This pop-up charges women less to highlight the wage gap

Less Than 100 is determined to draw attention to how little women are paid compared to their male counterparts

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Less Than 100 pay gap pop-up shop
A poster sold at the Less Than 100 pop-up@elanaschlenker via Instagram

A pop-up shop in Pittsburgh has caused quite the shopping stir as it offers two different prices for its products: one for men and one for women. Less Than 100 offers a 24 per cent discount to women, in the hope of raising awareness of the current gender pay gap in Pennsylvania. In the state, women in full-time work earn 76 cents to every dollar a man earns. Shop founder Elana Schlenker wanted the pop-up’s prices to reflect the gap by making men pay the full retail price and women (and those who identify as women) pay 76 per cent of the retail price. 

Schlenker told Refinery 29: “It’s incredible how deeply unconscious biases still permeate the ways in which we perceive (and value) women versus men. I hope the shop’s pricing helps to underscore this inherent unfairness and to create space for people to consider why the wage gap still exists.

“I just keep reading article after article about the wage gap, about how undervalued women are in the workplace, about the underrepresentation of women in company boards of directors, executive positions, and government, and it just blows my mind. This is a small way that I can do something about it, and I think many of the artists involved are coming from a similar place.”

For its merchandise, the pop-up has teamed up with independent female artists from across the US, who have agreed for Schlenker to sell their works at reduced prices. The products vary from prints and clothing to stationary and even ceramics. It's also is not for profit, with all sales going directly back to the artists whose work is featured.

Less Than 100 opened at the start of the month to coincide with the US’s Equal Pay Day on April 14, and will close at the end of the month. Schlenker hopes to take this pop-up on the road, with the first stop being New Orleans in autumn this year. 

At the moment the pop-up has only been confirmed as touring the US, but it would be great to see a version come to the UK if its success continues. According to the National Office for Statistics (NOS), the current wage gap in the UK is only 9.4 per cent, which works out to a difference of about £100 a week. Admittedly we do have it slightly better than the US, especially as our wage gap decreased by ten per cent last year – but while 9.4 per cent may be the narrowest difference in British history, but it’s still far from equal.

(h/t Refinery 29)

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