Why Desa Calder Greene wants equal pay and not ‘handouts’ for women

The Travelers counselor wants to see improvement

A seat at the table is not enough for Desa Calder Greene, she wants a five-star meal. The senior counselor for Travelers wants to see equal pay for American women, and she want to see it sooner rather than later.

According to a 2019 study from the United States Census Bureau, the average woman makes $25,307 a year. The average man, in comparison, makes an average of $38,461 a year. At the 2023 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in Las Vegas, Greene spoke to rolling out about the pay gap and more.

What is it like being at the Women of Power Summit?

Great, amazing. It’s my second time here. I always look forward to this conference. There’s a lot of energy and [a lot of] powerful women in the room. So, I’m blessed to be afforded the opportunity to be here.

What does it mean to you to be a woman of power?

In 2023, to me, being a woman of power means everything. I come from a strong line of Black women who have always taught me the importance of embracing myself and being authentic.

Why do Black women and women of color need to be in positions of power?

I think it’s so important. We need to be in that role so that those that are coming behind us have someone to emulate.

Unless we can see ourselves in those powerful, C-suite and management positions, it’s good for us to know that it’s been achieved, it’s attainable, and those roles are achievable. So it’s good to have role models for them to mirror.

What is the best way to support Black women?

I think we can support Black women by giving them an equal plane to compete for positions, particularly management positions. We’re not looking for handouts. We just want equity to be able to compete on a level playing field. We want support and mentorship, but most importantly we want sponsorship so that when we are applying for those roles in those positions, we have people that will go to bat for us in the room.

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