A live interview hosted by Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh with Claire Wasserman, co-founder of Ladies Get Paid. Ladies Get Paid has connected 75,000 women on their mission to close the wage gap. We talked with Claire in front of a live Zoom audience about how she has supercharged women across the country to be advocates for their worth and her new book, titled "Ladies Get Paid."
“The email that I would receive after every single town hall was, ‘I thought I was the only one.’” - Claire Wasserman
By 2016, Claire Wasserman was fed up with men not taking her seriously in the workplace. For years, she’d internalized this marginalization as somehow her fault or her problem to struggle through alone. It was time for that to change.
With a friend, Claire brought together 100 women in a town-hall style event to talk about money and power in the workplace. Out of those conversations, Claire saw the potential for something much bigger.
After that first town hall, she created a Slack group which grew to 6,000 women in the first year. Half a year later, that Slack group had more than 20,000 members from all 50 states. Claire quit her job, incorporated a business, and hit the road hosting town halls around the country.
Today, Ladies Get Paid has helped more than 75,000 women believe in and advocate for their worth, including a young Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Town hall discussions, conferences, workshops, webinars and more took place across the country before the pandemic, and those sessions have transformed into webinars and more since COVID arrived.
How did Claire get such a massive community and business off the ground? Tune in for the full story.
Highlights, inspiration, & key learnings:
👋🏻Say hi to Claire and learn more about Ladies Get Paid.
📄See the full transcript
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Welcome to the get together. This is our show about ordinary people, building extraordinary communities. I'm your host, Bailey Richardson. I'm a partner at people in company and a co author of get together how to build a community with your people. My co-host today is my business partner and co author, Kevin Huynh. In each episode of our podcast, we interview everyday people who have built extraordinary communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to hundreds? Maybe even thousands more members. Our guests on today's live recording of the get together podcast is Claire Wasserman. In 2016, she founded ladies get paid and she just published a book by the same name to date. Ladies get paid has helped more than 75,000 women pursue the careers and salaries they deserve. When members sign up for ladies, get paid, they're invited to a private online Slack channel where folks actively share advice, resources, job opportunities, and questions with one another.
For those that can intend in person, ladies get paid bread and butter has historically been there. Events, town, hall, discussions, conferences, workshops, webinars, and more took place across the country before the pandemic. And those sessions have transformed into webinars. And more since COVID arrived, Claire, we are so stoked to have you on the conversation today to have you live with us. It's something we've been wanting to do for a very long time, and to focus on your community, building the work you've done to get 75,000 women to connect in the effort of empowering each other. So just to kick it off, I want to start in a personal place. We like to say you can't fake the funk when you're organizing a community. You know, you have to care personally in a passionate way about the work that you're doing. So obviously, you know, you are you are a lady who would like to get paid, but it's a scratch at the surface a little bit more. Where does that impetus originate for you or what, what led you to this work? How do you, how do you think back on your life experience or your background and, and, and kind of explain how you got to, to hosting that first town hall?
Wow. Well, first of all, thanks for having me. It's awesome. Yeah. Yeah, man. How much time do we have when you ask these origin stories? It's like, well, let's relive every life experience to women's empowerment. My mom says that I was exactly the same when I was a baby, as I am now, because when I was little, I would be in my crib pontificating to my stuffed animals. And now I just do it for while everybody hears her. Thank you for coming. But I, you know, full disclosure, I did not consider myself a feminist growing up. I, you know, like so many other people, it's like, Oh, it's a dirty word. I don't, you know, I'm not a man hater, no understanding of what feminism is. Okay. So there's that. And then there's a fact that my mother was the third class of women in college, but never talked about it and also made me feel, and this is not her fault at all, but made me feel like, well, workplaces are a meritocracy, right?
You can accomplish whatever you want, which is great. But there was no sort of a heads up that discrimination still exists, which, you know, is a privileged way of looking at the world. I have to admit, I, it wasn't a passion of mine to help women until unfortunately I had my own sexist experience that really opened up my eyes. I was at an advertising festival. This was probably 2015, 2014. I walk into a party and this older guy comes up to me and he sticks out his hand smiles and he says, hi, who's white for you. And I just was blown away. I mean, it kind of set the tone for that whole week, which was just interaction after interaction of men not taking me seriously. And, and the dynamic was really uncomfortable because I was there to find clients. I worked for another company at the time.
