On Sunday, May 15th, 2016, the Department of Commerce, the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Presidential Innovation Fellow program kicked-off the first leg of #HackthePayGap initiative at the offices of 1776 in Washington DC.
The event drew developers, designers, data scientists, and subject matter experts together to discuss the gender pay gap, ideate ways to close the gap through technology and culture shift, and methods to bridge the gap between policy and data.
A panel discussion led by the Chief Economist of the Department of Commerce, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick , included the Commissioner of the General Services Administration's Technology Transformation Service (GSA TTS) Phaedra Chrousos, POLITICO Director of Social Enterprise Fran Holuba, the Vice President of the National Partnership of Women and Families Vicki Shabo, and the Founder of Be Bold Media Sabrina Hersi Issa.
Following the panel discussion, Presidential Innovation Fellow Joshua Patterson presented MIDAAS (Making Income Data Accessible As A Service), a platform which uses open data from the US Census Bureau to analyze the gender pay gap in many different ways. Teams participating in #HackthePayGap challenge will use Commerce data and MIDAAS to visualize and communicate their findings and solutions.
The kickoff event launched the #HackthePayGap 6-week sprint, during which different teams will create solutions for workers, companies, and the general public. Each team consists of developers, designers, and data scientists, and has access to a Presidential Innovation Fellow mentor and various subject matter experts. Seven teams were formed from the DC event, while the supporting events in New York City and San Francisco are expected to bring an additional 15 project teams to the 6-week sprint. The end of the sprint will culminate in a White House Demo Day.
Although the initiative has a physical presence at only three cities, this is a national movement -- calling on all women and men to engage, share their stories and ideas, and become involved in eliminating the gender pay gap.