Less Than 100 is a travelling pop-up shop which aims to illustrate the gender pay gap by charging women less than male customers.
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More than 50 years have passed since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 declared that workers in equivalent roles should be paid the same wage, regardless of gender, yet recent statistics show that in 2014, US working women were earning just 78 percent of the US men’s median earnings. In Pennsylvania the gap is even larger — at 76 percent. In response, artist and entrepreneur Elana Schlenker has opened a ‘pay what you’re paid’ pop up shop in Pittsburgh called 76<100, which aims to draw attention to the gender gap by charging female customers 76 percent of the retail price, mirroring the inequality of earnings.
76<100 is the first installation of Schlenker's travelling Less than 100 project. The temporary store will be selling ceramics, textiles, publications, art prints and other work created by women artists and makers until the end of April, after which the project will move to New Orleans, Louisiana. The second store will be called 66<100 and charge women 66 percent: female Louisianians are paid on average 66 percent what men are. All sales from the project go directly to the artists and there are also a number of events and workshops occurring in the shop throughout the month.
Whether or not Less Than 100 succeeds as a retail enterprise, the store has certainly raised awareness and provoked discussion in a way that a page of statistics rarely does. Are there other commercial projects which could help draw attention to the inequalities that are so often ignored?