Lisa Witter is the chief operating officer of Fenton Communications, the largest public interest communications firm in the country. She heads the firm's practice in women's issues and global affairs for clients including Women for Women International, MoveOn.org, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association and many others. She is a co-founder of the award-winning website SheSource.org, an online brain trust of women experts to help close the gender gap among commentators in the news media. She was honored as an outstanding activist and expert on women's issues by Oxygen.com for her work on a national campaign against privatizing Social Security during the 2000 presidential election. Lisa is a blogger and political commentator with her work appearing on MSNBC, Fox News, The Huffington Post, AlterNet and Anderson Cooper 360. In 2004, she was a contestant on the Showtime reality show American Candidate. Witter is co-author of The She Spot: Why Women Are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them.
She is on the advisory board for Indianapolis University's Women and Philanthropy Institute, Pop!Tech, Momsrising.org, Women for Women International and Climate Counts.
Question: Are women as salary-driven as men?
Lisa Witter: I mean I can only speak to my, you know, I’m not an expert on this, I would say that no it’s absolutely not, I wish it was more. I think one of the reasons why I think women undersell themselves because they don’t negotiate well and they don’t push hard enough and a lot of women don’t know their own value and I am always encouraging my friends and I’ll even sit down with them and go through like practice asking me for money, you know, you’re going into a job, practice asking me. I think that we have to do a better job of training women to really ask, you know, get them to ask for what they’re worth, you know, I hire tons of people, men come in and always negotiate for more and most of the women that come in are like “Okay if that’s what you wanna pay me, that’s fine” and so as women we have to take a little bit of responsibility ourselves, but I don’t think that’s what we’re driven, I really don’t. But I think that women need to be much more aware of money because with money comes power and independence and I think that’s a really important thing.