The real cost of the wage gap in dollars makes sense

Stop the Party is back with a new campaign for International Women’s Day that illustrates just how much the 25% pay gap costs women in real terms.

The group says it “did the math” for some common consumer categories and created ads to show the personal costs that result from women being paid 25% less than men. If women were paid the same as men, for example, “You could take the family to Disneyland and Disney World,” “You could buy a new piece of tech each week,” and “You could order dinner for 2 every day.”

Stop the Party was launched last year by a small group of industry women who felt that while it’s good to celebrate women around International Women’s Day, it’s time to do something tangible to bring about equal pay between men and women. The idea was that while many people know there is a problem, they don’t know where to begin. Stop the Party created a simple three-step action plan.

The campaign this year is about making the 25% wage gap more tangible by converting it to real dollar impacts to get more signatories to the pledge.

Missing out on a dinner for two “sucks,” said Erika Maginn, group strategy director at The&Partnership, and one of the Stop the Party co-founders, in a release. “But over a month that money could cover your rent. In a year, you could pay for a year of a child’s university tuition and board. In five years, it’s a down payment on a condo… It really adds up.”

“We started this platform to make it easy for people to take action,” said Yvette Reitner, another of the co-founders. “Looking at the wage gap this way also adds urgency; you want to take action now, to not put it off because every day puts your dreams and aspirations further out of reach.”  In addition to Maginn and Reitner, the rest of the Stop the Party co-founders are Ashleigh McEwan, Hanna Bratt, Lindsay Hutchison, and Kate Qually.

New for 2022, Stop the Party has created a three-step pledge for individuals.

Awaken: Become educated on the wage gap and how it applies to your industry and yourself.

Advocate: Leverage your voice and your network to increase awareness of the wage gap and the actions that individuals and companies can make to eliminate it.

Activate: Take concrete action. This can be anything from initiating a compensation conversation with your boss, to encouraging your company to take the Stop the Party corporate pledge, or contributing time or resources to a related cause – anything that is a positive step toward closing the wage gap.

“We got a lot of positive feedback from companies who signed up for the pledge in year one, but we also had a lot of people ask us how they could participate, so we’ve added that element for year two,” said McEwan. “It was important to give women and allies a way to participate, to advocate for themselves and for others.”

David Brown