So forget that gender for a minute. There was an inherently, a power dynamic where when you need somebody's business and they say something, you know, they objectify you, right? Like how do you navigate that? And after that week, I really, you know, I really sat and I reflected not so much on what happened to me because that unfortunately was kind of familiar in my career, right. Not being taken seriously or being objectified. I just realized God, how many years have I been internalizing this as maybe my own fault? I'm too friendly. You know, maybe my skirt was too short. And also just the energy that I was wasting trying to be perfect too. Like all of this stuff, you know, basically I realized I needed to go to therapy. What happened after that? And the big aha moment for me was that I just started to research women in the workplace.
I remember Googling that I didn't know about the wage gap. I just have to say, no one was really talking about it in 2014, 2015. Now, you know, Oh, even I'm like, this is too much, like every news article seems like it's about the wage gap, which is great. But at the time I also didn't know how bad it was. Again, that's a privileged way of looking at it, right? The fact that Hispanic women make 55 cents to the dollar. And I it's like when you learn these things, you basically have two choices. One, you can pretend you didn't know about it and continue on with your life. Two, you can do something about it. Well, three, I did the third thing, which was, I just felt terrible. And I kept thinking about it and thinking about it with no clue how I, as an individual could possibly affect change.
That is so systemic. It's overwhelming. And I didn't do anything for like a year. And I guess, long story long, it took an art director, friend of mine, Lita, Lita Sobieski who came to me. And she said, I just realized that I'm not charging as much as, you know, male, my male counterparts. And for her, it wasn't so much discrimination as it was lack of transparency. And also that she didn't necessarily I don't know, this is where imposter syndrome comes in, right? Like, could she actually charge that much? Was she worth it? So a lot of questions were coming up for her and she thought maybe I could put together an event where women could share salaries, man. She really started, I mean, it was her that got ladies get paid, started. I, it was my first town hall. And after that first town hall, I created the Slack group and a couple months later, I, I, I officially incorporated and we're still in business. So I canceled it.
I feel like what I typically do is I get really upset and then I have a glass of wine and I tell three friends. And then I like, well, that's in my rearview mirror, even if it keeps happening over and over again. But one of the things that's so impressive to me is you, you really swung big with your early town halls. I think I read that the first one, there were a hundred women who showed up or something of that nature. And by the end of the first year you had grown the organization to 6,000 people, which is very non-trivial. And we always like to get into the nuts and bolts of how, like the first step, like, how did you find those early people? Why a town hall, can you shed some light just on those early decisions and how you kind of piece it together and why?
Sure. Yeah. I mean, this was the lead-up to the 2016 election. So I was hearing about these town halls that these candidates were hosting and the first town hall, then I did it was going to be about money. And I just thought, I don't want to have your kind of typical panel because money it's so personal. And I didn't, I felt uncomfortable having quote experts give advice. I, you know, what I really wanted to hear from women, how they felt about money. And also I knew that money represented so many of the things that I've been really bothered by as I did my research, which was power, we didn't have power and it was about freedom and value. And self-worth, I mean, I knew this conversation could be so much bigger and I didn't want to limit it by having a panel. Okay.
And so I Googled, you know, what are these town halls? And so it wasn't exactly a town hall. I mean, in a town hall, you ask a few people to stand up first and you kind of control the tone of the room. And then you say, all right, who wants to get the mic speak up? And, and that's what I did. And just to say, you know, for that first event, and I think this really kicked off the ethos of ladies get paid and, and how I built the community was I went to six women that I thought would be phenomenal to share their stories first. And I asked each of them who who's like one to three women in your life who you really think should be there. And, and, you know, would you pass them, you know, the invitation, but also if you feel comfortable, would you introduce them to me?
And some of them did. And so for each of those women, I asked who's one to three women that, you know, that really could get a lot out of this. And so very quickly it became a hundred women. And in fact, there were actually a number of women on the wait list. And the event was so special because there was this six of separation that was, you know, embedded in it. And and there was an intimacy, right. Because I wanted the environment to feel really comfortable. The fact that people were realizing they had connections really allowed us to do that. And as these women stood up and shared their money stories, I would then say, who, where does this resonate? Like who has a similar experience? Or does anybody have advice that you could give this woman? Right. Like, it wasn't a free for all right.
