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Skylar Diggins-Smith focuses on pay equity through partnership

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Skylar Diggins-Smith is going public.

The Phoenix Mercury guard announced a partnership with Public on Tuesday in an effort to bring to the forefront conversations about women’s pay equity, investing and money and help level the playing field off the court.

Diggins-Smith has long been an advocate for women’s sports, speaking out about the wage gap between the WNBA and the NBA and protections for athletes who are mothers. Diggins-Smith, 31, says her experience in the WNBA has been key to her financial literacy and understanding of investing.

Now, she wants to share that insight with others.

“My fellow players and I have thought a lot and spoken up about improving our pay equity,” she told Just Women’s Sports. “But I realized this is an important conversation to have off the court and outside of the sports world as well. Investing in the public markets can be a great way to build generational wealth, and women, and especially women of color, statistically invest less than men.”

As part of the partnership, Diggins-Smith will share her perspectives with the Public community through the company’s website, She’ll also appear in a special edition of Public Live, the company’s live audio broadcast, to speak about her journey to the WNBA and her passion for helping women build wealth, both within and outside of the WNBA.

In conjunction with the announcement, Public is giving away free stock for fans of Diggins-Smith who start a portfolio on the platform and begin their investing journeys.

Diggins-Smith is partnering with Public partly because their community of investors is already diverse: Of the platform’s 1 million investors, 40 percent are women and 45 percent are people of color. She hopes to build on that foundation and help more women of color invest for the long term.

“It’s not about the quick financial wins. In the WNBA, we don’t make millions upfront,” she said. “I’ve been lucky to play with other inspiring women — small business owners, entrepreneurs, and women who have shared their own financial journeys and advice with me. I certainly lean on that network to continue learning and building my own financial literacy.”

In addition to her work within the Public community, Diggins-Smith will serve as an advisor to Public’s One Team, a program recently launched for NCAA student-athletes. The service brings financial literacy tools and training to student-athletes as they navigate the NCAA’s new interim policy allowing them to profit off of their name, image and likeness.

“The NIL opportunities are really exciting for student-athletes,” said Diggins-Smith, a former standout player at Notre Dame. “I wish I’d had that back in the day. I think it can be a great way for them to take ownership at a much earlier age and invest in their futures.

“The tough thing is navigating it all, but I am excited to share my own perspective as a college player who went pro through Public’s One Team program.”

Diggins-Smith’s profile and her financial literacy advice is available through Public’s app under @skylardigginssmith.