Microsoft Data Scientist to Discuss Gender Equity in Pay

By Sarah Hunker

Friday, November 11, 2016

As part of the #Techtober celebration of CEWiT’s third anniversary, the Center of Excellence for Women in Technology (CEWiT) and a new IU student group, Women in Economics will be hosting Matt Wallaert, a data scientist at Microsoft, for a discussion about gender equity in pay.

Wallaert is a behavioral psychologist and entrepreneur who is focused on creating products and programs to help individuals lead better lives. At Microsoft, Wallaert uses psychology to build products that can enable people to take action with whatever ideas or questions they have. A program that he has worked on, Bling in the Classroom, focuses on digital literacy in K-12 students. The program helps children to understand hardware and teaches them how to use it in their everyday lives. In his personal bio, Wallaert speaks of a goal to advise at least 1,000 different projects in his lifetime.

Additionally, Wallaert launched Get Raised, a website found at  https://getraised.com/.  The free site is aimed at closing the gender wage gap. GetRaised helps women understand if they are underpaid and to empower them to do something about it by creating a free letter that they can give to their boss to start the conversation around getting a raise.

The event was the brainchild of Women in Economics founder and IU senior Emma Sperry. “There is big a lack in women pursuing a degree or career in economics,” Sperry said.

Sperry interned her junior year with chair of the economics department, Gerhard Glomm, who had asked her about the lack of women in the field. Sperry asked herself what she could do to get more women involved in in the field and decided that a group dedicated to economics could be the right path.  Sperry said the intro classes for economics usually are about even in gender, but she said that is because they are mainly filled with either Kelley or School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) students. “There is also an economics club, but it really consists of mainly Kelley students,” she said. So, she decided to start this group for students. Since they are new, Sperry approached CEWiT about co-hosting their first event, and that eventually turned into this discussion with Matt Wallaert.

The Gender Equity in Pay discussion with Matt Wallaert is open to all majors and will take place on Tuesday, October 18 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in the Godfrey Corporate and Graduate Center, Room 3059.