TOR178 — Ladies Get Paid and Red Bull Amaphiko with Claire Wasserman
Claire Wasserman


Even though we work on hundreds of different issues across a similarly diverse group of settings, I think the argument could be made that the work of the social sector is ultimately focused on creating a world where all humans have equal opportunity to flourish. This is at the base of what we’re doing with programing that seeks to improve financial systems, agricultural practices, environmental protections, health systems and education. And, one of the things we know, unequivocally, is that women have received the short end of the stick, almost no matter how you measure it.
Here’s the thing: marginalization of women doesn’t just happen in traditional development settings. It’s alive and well in the US, Europe… and, well, every other leading economy on the planet.
This is why I’m especially pleased to have Claire Wasserman as my guest for the 178th Terms of Reference Podcast. Claire is the founder of Ladies Get Paid – an organization focused, currently, on empowering women in the workplace.
As you’ll hear in the show, I found Claire when seeking to learn more about Red Bull Amaphiko, where she is the Deputy US Editor. Red Bull Amaphiko is a collaborative platform for social entrepreneurs that is sponsored by the energy drink company of the same name. But our conversation quickly turns to how Ladies Get Paid was founded and has quickly expanded into a phenomenon of 10,000 women… and growing.
You’re going to love this show where we talk about women rising up to get what they deserve, and how one woman has made the leap to be a leader in that movement.
You can connect with Claire here:


  • What Red Bull is doing in the Humanitarian, Aid & Development space
  • The Red Bull Amaphiko (wings) magazine, its digital community and workshop lines of action
  • The many non-monetary benefits Red Bull provides Amaphiko members
  • Ladies Get Paid, Claire’s own bootstrapped network of women informing and helping one another
  • The international realities of women in wages, salary negotiations, competing for leadership positions, sexism
  • The quick growth Ladies Get Paid town halls and regional chapters, as spaces for women to publicly discuss the issues that affect them, and the many values of exchanging personal stories, even professionally



  • Red Bull
  • Red Bull Amaphiko
  • Ladies Get Paid
  • Get Money Get Paid Conference
  • Working Not Working
  • Regina McGuire
  • Slack
  • Blair Imani, Equality for HER


  • Women’s Rights, Issues
  • Digital Media, Publishing, Creativity industries
  • Networking, Conversations, Online communities, Resource sharing
  • Empowerment Education
  • Sexism, Microsexism, Microaggressions, Objectification
  • Stories, Empathy, Support, Voices
  • Social Entrepreneurship Bootstrapping
  • Money, Value, Self worth, Salary negotiation,
  • Personal Finance, Financial Independence, Stability
  • Wage gap, Economic Inequality
  • Human Resources
  • Impostor Syndrome
  • Vulnerability, Anxiety


  • New York
  • Romania
  • Oklahoma
  • South Africa
  • Brazil
  • Bangkok, Thailand


