#PrivilegeTax Story: Katie Warner Johnson - EleVen by Venus Williams

#PrivilegeTax Story: Katie Warner Johnson

 Katie Warner Johnson

Katie Warner Johnson
CEO and Co-Founder of Carbon38
Carbon38 (Carbon38.com)

Q. I believe you must constantly be in pursuit of your best self. How have you prioritized doing so over the past year with the world being in a state of constant chaos?

Chaos is my friend. I love that feeling, when you are in the center of the ring, on the balls of your feet, getting ready for what’s coming next. Six years into running Carbon38, my day-to-day was starting to become relatively predictable. And then COVID hit. And there I was, back to making quick decisions, taking big swings, finding creative ways to eliminate calcified habits, and adapting to a rapidly changing environment. And I was doing it all at my kitchen table, which ironically, was where I first worked on Carbon38. This past year has taught me two things: it is never as bad as it may seem, nor is it as good.

Q. Where did you first discover that women were paid less than men?

I had always thought that was an issue of our past. That our mothers and their mothers had solved that for us. But the reality of the gender pay gap really set in a few years ago, due in large part to social media. Transparency is a very valuable tool—to bring awareness, and to crowdsource solutions.

Q. Any advice for women that want to advocate for pay equity?

Do your research. Most issues can be solved when you look at the data. Find compensation studies for your role at similar companies. Come armed with facts when you are advocating for yourself. Facts are the best weapon.

Q. What’s your go-to resource recommendation for learning about business and/ or leadership?

I learn best by example, so I have always turned to books about people, as opposed to how-to’s. I am currently re-reading First, Sandra Day O’Connor’s biography, our first female Supreme Court Justice. I also highly recommend the “leadership starter kit” — find yourself an awesome lawyer, a great accountant, and a crystal healer.

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