That was, that was too scary. Plus it was Cinco de Mayo and we were passing around a bottle of tequila. I, yeah. And so it was I was right. I mean, listen, a lot of it was depressing, right. People talking about getting passed over for promotions or, you know, not getting the raise, et cetera, but I'll never forget. There was also this woman who stood up and she said, I'm an illustrator and I make a ton of money. Everybody heard. Yeah. And that was also profound us being able to say, I like money, right. Capitalism has a ton of problems, but I'm not trying to be broke. Right. And so it just was a really powerful for people to declare themselves in that way, without shame of looking greedy. And I, as I walked out that night, a friend of mine said to me, and she sort of motioned around the room. She was like, you should do this. And I was like, I don't know what this is, but you're right. And it just brought together so many of my strengths of, you know, building community harnessing energy, getting people to feel comfortable, you know, having a mission. Right. And I just, I knew in my bones that I needed to go in this direction, even though I didn't know what that kind of proverbial, this was
One thing that we always talk with people about with trading ways for a community to form is that you really have to dial up the opportunity to participate. So you can't just like speak at people and have them sit silently. If you want them to connect to each other, there, they need to share a part of themselves in whatever the community does together. And so I love that you started out with that instinct of getting other folks to share their stories and how personal the topic was. That made a lot of sense.
Yeah. And the Slack group that I created, it was just an extension of that, right? Like there were different channels based on kind of sub themes that kept, that kept coming up that night. Right. There was obviously salary negotiation. I mean, there were legal questions. People ask obviously jobs and the community grew organically because Slack was accessible. I mean, you had to sign up and I had to manually add you, which we have done. I've manually added 75,000 people. Yeah. And so, but now people in, you know, Oklahoma could join, right? Like they could get value out of this. And finally, it got to a point where I had women from all over the country saying, I want to host a town hall. How can I do that? And I resisted it for a while. Cause I felt like I hadn't made enough mistakes. Like I needed to learn more about how to actually do this.
And I also wanted some brand control. And so agreement with these women who were very, you know, enthusiastic about hosting these town halls, I said, I'll fly out. I will do the first town hall with you. If you commit to doing them at first, it was every month, but that was too much. So it ended up being at four a year. Right. And and I did, I flew out, you know, the ticket price to attend was like 15 bucks or something. And it paid for me to fly out and to stay in an Airbnb. I mean, it was like one night I was saying earlier to you, right. It was like, I pretended I was a rockstar because I did 19 cities. And I don't remember how many months, but not very many. I mean, you know, I would D I did Detroit one night and I did grand Rapids Michigan the next night.
So lot of back-to-back and this was right after the 2016 election. So part of it was just me wanting to understand America and, and curious if there are more similarities or more differences it is more similarities, but that people communicate differently. The ways that people connect with each other in Minneapolis is different than in San Francisco and Minneapolis. They're very quiet. I was told this by somebody there, you know, she goes Midwest, we're kind of passive in the sense that we don't want to be a burden. Right. And so everybody, you know, it was hard to get them to share, but they were all taking notes, big note takers, right. They all emailed me after. And like thanked me profusely. And San Francisco people were very angry because, you know, it was right after the stuff with Uber. And so they were, we, people had a big conversation.
Should we act like a man when we negotiate right. That in grand Rapids, there was never a discussion about, should we act like a man, these women were all, everybody was wearing a dress, you know? So just being able to see how people express themselves was really important for me to get an understanding of how ladies get paid as a brand might, you know, where things need to be very strict brand guidelines. And where did I need to allow these, these women who were leading the town halls to show me how feminism might resonate in Oklahoma? And I used that one as an example, because a woman there said feminism is considered the other F-word okay. That's what she said to me yet. She thought ladies get paid would resonate. So it was like, okay, how do we still be ourselves, but also be accessible. So again, this has been, you know, as much as I'm doing this for everybody else. I mean, it's just, just been a very fascinating journey for myself. Yeah.
Yeah. Kudos to you for doing that work, to really get out there and be with the first kind of leaders in your community, hosting their first things. It feels like you hit on, you hit on something special at the beginning, you had a clear group of people in mind and sort of a rallying point, but there's this journey of understanding what is really special here, you know, is it the people in the room? Is it how we're doing the conversations? Is it sort of how people are showing up? And as you said, part of really scaling this up and having an impact for even more people is creating the right structure. Hey, this is what's really magical. This is what's important. And also leaving enough open space within that structure, within those guidelines, within that brand for, you know, other people to remix it and help their own people show up how really makes sense for kind of their own community, their own geography.
