Nearly 50 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, on average women are still paid less than their male counterparts for doing comparable jobs – that’s called the pay gap. It means that each time the average woman starts a new job, she’s likely to start from a lower base salary, but it also means that over time the pay gap between her and her male colleagues is likely to become wider and wider.

For the average working woman, the pay gap means $150 less in her weekly paycheck, $8,000 less at the end of the year, and $380,000 less over her lifetime. For women of color and women with disabilities, the disparity is even bigger.

Your challenge is to use publicly available labor data and other online resources to educate users about the pay gap and to build tools to promote equal pay.  

Each submission should achieve at least one of the following goals:

  • Provide greater access to pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity:
    These features should provide data that would be helpful to women throughout their careers as they negotiate starting pay, request a promotion or a raise, or consider switching fields to a more lucrative career path.  Participants must ensure that their submission complies with all applicable laws and regulations. 
  • Provide tools for early career coaching:
    These features should use publicly available data to create an interactive online experience to educate young women on the pay gap and enable informed decision- making when selecting a career path.
  • Help inform negotiations:
    These features should provide feedback, tips, and critiques that guide users through the process of negotiating starting salary, pay rate, job level, or requesting a promotion or raise.  These tools should also educate individuals about their legal rights.
  • Promote online mentoring:
    These features should expand individuals’ access to broader communities and mentorship opportunities by providing a means to connect with others for career guidance.

Hackathon Sponsors


Grand Prize (4)

General Assembly Scholarships
Each of the 5 grand prize application winners (in the case of a team submission, the project leader or designee) will receive a scholarship (one per team) to attend an eight-week immersive program hosted by General Assembly ( where students will attend hands-on classes that build skills and provide an in-depth overview of topics in digital product innovation and entrepreneurship. Students will also experience the rigors of real-world entrepreneurship each afternoon by learning from a GA-affiliated startup. Through field studies, team exercises, and case studies, students will apply their learning in a results-oriented, fast-paced environment, and build a portfolio of major contributions to some of New York's most exciting startups. The scholarships will include full tuition.

The current list of prizes is subject to change.

Excellence in Equal Pay App Challenge - Mentorship Award

One winner will have the opportunity to have a 30-minute conversation with Leila Janah, founder of Samasource, a social enterprise that brings dignified, computer-based micro-work to people living in poverty via a proprietary micro-work distribution platform. The current list of prizes is subject to change.

Excellence in Equal Pay App Challenge - Non-Profit App Award

One winner will receive a $5,000 award from Catalyst ( to purchase their non-profit winning application, should the applicant choose to accept. Winner will provide one week (5 business days) worth of application modifications by their engineering team, as requested by Catalyst, to the winning application, at no charge. The current list of prizes is subject to change.

Excellence in Equal Pay App Challenge - Women Innovation Award

Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) Accelerator will facilitate a customized 2-day startup entrepreneur boot-camp in New York City for the entrepreneur or team judged to have the best for-profit app. The startup bootcamp will cover startup basics including business model creation, product validation, legal and accounting issues for startups, banking and financial essentials, branding and marketing strategy, and pitching to investors. The team will receive design and development guidance as well as the opportunity to meet with other startup founders. The current list of prizes is subject to change.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Contestants must register for the contest on by creating an account between January 31st, 2012, and March 31st, 2012. All entries received after March 31st, 2012 will not be considered for prizes. Registrants will receive an email to verify their account and may then enter their submissions via the "Post a Submission" tab (Submissions).

  1. If the software tool is not accessible to or by the Competition Administrator and Judges for review purposes (via the web with a URL or mobile app store), a link to a video of the working tool may be submitted.  In such case, the Competition Administrator has the right to request access to the Submission in person, or via any reasonable manner to verify any of the software tool’s criteria.
  2. A Submission may be disqualified if it does not function as expressed in its description.
  3. All Submissions must be available for public use and evaluation by March 31st, 2012, in order to be considered for judging purposes.
  4. Once the submission period closes, Contestants cannot make any changes or alterations to the Submission until the judging is complete. Winners will be announced on April 17th, 2012.


Full List of Judges

Full List of Judges

Judging Criteria

  • Mission
    How well does the application address at least one of the four goals defined for this challenge? (50%)
  • Creativity
    How innovative, interesting, and unique is the application in meeting contest requirements? (30%)
  • Design and Ease of Use
    Does the application present information in a way that is easy for the target audiences to use and is pleasing to the eye? (20%)

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