PITTSBURGH, Pa. — A pop-up store in Pittsburgh is sending a loud message: men make more than women, so men should pay more than women.
The name of the store, 76
Elana Schlenker is the 31-year-old graphic artist behind the project.
“In my own practice I work with a lot of artists, and this is a great way to unite two things I’m passionate about for a cause that is really important.”
The store sells an assortment of items including products by ceramic artists, weavers and even honey from a local beekeeper.
Schlenker, who relocated to America’s Rust Belt after spending eight years living in New York City, says she was inspired to open the shop by the simple fact that in 2015 women continue to earn less than men on average.
The idea of charging women 76 per cent of what men are charged came from an artist Schlenker knew about, who published a manifesto and charged men $2 for her work and women $1.
Schlenker says the reaction has been strong. “It’s been incredibly positive in ways I’ve never anticipated.”
She notes that men who enter the store and learn about its purpose are inclined to share stories of the strong women in their lives.
According to the White House, “when women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.”
The next stop for Schenkler is New Orleans, where she says women earn an average of 66 cents on the male dollar.
She notes that when women and men’s earnings are compared, the inequality is even worse for women of color.
The name of each pop-up store (Schlenker has not made any commitments to where she may go after New Orleans) will reflect the average gender wage gap.
The actual pay gap is greatly debated.
The 76 percent number is not an apples to apples comparison and does not taking into consideration variables such as women leaving the workforce. Some statistics also do not compare specific jobs.