A pop-up shop for gender wage equality could be coming to a city near you.
Created by graphic designer Elana Schlenker, the store called 76<100 was created to build awareness around the gender wage gap in Pennsylvania. The shop kicked off its grand opening on April 14 (Equal Pay Day) in Pittsburgh. The name 76<100 reflects the pay gap in Pennsylvania, where women make 76 cents to every man's dollar. The store charges its male customers 100 percent of the retail price of items and charges female customers 76 percent of this 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 told The Huffington Post.
The store features products and goods made all by women, including books, stationary, ceramics and textiles. "I've read article after article about the wage gap and the ways in which women are perceived (and undervalued) in the workplace," Schlenker said. "And 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."
Schlenker plans to travel across the U.S. with 76<100 to promote awareness around specific states' wage gaps. Her next stop is New Orleans, Louisiana, where women are paid on average 66 cents to every man's dollar. The store will be appropriately named 66<100 and, fittingly, women will only be charged 66 percent of the retail price.
"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."
76<100 is not for profit and all of the income made from the store will go directly to the female artists and designers whose products are featured in the store.
"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 said.
An awesome bargain and fighting the wage gap? We'll take that deal any day.
Head over to 76<100's website to read more about the store.
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