Download an automated transcript.
New York, Winter 2017
RBA + LGP = Claire Wasserman
What is Red Bull doing in the development sphere?
Claire asked as much
“Giving wings”
“We do it in sports, why not to social entrepreneurs”
Some time spent to figure out what they are doing in the space
A magazine
Covering people in the impact space all over the world
It does not donate, it gives back
Claire covers US activity
Red Bull Amaphiko starts in South Africa, then moved to Brazil before US et al
Later it launched Amaphiko Academy, a 10-day program
They look for diversity
Admitted candidates join a bootcamp with several networking opportunities
People in Middle America don’t have a lot of opportunities like this
“It has been amazing”
First run of Amaphiko US just ended
Amaphiko = Zulu for Wing
“We’re really hammering that”
Bangkok (Stephen’s base) is Red Bull home
No financial exchange
Support extends for 18 months after the 10-day bootcamp
No equity or investment, but Red Bull is open to offer resources, sponsorship
“Red Bull keeps them on speed dial”
Amaphiko is a magazine as much as a community.
Participants can take part on ongoing activities
And now, something not really that different, after all
Ladies Get Paid
Claire had helped a friend, the friend found out about the Red Bull Amaphiko opening
They were looking for a writer and editor for the US
She meets the team
She’s wanted because she is a social entrepreneur
It would make her empathetic with their reality
Money must be made
But this is not what drives them
Lots of sacrifices
RBA also wants her to write about herself
Support her LGP initiative benefits RBA
“Welcome to the Red Bull family”
She don’t even to bifurcate her jobs
LGP: So women can rise up at work
We provide tools
Rise up: Get into leadership positions, closing the wage gap
Education, workshops
But above all, a worldwide online community
Real value begins after the workshops, women sharing resources
Discussion across challenges or “Anxieties”
Wage negotiations, legal issues
10,000 women
Romania, Oklahoma
You are not the only one experimenting this
“I don’t identify as a feminist”
“I have a misunderstanding about what that word means”
Working on advertising, at an awards ceremony in France
Conference, Festival
Lots of older white men
One approaches her: “Whose wife are you?”
“I’m now grateful that happened”
It reveal the several small episodes
Claire goes back home, to write
Series of conversation ensues
Not so much about “what happened,” instead “how I processed it”
“Have I helped in the objectification of me?”
“Too short dresses, excessive friendliness?”
Then, all the time and effort navigating this environment, instead of using them for something more useful
“I didn’t have the guts to speak publicly, under my own name”
Stephen: A Regina McGuire moment
“I was worried what I would be known for if you googled me”
Ironically, that’s what she’s known for now, proudly
“I realize the fear I felt publishing my words was one of the reasons why I should do it”
Women experience similar things all the time, everywhere
Claire begins with friends, it spirals into virality
Hundreds of personal stories
Then, strategic conversations
Claire spends a year reading “without really doing anything”
Researches wage gap, “getting increasingly angry at statistics”
“Startled and ashamed I didn’t know that”
“I consider myself an educated person and I didn’t know that”
Do other people know?
She feels responsible
Against a systemic problem, what can an individual do?
She holds a town hall
First subject: Money
“It represents so much”
It links to other meaningful issues: value, self-worth
“And of course the wage gap”
Financial independence
That first town hall’s room energy was like anything before
As if women haven’t had the chance to talk about this before, much less publicly
A Slack group is born
I swear, this is not a paid advertisement
Slack is meant an internal communication tool
“It made more sense for staying in touch than a Facebook group”
The town halls showed several themes
Each one became a Slack channel
Easier to quickly navigate
People joined, asked whether they could add friends
“I started adding people manually. 10,000 people later…”
“I am hacking Slack”
I mean, “I am doing business development for them”
Free but with limited capability. Paid features include message archiving
“But as I’m not charged, I don’t have to charge”
“Really recommended for building a community”
Who can make it to the town hall? Can Claire?
She was working for Working Not Working
“We just tell you what we do in our title”
A super-curated professional network in creativity (tech, ad, media)
“Are you working? Not working?”
“Very efficient”
WNW helps with the first town hall
“I week later I knew I had to quit my job to do this full-time”
Previous, not entirely successful entrepreneurial experiences
Tough. “I loved what I was doing”
“But I knew that I had to do it”
Tickets for the LGP town halls were free
100 people was the capacity. “They showed up”
Free and paid initiatives
You took the leap, so what?
“Each time someone writes me, I cry”
People have made massive and small changes
Setting up diversity programs
Women going to HR
A woman comes across her dream job, and she was perfect for, but feels unqualified
Men feel confident to apply when fulfilling 60% of the requirements, for women it’s above 80%
She didn’t apply
On a “Ladies Get Coffee” or “Ladies Get Drinks” she meets another woman who sees she’s perfect for a job she has
“You should definitely apply”
Turns out it was the job she didn’t feel ready for. (Spoiler: she more than was)
The power of passing somebody forward (or just recommending them)
Then there’s Impostor Syndrome
The need to over-perform
“I think she was cured from then on”
“Life is not a pass/fail test”
We all learn
“Have the confidence of a mediocre white man”
What would a mww do?
Gender reversal
Jokes aside, “would a man feel like this?”
“Let someone else reject you before you reject yourself”

  1. Vulnerability

Self-doubt, self-defeating are more universal career paths than you think, personally
Next year focus: Conferences
First one held late 2017, ~150 women in attendance
“Get Money Get Paid” New York 2017
Focused on salary negotiations, personal finance, leadership
Speaking up
“We’re taking it on the road”
Also, a curriculum on civic engagement, salary, self-advocacy
“We’re training women to give the training”
Women get certified for free, hold local workshops, get 50% of the profits
Everything goes under profit-sharing
The goal: An army of salary negotiators and promoters
Corporate programming
School speaking
Looking forward: Education, community, advocacy
For motherhood, sexuality, mental health
The “very uncomfortable subjects” that desperately need to be talked about
And the Biggest Challenge for Women in 2018 Is
Emotional and financial stability
“I had failed before. I felt ready”
So is funding
LGP is bootstrapped, debt-free within a year
Franchise model also helps women scale without going into debt
“We could go faster” through debt. “We’re pretty fast as it is”
There are dangers in going too fast
“It’s been an incredible year”
“I’ve been doing what I wanted to do”
Who do you pay attention to?
Women in her own network
“I don’t feel like I have time for Twitter”
Civic engagement groups
Blair Imani, Director, Equality for HER

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