Women pay less than men at Pittsburgh pop-up shop

A pop-up store in Pittsburgh is sending a loud message: men make more than women, so men should pay more than women.

Prices in store reflect the wage gap between men and women

Elana Schlenker says the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to her pop-up store that charges different prices for men and women.

A pop-up store in Pittsburgh is sending a loud message: men make more than women, so men should pay more than women. 

The name of the store, 76<100 reflects the average income of women in Pennsylvania compared with men.

Elana Schlenker is the 31-year-old graphic artist behind the project.

"In my own practice I work with a lot of artists, and this is a great way to unite two things I'm passionate about for a cause that is really important."

The store sells an assortment of items including products by ceramic artists, weavers and even honey from a local beekeeper. 

The shop also hosts regular events, some of which teach women how to negotiate pay. (Elana Schlenker)

Schlenker, who relocated to America's Rust Belt after spending eight years living in New York City, says she was inspired to open the shop by the simple fact that in 2015 women continue to earn less than men on average.

The idea of charging women 76 per cent of what men are charged came from an artist Schlenker knew about, who published a manifesto and charged men $2 for her work and women $1.

In November, the travelling shop is heading to New Orleans, where it will be named 66<100, reflecting the larger wage gap there. ( Elana Schlenker)

Schlenker says the reaction has been strong. "It's been incredibly positive in ways I've never anticipated."

She notes that men who enter the store and learn about its purpose are inclined to share stories of the strong women in their lives

After reading about an artist who charged women 50 per cent of what she charged men to make up for the wage gap, Schlenker thought she could bring back the idea in her own way. (Elana Schlenker)

According to the White House, "when women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement."

The next stop for Schenkler is New Orleans, where she says women earn an average of 66 cents on the male dollar. 

She notes that when women and men's earnings are compared, the inequality is even worse for women of colour.

The name of each pop-up store (Schlenker has not made any commitments to where she may go after New Orleans) will reflect the average gender wage gap.