April 4 marks “Equal Pay Day,” the symbolic date that represents the amount of extra work women have to do to match the 2016 salary of male counterparts.
The gender-pay gap is about 20 percent, a serious difference, especially considering how many single moms there are in the U.S.
To raise awareness of the pay gap and how reducing it can improve the economy and quality of life, LeanIn.org is creating a one-day campaign called #20percentcounts.
More than 300 businesses in 25 cities will offer 20-percent discounts to women (and men as well), according to a press release.
The complete list can be found at LeanIn.org. Participants include major companies like Lyft, Procter & Gamble and Salesforce.
LeanIn.org founder Sheryl Sandberg, who also is Facebook COO, said the campaign’s goal is demonstrating how equal pay “is essential to the goal of gender equality.”
“This issue speaks to how we value women’s labor, knowledge, time, training, and so much more,” Sandberg said in a statement. “In short, it’s about women’s worth. There’s nothing more fundamental than that.”
The 20-percent wage gap is an average for all women. The gap gets worse for some racial and ethnic groups. Black women are paid 37 percent less than men, and Hispanic women are paid 46 percent less. Women in those demographic groups have to work until July 31 and Nov. 2, respectively, to catch up with what men earned last year.
LeanIn.org created a video to explain why the 20-percent gap is absurd and unfair.
In addition to being the right thing for employers to do, equal pay makes good business sense. New research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows closing the pay gap would lift 3.1 million working women and their families out of poverty and would add $513 billion in new income each year to the U.S. economy.