DOL Creates Software Development Challenge to Raise Gender Pay Gap Awareness

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softwareIn a creative attempt to address the gender gap in employment pay in the U.S. the Department of Labor and the National Equal Pay Task Force have revealed a software development contest that advocates the creation of software applications that promote equal pay for everyone. The issue of the gender payment gap continues to create discrepancies between the average salaries for men and women doing comparable jobs; especially minority women.

The contest, dubbed the Equal Pay App Challenge, encourages software developers to use DOL departmental data to user-friendly software apps to educate people about the nature of the pay gap and offer the means to fight it. The target functionality for the apps include improving the accessibility of pay data depicting the gap in pay based on gender, race, and ethnicity. Additionally, the apps are expected to provide tips on negotiating pay and planning careers.

The top eight applications will receive scholarships to an eight-week digital product and entrepreneurship program. The contest is part of a larger program looking to engage software developers use Labor Department data of any type to produce online and mobile apps and SDKs in an attempt to increase departmental transparency and public participation. Aneesh Chopra, White House Chief Technology Officer said, “Today’s employers and employees are more resourceful and technologically savvy than ever before, but too many remain unaware of how the pay gap affects them. By encouraging developers to help us solve this problem, we’re leveraging the unique ability of the federal government to provide mountains of valuable data as well as the innovation power of the private sector.”

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Rachel, writer for, has graduate level work in literature and currently works in university administration.