The White House gets Social Media and Entrepreneurship

ImagesI was on a panel yesterday that was put on by the Obama administration and Barnard College.  The conference was to promote small business ownership in urban areas for women, aka enterpreneurs.  A really impressive crowd and informative panels.  I was thrilled to sit on a panel with Janet Hanson of 85 Broads, Gail Harmon of Accion, Marissa Lee who runs the Small Business Administration, Natalia Noguera of the Pipeline Fund and we were moderated by Arianna Huffington

Even though we were all coming at the conversation from different angles, our stories were similar, our careers had taken a few turns and we all understood what women needed to do to have successful outcomes. It was streamed live but I can't find the taped version.  Alas.

I am also judging this challenge below.  It would be great if the US Dept of Labor was swamped with fantastic applications.  That alone sends a very strong message to the White House which is technology is where the biggest growth is coming from in this country.  For them to see thousands and thousands of apps where one is more clever than the next is powerful.  Info below.


The U.S. Department of Labor just launched the Equal Pay App Challenge on . The contest calls on developers to use publicly available data and resources to create innovative, easy-to-use apps that educate users about the pay gap and provide tools to combat it. The apps should improve the accessibility of pay data broken down by gender, race and ethnicity, and provide coaching on early career pay, pay negotiation or career mentorship. Below you will find a list of resources that can be shared with potential participants and supporters of the Equal Pay App Challenge.



Each submission should achieve at least one of the following goals: 1. Provide greater access to pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity, 2. Provide tools for early career coaching, 3. Help inform negotiations and 4. Promote online mentoring. Additional information can be found at:



A total of eight (8) prizes will be awarded, including five (5) grand prizes and three (3) goals challenge prizes – winners will be announce at or around April 17th, 2012. Additional prize information can be found here:



There are a total of 13 judges supporting the Equal Pay App Challenge, encompassing government, technology entrepreneurship, and advocacy. A complete list of judges can be found here:



  • Equal Pay App Challenge Information

o   DOL Equal Pay Press Release:

o   Equal Pay Contest on

  • Department of Labor Resources

o   BLS Current Population Survey Information:

o   BLS Current Population Datasets & API:

o   Women’s Bureau Resources:

o   Job Patterns for Minorities & Women in State and Local Governments:

  • Supporter Resources

o – Equal Pay App Challenge Page & API:

o   The Daily Muse – Equal Pay RSS Feed:

o   10 Steps to Negotiating a Higher Salary – Courtesy of Dr. Linda Babcock:



Contestants must register for the contest on by creating an account between January 31st, 2012, and March 31st, 2012. All entries received after March 31st, 2012 will not be considered for prizes.


Social Media

You can support the Equal Pay App Contest via Twitter by following: and using the hashtag #EqualPayApps. You can always retweet DOL’s message found here:!/USDOL/status/164445171969302528  or use your own – I have included some suggested language: “Can u create innovative, easy-to-use apps that educate users about pay gap & provide tools to combat it? #equalpayapps”.


You can also support the challenge by visiting the Department of Labor’s Facebook account at and sharing it with your network.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. rebeccastees

    I like the career mentoring part.  I tweeted…..Contest to  create  an app  about pay gap. #equalpayapps  #cfa21012 #wwcode

    1. Gotham Gal


  2. Carrie Pryor

    It sounds like a great conference.  Are they going to host something like it again.  As a woman business ower, it is an event that I would like to attend.

    1. Gotham Gal

      good question. my guess is yes. it was extremely successful.the best line of the day was from Janet Hanson who said that the small business administration office should be called the emerging growth organization. i still think about it.