Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's organization Lean In is partnering with hundreds of businesses across the country to offer women — and in some cases, men, too — 20% off on Equal Pay Day, which is tomorrow, April 4.
Unfortunately, we are still a long way from closing the gender pay gap. By some calculations, it would take until 2061 in the United States and until 2373 in the Middle East and North Africa, which means none of us can really afford to wait that long. According to the American Association of University Women, which used a different method to calculate the stats, the U.S. pay gap won't close until 2152 if change continues to move at this glacial pace.
Salary inequality gets even more pronounced as women get older, and it's much tougher on minority women. While women on average are paid 20% less than men, African-American women are paid 37% less and Hispanic women 46% less.
Lean In launched the #20PercentCounts campaign in order to start slowly righting these wrongs, USA Today reports, and 300 businesses in 25 cities have signed on to participate. Because if women make 20% less, why shouldn't we pay for our goods and services accordingly?
Now, to some this campaign may sound like a drop in the bucket compared to the behemoth task of achieving pay equality. But we've got to start somewhere. Also, given that women make the majority of purchasing decisions, a campaign like this is an effective way to call attention to the need for gender parity.
"We have to understand that the pay gap is happening to women and men with similar jobs that require similar skills and similar educational levels — and that has a real impact," Sandberg told USA Today. "The number of working women living in poverty would be cut in half if women were just paid the same as men. So this is important for our businesses and this is important for our country."
National partners for the Lean In campaign are Luna Bars, Lyft, Procter & Gamble, and Salesforce. Around the country, many outposts of larger chains are offering discounts, including an Orangetheory workout spot in Atlanta, GA, as well as Pure Barre and Rent the Runway locations in the Washington, D.C., area. Plenty of local businesses are participating, too. Check out Lean In's website to see which businesses in your area are part of the campaign, as well as more data on the pay gap.
Click ahead to see how Lean In's national partners are marking Equal Pay Day.
It’s 2017, and yet women are still fighting for equality. Data suggests it will take until 2152 to close the gender wage gap, but it shouldn’t take a century to get what we want. We want more, and Refinery29 is here to help — because 135 years is too long to wait for what we deserve today.