Right. Right. I mean, when I, also, my agreement with these women was you have to get a hundred people at least to show up for me to make it, you know, for me to fly out.
And so the magic number 100 at the town hall
And, you know, and in LA it was like one 50, I think, Chicago at the most like, you know, and, and, but here's the thing. It's not like I collect enough data here, right? Like when you're looking at Slack, more than 2 million messages have been exchanged since 2016, I can see the patterns there of what we need to provide, you know, by education. But what the in-person did for me was I could see where the energy was. I could see where people got really jazzed or when did people start crying, right. That was invaluable. And that is where, you know, any of my own imposter syndrome, I felt like I had a, you know, a pulse. And it it's really what led me to write my book ultimately because my book so much of it is about how people feel about their careers, how they feel about themselves, that they feel about money kind of teaching somebody, the script of what to say is the easy part, but getting them to believe that they are deeply worthy of that. Self-Advocacy I had to understand what was holding them back. And that became clear in, in going across the country,
I'm excited to talk about your book because you have so many real life stories in there as well. And I think those sort of anthologies that are rooted in other people and the way you've taken in all of these inputs and synthesize them and distilled them is the type of writing that I get really excited about. But before we get to that, that moment, I also want to ask you about really directly an element of the community that I know you're proud of, which is the fact that a lot of women show up or people identify as women show up in part for maybe selfish reasons. Not with not saying that with any judgment, but I want, I just, I'm getting a new job. I need to figure out how to negotiate. I just found out maybe I'm not getting paid, what I should be getting paid.
And those sorts of individual motivations lead them to a place to come to a workshop or may do join the Slack channel. But I think what's so amazing about ladies get paid is and I I've read this, I think in, in a description is that a reporter wrote is that perhaps the most important facet is the encouragement to be transparent and to learn from other women. And so this natural switch happens of, I show up for my own reasons, but I end up giving and learning and in a two way street with other women who are like me all around the world. And I'm curious, just what, what learnings do you have looking at the fact that you've kind of built a community that maybe comes for reasons of, of perhaps somewhat transactional and ends up becoming very generous? You know, is that something that you feel like you helped role model guide? Do you think it's just how humans are? Yeah. What can you kind of offer people listening about how to accomplish something like that?
I think because I was, so I started so heavy with the events right? In the majority of the people joining sock had come to an event and the, the whole premise of the event was, you know what I would say this explicitly, like, the more you give, the more you get here. Right. And it was facilitating, I would literally say what, you know, anyone have a similar situation. What did you do? Can you tell this other women? Right. So the behavior was set in person, and then they come into Slack and it, you know, because these women already knew how to operate. I mean, lesson, when you join an organization that says, you know, we're closing the wage gap, one race at a time, that's no longer our slogan, but at the time you're going to be socially minded probably right. This isn't just like industry professional group. I mean, it is, but it it's, you know, it has this larger social mission. So a, we were already attracting people who are like that be they'd come to an event. They saw it, this is the kind of community we're looking to build. And, and so, you know, six months into it, when somebody new would join, they would already see the behavior that day. You know, this was the environment and it was clear to them. So I, you know, we don't moderate sock anymore. Like we don't,
I remember you saying that to me, all of the communities that I've ever spoken to at your scale, like you've had the fewest, as far as I can tell, like community guideline or like kind of like bad blood.
Right. We do have guidelines. Right. We do have guidelines. Everybody sees it. We've had to enforce it maybe like five times in four years. I mean, really it's, it just blows me away how amazing these women are. But that's, I think the success of all of this is that they feed each other. So I'm almost irrelevant. You know, my, my goal has been, I don't want this all to be, you know, on my back. Right. Like if I were to go off the grid for a little bit, like with the whole thing fall apart, like how much of this is tied to my personal brand. And I've been deliberate in creating an ecosystem that I don't need to participate in. It's just like a joy when I jump in or, you know, it's just icing on the cake. I think. So I'm, I'm really glad about that.
