. CC BY-SA Elizabeth Johansen. Learn more at http://bit.ly/intersectionalpayequity
License is CC BY-SA 4.0; please share and adapt broadly, and provide credit.

The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) launched Equal Pay Day in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. Twenty-five years later, pay equity is still an issue.

In 2020, American women earned on average 82¢ for every dollar earned by men. Women had to work an extra 83 days, until today March 24, 2021, to earn the same amount as men earned in 2020. As a result, today is #EqualPayDay2021.

The reality is, today is nobody’s Equal Pay Day.

Fixing the gender pay gap ironically makes the pay equity issue worse…


The photo shows a zoomed image on a Benjamin Franklin’s face on a $100 bill. There is a crack running through his face extending from the top to the bottom of the frame.
The photo shows a zoomed image on a Benjamin Franklin’s face on a $100 bill. There is a crack running through his face extending from the top to the bottom of the frame.

An open letter to IDEOers Part 2

Dear IDEOers past, present, and future,

When IDEO leadership launched its diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments in June 2020, it triggered old workplace trauma for me. IDEO leadership’s commitment to pay equity, in particular, hit me right in the gut. This is a screenshot:


A scene from the movie Labyrinth: A young, white woman in a white poet’s blouse, vest, and jeans runs along a desolate labyrinth hallway with broken bricks and dead vines on an overcast day.
A scene from the movie Labyrinth: A young, white woman in a white poet’s blouse, vest, and jeans runs along a desolate labyrinth hallway with broken bricks and dead vines on an overcast day.

An open letter to IDEOers Part 1

Content warning: This letter discusses anxiety, depression, and suicide connected with psychological harms taking place in the workplace. It includes aspects of my experience working at IDEO, as well as several anonymous stories with permission from colleagues who were harmed.

Dear IDEOers past, present, and future,

When IDEO posted their June 2020 IDEO diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments, it triggered old workplace trauma for me. Reading George Aye’s article, I was devastated to learn that IDEO culture hasn’t improved since my day.

While I experienced many of the positive aspects of IDEO as a design engineer and project leader from…

Elizabeth Johansen

Human-centered design for better health outcomes at Spark Health Design, Vaxess Technologies, and Olin College of Engineering.

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