Graphic designer Elana Schlenker was frustrated with the wage inequality that women face all across the U.S., and so she decided to do something about it by opening the pop-up shop 76<100 on April 14, Equal Pay Day. The Pittsburgh shop is named for the actual wage discrepancy between women and men in the state, and sells its wares (books, stationary, ceramics and textiles made by women) at a discounted rate to female clients.
Schlenker explained to HuffPo, “I’ve read article after article about the wage gap and the ways in which women are perceived (and undervalued) in the workplace. 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.”
The not-for-profit shop gives all its profits back to the women who’s works it sells. And it’s a concept that Schlenker is looking to expand. Her next pop-up shop will open in New Orleans and be called 66<100 because (you guessed it!) women in Louisiana are paid 66 cents to a man’s dollar.
Well, already some are getting up in arms about Schlenker’s shop-as-political-statement calling discrimination on the whole men-pay-more aspect. We’re willing to bet the commenters raging against the shop’s pay structure are not actual patrons impacted in any way by 76<100’s pricing. But Mental Floss points out “even if <100 is a great idea, it might not withstand legal scrutiny.” Basically, if Schlenker’s pricing is hard-line, it could be illegal, just like Ladies’ Night discounts at bars are technically illegal.
Enough of this. Take it away Leslie!
Kristy Puchko can’t even sometimes.