Leading With Empathy & Allyship Show

How To Advance Pay Equity & Reduce The Pay Gap With Sharawn Connors

Leading With Empathy & Allyship promo with the Change Catalyst logo and photos of host Melinda Briana Epler, a White woman with red hair and glasses, and Sharawn Connors, a Black woman with medium auburn hair, orange blouse, and black jacket

In this episode, Change Catalyst Founder & CEO Melinda Briana Epler discusses “How To Advance Pay Equity & Reduce the Pay Gap” with Sharawn Connors, VP of Diversity Equality & Inclusion at Micron Technology.

You’ll learn:

  • What “pay gap” and “pay equity” really mean
  • How you can prepare for negotiating a salary
  • The research you should do before talking numbers with a prospective employer
  • How to know your professional worth
  • How your company can improve the pay gap and pay equity, and the data and processes to consider implementing to reduce the pay gap across your organization in order to reach pay equity

Our Leading With Empathy & Allship host Melinda Briana Epler is a TED speaker, author of the upcoming book How to Be an Ally (McGraw Hill 2021), and Founder and CEO of Change Catalyst. She works with leaders to build empathy and inclusive leadership skills, and develop diverse, equitable, and inclusive companies.

The live show is made accessible thanks to Interpreter-Now and White Coat Captioning.

This episode of Leading With Empathy & Allyship is sponsored by AppDynamics – builders of the world’s only full-stack Business Observability platform. Join their team to help businesses thrive by turning performance into profit. Learn more at www.appdynamics.com/company/careers And by Interpreter-Now – providing high quality ASL interpreters.

Continue learning with these resources:

#allyshippodcast #changecatalyst #payequity #paygap #inclusion #allyship #diversity #equity #blackhistorymonth



  • “When we look at the pay gap, we know that a lot of time the majority group is paid more because of the positions that they are in. They are more likely to be VP and higher and even manager. Our broken rung starts to happen at the manager level. How do we impact that? One way is through hiring but another way is through growing and retaining the talent we have and paying people fairly helps us to do that.”
  • “At Micron, I want to be clear. It is not optional whether our managers pay fairly or not. We audit that data. If there need to be corrections, there are corrections made. We want to understand the disparities in pay and we are committed to paying fairly. I would encourage companies to mandate it. Not to depend on the manager or the process.”


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Guest Speaker
Sharawn Connors, a Black woman with medium auburn hair, orange blouse, and black jacket

Sharawn Connors
VP, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at Micron Technology

Micron’s Vice President of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Sharawn Connors leads the DEI function within Human Resources that touches all aspects of the business, particularly attracting and supporting a diverse and talented workforce around the globe. Passionate about education and coaching, Connors is also an adjunct professor at San Jose State University and a mentor to first-generation and underrepresented college students.


Transcript coming soon.

About the Host

Host: Melinda Briana Epler

Melinda Briana Epler has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs.

As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda currently works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world. She co-leads a series of global solutions-focused conferences called Tech Inclusion, where she has partnered with over 450 tech companies and community organizations and hosted 43 solutions-focused diversity and inclusion events around the world.

Previously, Melinda was a Marketing and Culture Executive and award-winning documentary filmmaker – her film and television work includes projects that exposed the AIDS crisis in South Africa, explored women’s rights in Turkey, and prepared communities for the effects of climate change. She has worked on several television shows, including NBC’s The West Wing.

Melinda is a TED speaker. She speaks, mentors and writes about diversity and inclusion in tech, allyship, social entrepreneurship, underrepresented entrepreneurs and investing. She has spoken on hundreds of stages around the world, including SXSW, Grace Hopper, Wisdom 2.0, the World Bank, Obama White House, Clinton Foundation, Black Enterprise, Google, Indeed, Capital One and McKinsey.

In The Press

Watch Melinda’s TED Talk

Speaking Engagements

Change Catalyst Co-Founder Melinda Briana Epler has spoken across the globe in hundreds of venues and virtual events. Empathy, Allyship, Advocacy, Microaggressions, Inclusive Leadership, and Building Inclusive Teams are just some of the topics Melinda has spoken on. Let us know about your next speaking engagement needs! Melinda has also spoken on how to build organizational capacity to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as how to lead behavior change or how to build allies and advocates.


The show shaped my scope of reasoning on the dynamics in the corporate world, brand building, harmony across board with team mates. Your series has helped me feel less alone and less daunted by the challenges I face as a leader at a company that is used to moving fast with decisions and making swift progress across the board. I so earnestly want to grow and deepen my perspective when it comes to diversity and allyship; it’s not always clear how to do it. This series has felt like a path I can follow and revisit and draw strength and insight from. Thank you.

This show has given me clear opportunities to learn in the midst of 2020’s numerous social and personal challenges, including engaging remote content. I’ve learned new terms, heard new voices, diversified my interests and internalized personal narratives that have inspired me to get more active.

I watched many of your live shows in 2020, and I learned something from every discussion. They were inspiring on many levels. Early on during the pandemic (especially), the show also provided me with a sense of community that I was sorely needing. Thank you.

Virtual Training, Consulting & Coaching Solutions
If you’re looking for a way for remote teams to continue their learning and professional development, we’re now offering virtual allyship, inclusion and leadership trainings. We’ve also continued our consulting practice virtually. AND we now offer hourly coaching. Let us know if you’re interested in learning more!
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