Me and Kevin are just like dancing back here because that's like our that's our whole jam community. Isn't a community and lessons organizing itself is one of Kevin's favorite quotes from an old boss. Well, I want to get into your book as well, because that's the big news and something that we want to celebrate you accomplishing, completing, and also learn more about Kevin and I are two humans who went through the like wild experience of writing a book and have a lot of respect for that process. But curious, you know, why did you decide to write a book? I know that you have a family that had 15,000 books in their apartment or something crazy from what I read about. So sounds and looking at your background, unless it's, unless you're tricking us, it looks like you have a lot of books going on too, but how did you decide to write a book? Like when you're thinking about I have limited time and even the writing of books, exciting, like, why'd you do it?
I didn't decide to write the book. This is, again, I feel very lucky the opportunity fell in my lap. I connected with a woman. So this is actually, I mean, we can go into this or not go into it, but we had been sued for gender discrimination by a group of men's rights activists. Yes. That is a real thing. And through that and again, longer story, but through that, I ended up getting introduced to this woman, Hannah Lincoln, Hoffer, who works at ICM partners, which is an agency like WME or CAA. And when she heard about my story going across the country, she said, I think you have a lot to say here, cause you really have like a dud grassroots understanding here of what women are going through in this country. Can I introduce you to a literary agent? One of my counterparts in New York.
I think you may have a, a book here and I said, sure. And six months later I had a deal. So you know, that's where I, I never want to say lucky because we create our own luck. I want to say fate. I had, like, this was like, I was very, it was very fateful. And it was an incredibly difficult process. It took me two years, a lot of missed deadlines and I, you know, everything in the book I was learning as I was writing it in a sense, like I had taught classes that I then transcribed and we can go more into process if you want. So I knew a lot already, but as I'm writing about imposter syndrome and perfectionism, I was experiencing it on a, like an incredible level that I never want to go back to because it was so hard. But also I think, and I hope in my writing, there's a lot of empathy in it because I was relearning this stuff as I was writing and it's out there. I'm so proud of it. I'm like, I'm still kind of feel traumatized by the experience because it was so hard, but I think it's, I think it's excellent. And it's not just because my mom told me this.
Yes, no. I mean, books have a weight that I think in a current world where content media comes and goes, I didn't understand until we printed a book, how significant it is, it's meant to stay exactly as it is for forever. And it gave Kevin and I an immense amount of pride to accomplish something like that. So Bravo, Bravo. But the one thing I I'm, I'm curious about with the book specifically is that I find a lot of people write books very much from the perspective of what they just think is interesting. So, you know, they, they decide I'm going to cover a topic and I'm going to go research and have these experiences. And your, your book is rooted in kind of years, spent already doing that and framed around real life stories. And I'm just curious about how you made the decision to organize the book around real stories. And yeah. Why, why do that? There's so many different ways to write a book.
So this, this came out of a conversation with with my editor. So total kudos to her total props to her. What I'm fascinated by is always stories. First of all, second of all, the email that I would receive after every single town hall was, I thought I was the only one to get people to see themselves. And another is just a profound in general and B I think, you know, a lot of the topics that I write about, you know, people carry shame around, right? They don't think they're getting the job because they're not good enough or they didn't get the raise because they didn't think they're worthy enough. Or they're experiencing discrimination at their company and not recognizing that this is like a larger systemic issue. So I knew from the beginning that a way for people to feel better as they're gearing up for things like negotiations and annual reviews is to see themselves in another person.
Also, that's just more, we also looking for a different angle right than what's out there. So I knew the professional challenges that I wanted to highlight. And so I kind of cast, I called it casting. I found women. This is actually interesting. So let me walk through this a little bit. I knew the professional challenges that I wanted to, to, you know, cover like office politics, right. Or nor networking. Okay. So I would send out surveys to, through our newsletters and through Slack. And I put it on Facebook. I'm saying, can you tell me a story about perfectionism in your life, for example, and as I'm receiving these stories, I mean, I, this is what took the longest time. Right. I would do these, like in-depth interviews with so many women as I was trying to find the right story. And then what I realized was actually I should write this.
I should write the book around their stories as opposed to trying to get their stories, to fit in to what I thought I wanted to write. So, yeah. So you know, so these stories are amazing. There's no details that are changed except for some people's names. And the structure of the book is I have nine real women. Each of them is going through a different professional challenge, kind of from the beginning of who am I and what do I want all the way through making change at their company. Right. And becoming C-suite. And I stopped along the way as I tell their story and I give advice. And a lot of that advice came from transcripts of webinars that I've taught. So it was a real, it was just a way of kind of weaving together, both narrative and tangible takeaways. And so, you know, my floor, I remember I had, you know, mimics of stories and advice and themes, and it was on these like PO you know, note cards. And I was just like, moving things around. And again, this is why it took two, two years. And also there was much better.
