Missourians target gender wage gap with Equal Pay Day events, deals

Missourians recognized Equal Pay Day on Tuesday with a variety of promotions, events and social media posts.

The day is dedicated to raising awareness about the gender pay gap. It’s held each year on the day the average woman’s earnings for the current year and prior year combined would equal her male counterpart’s earnings for the prior year alone.

Women in the U.S. made 80 cents on the dollar compared to men in 2016, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan National Partnership for Women & Families. But women in Missouri make even less, at only 78 cents per every dollar paid to men, according to the analysis.

On behalf of her non-profit Lean In, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg launched the #20PercentCounts social campaign to highlight the disparity and promote 20 percent discounts for the day on some products and services.

St. Louis was one of more than 25 cities recognized on Lean In’s website for its participation in the day. Several businesses in the area offered 20 percent discounts, according to a Facebook post by Lean In STL.

The Henry W. Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City hosted a special workshop in recognition of the day.

Elsewhere, the Women’s Employment Network in Kansas City held its annual luncheon, and attendees took to social media to acknowledge Equal Pay Day.

Other organizations in the state also used social media to promote awareness of the gender pay gap.

Sandberg said in an interview with Marketplace that the pay gap takes its toll on more than just women in the workplace.

“(T)he average working woman would earn over half a million dollars more in her lifetime. And the number of working women living in poverty would be cut in half. That benefits all of us,” Sandberg said of closing the pay gap.

“That kind of stability helps children thrive and helps families thrive.”

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