April 12 is National Equal Pay Day, a date that’s meant to remind Americans how far “into the new year a woman must work to make what a man did in the last year.” And while some will be sharing this message on Facebook (only for others to point out that “women don’t make less, okay, bro?”), one business is taking a proactive stance in promoting pay equality. The Works Bakery (and several of its locations) in New Hampshire will be charging women 79 cents on the dollar for all baked goods today. Men will continue to pay full price.
“It’s been a problem that’s been around for a really long time, decades I would say,” said Don Brueggemann, manager of The Works in Concord. “And I think many of us thought it would kind of work itself out but it has been very persistent over the years. We’re feeling like this is a way to highlight that issue.”
While the wage gap is slowly closing, it’s important to remember it’s a real thing and the bakery has found a clever way to highlight the problem. While Brueggemann agrees that some might “split hairs” over the actual wage gap, he says that the point is to make it clear one exists (there’s been an especially big push to make that clear in Hollywood). If that means going a bit bigger to prove that point, hey, at least it gets people talking. As reported on Monday, Facebook and Microsoft are also working to eliminate the difference in wages that men and women earn for similar jobs and experience.
What does Brueggemann say to critics who might take the bakery to task for their stunt? “It’s certainly a figure where you can come to a slightly different percentage,” he said, “but I don’t think anyone has argued that there is parity between men and women.”