Oh, we did that too. No, that's, I'm like, is this a book spade we've got like, this is a paper and pen and like physical space. And I'm sure somebody else has better advice, but that's how we went for it too.
And, but that's, you know, it's that I realized the magic is not in the writing, it's in the editing so that, you know, this book is very well edited and it's not just me. I also hired an additional editor and I hired what's called a sensitivity reader who worked with me throughout the whole thing. Dr. Akilah [inaudible] who specializes in DEI. And so, you know, that was very important to me from day one, to make sure that I was thinking beyond my own potentially myopic experience as a cisgender.
Yeah. there's another question in there that Kerryn actually asks and I feel like maybe there's some connection around when you're advocating for a group that can be undermined like marginalized historically what to, what to watch out for when you're organizing that group. And I tend to see that being really focused on inclusivity is so important. I think we've seen this in different women's communities who aren't truly living up to that promise of fairness. We don't have too much more time, but I wonder if you might quickly offer any thoughts to Corinne's question that she added of just, you know, if you want to get women together, what are some things that you've learned to keep in mind as you do that?
Yeah. I mean, I think it's first admitting that you probably know way less than you think you do. So there's kind of like a humbling that needs to happen in a self-reflection and not assuming, well, I'm not, you know, I'm not racist or I don't, I'm not a white supremacist. Like we all are to a certain extent, it's just within the fabric of our society and we are born into our society. So admitting that, and then it's just listening. So I did a lot of outreach to other groups that are, were specific to women of color and saying, you know, I want to put together an event with you. What would that, like, what, what need do you have that I can fill? Right. So it's not putting the onus on them, right. To produce the event, but what's, you know, what would be helpful to you at, you know, if you're looking for more followers or, you know, we'll do a dedicated newsletter.
So, so there's a lot of, I, you know, again, not just will you to join my event, but like, what can I do beyond our event to support you and having those six stories? You know, those were the women, you know, these women, I would ask first and making sure that we were always majority minority at our conference as well, that that's like, I don't want to say it's easy, but it's like, the solution is simple. Like you just, you know, you give people a platform, you support them and you get the out of the way. Like, that's, that's just how it is. And then having people like Akilah who, you know, we've paid over the years to both call us out and hold us to task, but also help us find, you know, we can find allies that we can be in an allies for us as well. So it's been you know, it's a, it's a learning process, but first knowing that it's important is the first step.
I think Korean also had a question about excluding men and what, what that is like. So maybe Korean, if you want to throw that to Claire, maybe she'll write you back.
Well, I can speak because that's why we got sued. Right. So it would just, just very quickly, you know, because the topics were about presenting as a woman in the workplace, right? So we've had like a number of trans folks join, right? But again, they're presenting as women in the workplace. You, if you are perceived as a woman or non-binary, that is where you can experience gender stereotypes around that. So, and so that's number one, number two, because the premise of a town hall is to give people a space to share vulnerable, intimate things about their challenges. I needed to create an environment where they felt free to do that. And so it felt like if I had folks there who represented the very kind of, you know, the, what, the challenges that they were running into, if it was associated with being, I don't know, sexually harassed by a man, right.
Even if the man's coming in good faith, I just couldn't imagine that, that, you know, people would still feel as comfortable to be as open. Well, was I discriminating? Yes, I was. So that's the problem. That's the problem. And, but you know who I got sued by a group of men who were part of, Oh, I'm not even going to say their name. They're part of a whole apparatus where they have sued over 300 groups. They just go looking for them. So this is not like there were actual people coming who really wanted to be part of it. And it was very traumatic. They sued me in two different cities, Los Angeles and San Diego. They sued me personally, ladies get paid the venues that hosted us, the sponsors, people who donate food and beverage, and six of our volunteers are volunteers. And I ended up representing 10 different people and the best part about, well, there were actually a number of really good things about it.
