A former Vogue director of communications has revealed she was paid US$50,000 less than her white, female predecessor for the same director role.
Zara Rahim, who is now head of communications at The Wing, revealed Vogue also added “diversity responsibilities” to her job, despite only being paid for the one role.
Fuck it if I get sued for this but I got a $5k raise for my promotion to a director title and still was paid nearly $50k less than the white woman who had the job before me. https://t.co/dJeaEKW9Ro— Zara Rahim (@ZaraRahim) June 9, 2020
The news comes as the global media company, Condé Nast, which owns brands like Vogue and GQ, came under fire for not treating its Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) staff equally to white staff.
“The trauma I carry from Condé is something I have a hard time talking about,” Rahim said. “I was the only woman of colour in a leadership role. I’m non-black. I was told in the end ‘I was complaining too much’.
“These institutions do this because they can get away with it. When I left my salary jumped $60k. $60,000! White people share your salaries with POC colleagues and normalise it. My last place of work it became impossible to get away with pay disparity because everyone was sharing.”
Bon Appetit, a food vertical of Condé Nast, also copped backlash after images of the editor Adam Rapoport wearing brown-face also circulated.
Then, black editor Sohla El-Waylly, who has 15 years’ professional experience, revealed she was hired as an assistant editor for US$50,000, to assist white editors with “significantly less experience” than her.
She also revealed she was not compensated for video appearances.
As a result, white employees of the publication revealed they would no longer appear in any videos until their BIPOC colleagues received equal pay and were compensated for their appearances.
Condé Nast denied white editors were paid for appearing in videos while people of colour were not, and later tweeted it was “dedicated to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace”.
CEO Roger Lynch reportedly told staff at a town hall that were concerns about pay disparity raised earlier, they could have been dealt with sooner.
Roger Lynch, CEO, just told staff re: pay and diversity "truthfully, if these concerns had been brought up earlier, we could have dealt with them sooner.”— Elizabeth Thompson (@BizzyT) June 9, 2020
However, staff commented on the tweet saying BIPOC had previously brought these issues to HR, and were ignored.
A wave of top editors from Refinery29, the New York Times and Bon Appetit have since resigned, after employees called out the organisations for their toxicity towards the BIPOC community.
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