Founder of ‘Clara’ App Wants to Make Sure Creators of Color Are Paid What They’re Worth
Christen Nino De Guzman is the CEO and founder of Clara, a Glassdoor-esq app for content creators. More specifically, the app’s mission is to encourage transparency about pay disparities among content creators of color.
“I have worked with top content creators at companies like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. Throughout my career, I saw extreme pay disparity impacting creators of all sizes,” she told us. She’d witnessed firsthand how creators of color were being shortchanged for their hard work, even if they had more followers than their counterparts.
She launched Clara to help creators of color better understand what other creators were making, what was fair to charge brands, and what they should be getting paid. But wait, there’s more! “You can see and share brand reviews and pricing insights and use the information to help negotiate your next brand deal with confidence,” she shared.
Nino De Guzman sat down with mitú to discuss the importance of equal pay, the obstacles we’re sure to encounter, and how to navigate the uncharted waters of content creation as a career.
Catering to the new wave of content creation
As we all know, content creation is a relatively new yet booming industry. Therefore, there are a few kinks that need to be ironed out. “[It’s] a new form of employment for millions of people. But because of this, there is a massive learning curve for both brands and creators,” Nino De Guzman shared.
It’s a bit of trial and error for both brands and creators when it comes to payment. Nino De Guzman stated, “Creators are learning how to price their work properly, and brands are learning how to work with and build relationships with the creators they employ.”
However, because there’s no set standard for pay or minimum wage, this lack of precedence can lead to “unfair differences in pay and a huge gap in earnings.” Nino De Guzman says this is especially true for those “historically excluded creators.”
This is where the Clara app comes in. Nino De Guzman’s vision is for influencers to really “understand their value and be in a position to negotiate confidently,” which requires access to this information.
Beating the odds
Nino De Guzman shared some of the trials and tribulations regarding getting Clara off the ground. It’s no secret that women make cents to the dollar that men make, and Latina women are certainly no exception.
“Latinas working full time are paid approximately $0.57 for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men,” Nino De Guzman stated. According to NBC, Latina founders run nearly 2 million businesses nationwide but receive less than 2% of funding.
Nino De Guzman told us, “[We] are underpaid and underrepresented. We are the ultimate underdogs […] We have to work 10x as hard as everyone else.” Now, the Clara app can help other women in similar positions demand fairer wages for their blood, sweat, and tears.
For other Latina women with great ideas who want to take action, Nino De Guzman advises that you tap into all the resources you can, do your research, and persevere. “Don’t get discouraged when you constantly hear ‘no'”, she advises. “It may take hundreds of ‘no’s’ before you get one ‘yes’— keep going. If it were easy, everyone would do it!”
Choosing community instead of competition
Nino De Guzman places a high value on community, believing that its innate value extends to business. “We show up for each other and care deeply for one another. I take the same approach in business,” she began. She believes that there is “room for everyone.”
She told us that some of her best friends are other Latina entrepreneurs and that they’ve never had any issues. Instead, they root for each other. She shared her favorite quote, which states, “When God is blessing your neighbor, it means he’s in the neighborhood.” And to that, we say, “Amen.”