First of all, there were kind of incredible stories that came from this. They served everybody else and waited like so long to serve me. And they waited until the day of the women's March to come and serve me papers. So stuff like, yes, I'm going to tell this story. Like it was just getting so dramatic. And, but the best part about it was we ended up crowdfunding our legal fees and we raised over $116,000 from a thousand people in less than three weeks. So that, that kind of momentum and support for us is ultimately what got me, my book deal. So I guess I'm grateful to them. I don't know the other thing I want to say that I'm very proud of just coming out of that is we've now worked with the ACLU and legal aid to try to add language to the law that these guys Sue under, because it's a civil rights law.
Isn't that horrible. They use a civil rights law and the law, because they've done this 300 times, something needs to be changed in a civil rights law because that's going to be dangerous. But something where if people are sued under that law, like me, would I have more confidence to go to court and fight it? Because as of now, very few people have done that. So there's no precedence that said so going to, you know, going to take it to court. I mean, you're kind of at the mercy of the judge, right? And you don't know which way it's going to go. And, and it could be very expensive. So we just want to give people a chance to, to say, you know what, I'm willing to go to court. And if enough people do that, precedent will be set and people will maybe feel more comfortable fighting this.
And maybe these guys will let it go. So California is they've developed. They've created a working group to move forward with that. I had to make a presentation via zoom. And that's, you know, but that's ladies get paid, right? Something happens to you as an individual. You're like, this is terrible. You, you galvanize other folks to support you. And then you go and change laws. Because at the end of the day, we're not going to close the gaps ourselves. It's going to happen when we lobby our elected officials. So in a way I've kind of experienced my own mission. And that came through being sued.
One thing that stands out to me too, is we always say communities feel magical, but they don't come together by magic. And it takes the first people to step up and host a town hall or fight the first legal battle, and then to encourage others and to empower others. And that's how you end up affecting 75,000 plus lives. That's how you end up having a Russian woman from Siberia on a live podcast call with us right now with ladies get paid as her wifi password. But you know, Claire, I think I appreciate your perspective so much because of how community fueled you are and how rooted in real people's issues and concerns and the empathy and curiosity you have for that. But I also just want to say, thanks for showing up, like thanks for flying to the cities. And like you're cranking, you're putting so much work into this issue and that matters too. So if you guys want to grab ladies, get paid it's out. Anything else we can do to help you, Claire? Anything else you want to shout out to the listeners?
I mean, buying the book is great telling people about it. If you're not too bothered by my voice, I read it so you can get it on audible, Kindle, all that good stuff. If you go into your local Barnes and noble and you see the book and it's like, kind of hidden, like if you could take it towards the front and like put it in front of some like horrible, like in front, put it in front of like Bill O'Reilly's book or something. I don't know. That would be a huge help also. I would love to stay in touch with people. So honestly, following me on Instagram is great. I'm Claire gets paid. I, my email, my is frightening. I get a lot of emails, but if you DM me, I will respond to you. So, you know, following me there, if you're not part of ladies get paid, I'm putting it in the chat. Ladies get paid.com/join. It's free. We'll add you to Slack, but yeah, spreading the word about the book and leaving a review on Amazon. Seriously, you do not need to have purchased it on Amazon, but those reviews, Oh my God. I mean, think about how many things you've purchased from Amazon, because you read the reviews. So if I had to pick two things, I would say yes, of course buying the book, but honestly, the Amazon reviews, please, please, please. Assuming that you liked the book.
Awesome. Claire, You are amazing. Thanks for existing and cranking. And like current sat in the chat we're here. We're behind you. So thank you for all the work you're doing, Claire. Thank you so much. It was pleasure to have you
Thanks so much for having me Bailey. Thanks, Kevin. And thank you and Katie, you're awesome. You helped organize and all of you here just
Do you want to connect with Claire? You can reach her on Instagram at Claire gets paid or head to ladies, get paid.com. You can buy her new book. Titled ladies get paid. Anywhere. Books are sold. Thank you to our team. Thank you. Rosanna coupon for engineering and editing Greg David for his design work and Katie O'Connell for producing this live event and marketing yet posole, you can find out more about the work we do as people in co helping organizations get clearer on who their most important communities are and how to build with those people. By heading to our website, people and.company. Also, if you want to start your own community or supercharge one, you're already a part of our handbook is here for you. Visit get together book.com to grab a copy. It's full of stories and learnings from conversations with community leaders like this one with Claire final thing, you're still here. Please review us and click subscribe. It helps get stories like this. One about Claire and ladies get paid out to more people. Thank you. See you next time.