Pop-up shop tackles gender wage gap

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Employers usually bear much of the burden when it comes to closing the gender wage gap but now, one woman who isn’t satisfied with the slow progress has decided to take the issue out of the office and onto the high-street.

Earlier this month, graphic artist Elana Shlenker launched her own store ‘76<100’ in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – where women make 76 cents to every man’s dollar.

But it’s not just the name that’s making a statement – Schlenker’s store is attempting to even things out it its own way by charging male customers 100 per cent of the retail price and charging female customers just 76 per cent of the price.

"The pricing structure is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, to grab the community's attention and then foster dialogue around the issue," Schlenker explained.

"I've read article after article about the wage gap and the ways in which women are perceived (and undervalued) in the workplace," she continued. “When I had the idea to do a shop with this 'pay what you're paid' pricing, I felt like it could be a really powerful, positive and fun way to approach this issue and also connect with other women whose work I admire."

The store only stocks a range of products, including books, stationary, ceramics and textiles – all of which are made by women.

So far, Schlenker says reactions to the store have been overwhelmingly positive.
"It's been incredibly positive in ways I've never anticipated,” she said, noting that many of the men who enter the store and learn about its purpose often end up sharing stories of the strong women in their lives.

Next up, 31-year-old Schlenker plans to shift her pop-up shop to New Orleans, Louisiana, where women are paid on average 66 cents to every man’s dollar. Appropriately, the store will change its name – and pay structure – to 66<100.

"More than anything that is what I hope for – to get people talking about the wage gap and these other women's issues, and to understand that remedying this isn't about discriminating against men, or even passing legislation necessarily," Schlenker said.

"There are a lot of more deeply seeded issues and biases in our society that are perpetuating this problem. Recognizing this, while encouraging women to ask for what they're worth is, is one small step toward positive change," she continued.

Schlenker’s thought-provoking store is not for profit and all of the income made will go directly to the female artists and designers whose products are sold.

"Wage equality also incorporates many different issues for women and men -- women's self-worth, perceptions of women in the workplace, parental leave policies, racial issues, education, minimum wage -- it's not just about earning what men earn," she concluded.

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  • Male Matters on 2015-04-22 1:16:48 PM

    To see how absurd this is:

    "Salary Secrecy — Discrimination Against Women?" http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/salary-secrecy-discrimination-against-women/

  • polmki on 2015-07-22 1:35:45 PM

    If women want to earn as much as men why don't they trying working as hard as men do?

  • J on 2015-07-22 4:10:29 PM

    Why is this wage gap myth still be reported on? It has been thoroughly debunked by economists. You cannot take yearly or weekly averages for all men and all women and then say that women are paid less than men on an individual basis. Averages need to be examined very carefully for the truth they hide. It is also important to consider that due to our society's insistence that men are bad father's and emotionally stunted, it is expected that women still take care of children. As such, women tend to take more stable, lower risk jobs. In the same vein, men work more hours, on average, than women. This explains the majority of the wage gap. There is another 4% (or 4 cents on the dollar) that is unaccounted for after taking into consideration choices. So that's the real page gap. Not 36 cents to the dollar.


    People, regardless of their gender, then to make informed choices about their career options. If women getting paid, on average, less than men is an issue, then let them know where they can make more money. If they still choose to take lower paying degrees and jobs, then that's their choice. Unless you think women are stupid and can't think for themselves. Then by all means step in and force them into certain careers or to work longer hours and spend less time with their children.

  • Bob on 2015-07-22 9:28:11 PM

    Stop spreading the wage gap myth, please.

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