LeanIn.Org Launches #20PercentCounts for Equal Pay Day 2017 to Highlight the Unfairness of the Gender Pay Gap
For Equal Pay Day (April 4), LeanIn.Org is launching #20PercentCounts, a campaign to raise awareness that women on average are paid 20 percent less than men in the United States. In support of the campaign, LUNA, Lyft, P&G, Salesforce, and businesses in twenty-five U.S. cities have joined forces with LeanIn.Org to offer 20 percent discounts or special offers. In addition, LeanIn.Org premiered a comedic video that shows the impact of 20 percent less on women’s lives and released exclusive new data on the gender pay gap and the benefits of closing it to women, families, and the economy.
“Equal pay is essential to the goal of gender equality,” Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org, said. “This issue speaks to how we value women’s labor, knowledge, time, training, and so much more. In short, it’s about women’s worth. There’s nothing more fundamental than that.”
Women on average are paid 20 percent less than men. If you break the pay gap down by race and ethnicity, it is even worse: Black women are paid 37 percent less and Hispanic women are paid 46 percent less. Equal Pay Day marks how far all women need to work into 2017 to earn what men were paid in 2016. Because Black and Hispanic women face an even larger wage gap, they have to work until July 31 and November 2 respectively to catch up.
The gender pay gap disadvantages women and impacts families’ ability to buy groceries, pay for child care, invest in their children’s education, and more. If we closed the gender pay gap, the average woman would make $530,000 more over the course of her career, and millions of women and families would be lifted out of poverty. If we closed the pay gap, women on average could afford 78 more weeks of groceries each year—for Black and Hispanic women it would mean 155 and 193 additional weeks of food respectively.
In support of #20PercentCounts, businesses in twenty-five U.S. cities from Boston to St. Louis to Atlanta are offering 20 percent discounts on everyday purchases from coffee to pizza to pet supplies. Salesforce, the #1 CRM company and an equal pay pioneer, provided a donation for in-store signage, online advertising, and local events to support the national rollout of #20PercentCounts. Leaders from the Lean In Circles program, a global network of small peer support groups, are spearheading this grassroots effort. With support from LeanIn.Org, leaders recruited participating businesses and are serving as spokespeople for the campaign in their communities.
“Women accomplish amazing things when we work together,” said Rachel Thomas, president and cofounder of LeanIn.Org. “Hand in hand with the women in our Circles community, we’re shining a light on an issue that matters to all of us—and to all women around the world.”
The idea to rally small businesses in support of equal pay was inspired by Lean In DC, a Chapter of Lean In Circles led by a group of millennial women in Washington, D.C. Since 2014, Lean In DC has partnered with local businesses to offer discounts commensurate with the gender pay gap, and this year they are playing a lead role in #20PercentCounts.
The #20PercentCounts campaign is further amplified through large-scale partnerships with LUNA, Lyft, and P&G:
- LUNA is offering 20% off all LUNA Bars sold on lunabar.com (while supplies last) from April 3–11 and matching the discount amount with a donation of up to $100,000 to fund salary negotiation workshops in partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW)
- Lyft, which completes 20 million rides per month, is donating 20 percent of proceeds from rides taken in over 240 cities on April 4 to organizations that serve women and families—and will share the campaign with their customers via their app and online channels
- P&G is offering a rebate on its products through April 30 (via pre-paid card) and will be promoting the importance of equal pay to 46 million U.S. households
All offers and details are available at leanin.org/equalpay.
With support from all three partners, LeanIn.Org is also raising money for organizations that help women and families in need and provide resources to help them succeed, including AAUW, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Dress for Success, and Feeding America.
“Lyft is proud to team up with LeanIn.Org to shed light on the gender pay gap and promote action on issues that affect women,” said Logan Green, CEO of Lyft. “We know that equal pay is just one of a number of barriers that women face in the workplace, and today we strive to do our part to grow awareness and support for bridging the pay gap.”
Produced by a largely female team in partnership with Funny Or Die and Hulu, LeanIn.Org’s campaign video illustrates the absurdity and unfairness of women receiving 20 percent less—from 20 percent less morning coffee to 20 percent less pay. Both companies are sharing the video with their audiences on funnyordie.com and hulu.com.
The #20PercentCounts campaign is supported by research-based information on the gender pay gap and the benefits of closing it. At leanin.org/equalpay, visitors can find the most recent data on the pay gap in the United States and globally, as well as steps companies can take to make sure they pay women fairly. This includes new research commissioned from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that shows closing the pay gap would lift 3.1 million working women and their families out of poverty and add $513 billion in new income each year to the U.S. economy.
LeanIn.Org is also working with the National Partnership for Women & Families to share state-level data on the gender pay gap and how much it costs women and their families in basic necessities such as food, rent, tuition, child care, and more.
With the help of large-scale distribution and advertising partners—including Brit & Co, Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube—the campaign is reaching millions of people online. In addition, beginning in early summer Virgin America will play the campaign video and related educational videos from LeanIn.Org, including a new series on negotiation from Duke professor Ashleigh S. Rosette, on its in-flight entertainment system, RED.
To participate in the campaign and help raise awareness of the gender pay gap, people are encouraged to post #20PercentCounts on social media. They can also visit leanin.org/equalpay to watch the campaign video and learn more about the gender pay gap.