Issues of pay equity from the C-suite all the way down to the lowest-paid workers are gaining currency as CEOs, business owners and companies that seem vulnerable on the issue continue to be targeted.
One Seattle business owner – Dan Price – threw a bottleneck into the debate with his announcement that he would cut his own pay and profits to make it possible to raise the minimum wage at his company to a hefty $70,000 (£45,473) a year.
Price got a lot of social-media love, and presumably high-fives from his employees, when he said that Gravity Payments would drastically slash his own $1m salary to the same level. He argued that the new salary structure would benefit his firm in the long-run and would help highlight the effects of income equality.
Of course, not everyone felt he was going down the right path. “His mind-set will hurt everyone in the end,” said Krakowski. “He’s young. He has a good intent, but is using the wrong method.”
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But if you thought Price’s method was revolutionary, then you need to take a second look at Krakowski’s own salary. She goes beyond the same level mark and delves as far down as $1 – seriously!
Her biggest “hidden goal”, it seems, was to always create a company that she would no longer be paid by. She said: “To step into that realm of leadership and to experience growing things I own that others manage, that’s exciting!”
Her goal is to inspire the largest group of businesses that create more than 70 per cent of jobs to live with passion and have a purpose, she explained.
“Recently I’ve been asked to write books, speak, and other things that can bring in a sustainable income,” she said. “This is where the majority of my income will come from, so I no longer want to take any more than $1 from the company I’ve built. Now, I want to shift that money into giving to more causes, lowering the price we charge for our courses, and affecting 20m people in the next ten years.”
The ten-year goal of changing her salary to $1 was no ordinary number. It significantly marks a time in her business history where she could build a company without a motive of providing for myself, she said. And it allows her to do more of what she loves: mentor startups, invest into other small businesses, create jobs and give to others.
“This will no longer be done through ‘sharing’ my profits or with ‘what is left,’ as the secondary focus. It will now be my primary focus. Many small business owners, myself included, start their companies to change their lifestyle, income, and to bring significant value to the marketplace. That’s amazing! But, it’s a faulty motive to build it strictly to make a ton of money or to get rich.”
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