You might have noticed that a good number of your coworkers are wearing red today—that’s because they’re advocating for an end to the gender wage age. Michele Leber, the chair of the National Committee on Pay Equity, which organizes Equal Pay Day, says that “for supporters, red symbolizes how women are in the red with their salaries, compared to men’s.” Most recent data from the Women’s Policy Research reported that women earn $0.80 on the dollar compared to their male colleagues. The gap is even larger for Hispanic and black women, who earn $0.54 and $0.64 to the dollar of their white male colleagues.
According to the committee’s website, they selected a Tuesday in April to “represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.” Last year, ABODO released a report that showed those working in PR, media and entertainment ranked among the industries with the smallest gaps in pay between men and women (YAY for us!).
One thing we’ve seen companies demonstrate well is their dedication to social responsibility by participating in grassroots campaigns that are driven by their core mission, positively impacting their stakeholders. This year, several companies partnered with LeanIn for the #20PercentCounts campaign to get people to think about the impact of earning 20 percent less:
- Lyft: All day today, you’ll see Lyft cars in the app transformed into unequal signs to raise awareness of income inequality. To drive home the point, they’re also asking passengers to think about the impact of ending their rides early (with 20% of the way still to go).
- adidas: At adidas stores across the country and on adidas.com, customers will see the messages of #20PercentCounts on everything from shopping bags to receipts.
- P&G: With a focus on gender equality, P&G is promoting the importance of equal pay day for women in their April brandSAVER, which reaches 46 million U.S. households, as well as sponsoring this year’s campaign videos.
- Reebok: Today, the footwear giant is asking online customers to imagine getting 20 percent less of their order.
As the market becomes more saturated, companies are finding new and positive ways to differentiate themselves among their competitors. We’ll continue to see brands participate in various campaigns as it relates to gender rights, immigration, gun control, and education—especially as social issues continue to be a hot topic in our society.
What does this mean for those working in the PR industry? It will only increase the role and importance of PR practitioners to help spread these initiatives through various forms of communication.