Labor Department Creates Contest For Software Apps To Promote Equal Pay

WASHINGTON – Seeking novel ways to eliminate the gender gap in pay, the U.S. Department of Labor and its federal agency partners on the National Equal Pay Task Force announced Wednesday a contest for creating software applications that use the department’s data to promote equal pay for men and women. 

Women are still paid less on average than their male counterparts for doing comparable jobs, and the discrepancy is even greater for minority women. Over the course of a lifetime, this “pay gap” results in lost wages, reduced pensions and diminished Social Security benefits. 

“Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and play a vital role in the nation’s economy,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “While progress has been made in recent decades, the pay gap continues to disadvantage many women, with consequences not only for them, but for their families and the economy as a whole.” 

The Equal Pay App Challenge 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. 

“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,” said White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. “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.” 

Applications that best satisfy the criteria for the challenge will be eligible to receive one of eight prizes, including scholarships to attend an eight-week immersive program on digital product innovation and entrepreneurship hosted by General Assembly, a campus for technology, design and entrepreneurship. The challenge will be open for submissions from Jan. 31 until March 31. Judges will announce the winners in connection with Equal Pay Day in April. 

To help facilitate this and similar challenges, the Labor Department last year launched a website that helps software developers incorporate department data into online and mobile applications through published application program interfaces and software development kits. The website and contests are part of the Department of Labor’s ongoing efforts to increase transparency, participation and collaboration through the administration’s Open Government Initiative. 

For more information, click on DOL.Gov/Open For More Information

About MTAM

MTAM is a non-profit trade association for Michigan’s mobile / wireless (connected) technologies industry and businesses in all industries utilizing those technologies. We are the first state-based mobile/wireless industry trade association in the U.S., and our mission is: • to facilitate conversation/collaboration between varied sectors of the mobile/wireless eco-system; serve as the bridge to enable diverse organizations to understand each other’s perspectives and needs in order to drive new innovation and opportunities involving these technologies; • to increase the use of, and demand for, Michigan-based mobile/wireless technology products and services in-state, nationally and globally; • to increase the productivity and profitability of every industry vertical in Michigan via the use of these technologies; • to create sustainable jobs and increased entrepreneurial opportunities in the state based on the use of these technologies, thereby achieving substantial growth of Michigan’s economy; • and to help the communities we serve via the use of these technologies. We are also the statewide producer of Mobile Monday Michigan – a mobile / wireless industry networking and education organization which is a branch of the international Mobile Monday organization based in Finland. Here in Michigan we currently have 4 chapters (Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Grand Rapids) with over 3000+ members statewide.
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