In 2015, Google Employee Erica Baker made waves when she started a spreadsheet asking for people to input their salaries. Crowdsourcing this data, people soon discovered a gender pay gap, a difference between what men and women typically get paid. According to AAUW (American Association of University Women), women working full time were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid in 2016. The numbers are far more distressing when looking at women of color. You can view the report from AAUW here.
Despite the data and research pointing to the reality of the gender pay gap, its existence is still considered up for debate. Helping to hide the oppression, it is considered inappropriate to talk about salaries. Fortunately, in the government industry, as taxpayers, we have a right to know information about salaries. Now that we are in the time of open data, we can easily grab the salary data and display the results. Another important factor is that government is supposed to serve the people. It is a diservice to the people to enable financial discrimination and oppression due to gender. By breaking down the different agencies, we can add acountability to the system. This project also allows others to input their data and analysis to expand to more government agencies.
One of the main reasons that we decided to focus on government salaries was because the data is open and accessible. To start, we studied County executives, UC Professors, and White House Staff. We used Python for our data analytics and Jupyter Notebook to export and display those results. We used Github to handle our workflow and GitHub Pages for hosting. We also used Zurb's Foundation 6 Framework for the layout design.