Katie Donovan is founder of the consultancy Equal Pay Negotiations and a leading pay-equity expert who has been described as one of the most influential policy entrepreneurs in the last ten years. Donovan started a trend that has resulted in 42 laws and executive orders enacted since 2016 to ban questions of salary history when hiring and seven laws ensuring the pay of a job is available to job candidates. Women job changes earn 8% additional pay and Black job changers 13% additional pay due the bans and restrictions on salary history. Prior to starting Equal Pay Negotiations, Donovan worked for a staffing firm, an applicant tracking developer, and a professional association. Donovan’s roles in the fight for pay equity have included founding member of the Massachusetts Equal Pay Coalition, Massachusetts co-president for AAUW, legislative committee member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW), and member of the steering committee for the Massachusetts Chapter of 2020 Women on Boards. These varied experiences with all the stakeholders in hiring gives her a unique knowledge and perspective on the gender pay gap.
Her business, Equal Pay Negotiations (EPN), works to achieve equal pay for all groups who are systemically underpaid including women, men of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities, through pragmatic solutions similar to ending the use of salary history. Truly salary history is one example of the unique understanding of pay inequity Equal Pay Negotiations uses.
The foundation of EPN’s consulting is the acknowledgement that many best practices in hiring, promotions, and compensation processes assume equality already exists and in doing they prevent equality from being achieved. Donovan’s background in employment, which includes a staffing firm, an applicant-tracking developer, and a trade association gives the insider experience to have gained this insight.
- EPN consults with individuals to negotiate their pay and benefits.
- EPN consults with employees to advocate for their direct reports and themselves within their organization.
- EPN consults with startups and investment firms to ensure new employers start hiring without the use of old-school best practices that will create pay inequity and potential liability for the employer and investors.
- EPN consults with established employers to audit hiring, promotion, and review processes to eliminate systemic bias in the processes.
Donovan speaks and conducts workshops on equal pay, salary negotiations, and unintended biases in hiring at such venues as Harvard Business School, American Academy of Neurology, NASDAQ, Hallmark, Women in Construction, Society of Women Engineers, and Human Resource Association of Southern Maine. She is a sought after commentator on pay equity and women in business by media including BBC, NPR, Hollywood Reporter, Boston Business Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, and more.
Donovan earned her MBA from McCallum School of Business, Bentley University in Waltham, MA and a BA in Economics from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She grew up in Chelsea, MA and has stayed close to her roots, as has her extended family. She loves Boston and its two best sports, Red Sox baseball and politics. When not working, she can be found enjoying Boston and Cape Cod with friends and family, practicing yoga, kayaking, and baking.