Money & Business

#TheReal10 Campaign Puts a Face on Wage Inequality

By / Nov 9, 2015 (#TheReal10/American Association of University Women)

To help draw attention to the wage gap women face, a new campaign by the American Association of University Women lets you put your visage on the $10 bill.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is getting active in the policy arena with a campaign to push for gender wage equality through currency. The organization, which advocates for equity and education for women and girls, represents more than 800 universities and has 170,000-plus members. Its latest idea plays off the U.S. Treasury Department’s #TheNew10 campaign to revamp the $10 bill with a fresh female face.

While Treasury will ultimately decide what woman will get the honor of being on the bill, through AAUW’s Real10 website, members and nonmembers can virtually add their own face to the $10 bill. The website and campaign are the result of a partnership between AAUW and ad agency WongDoody.

But there’s an important twist: AAUW is using the virtual dollars to demonstrate wage inequality by placing the actual amount that $10 is worth for the average American working woman, $7.90, on the bill to reflect that she earns 79 cents for every dollar a white man gets paid.

Participants can also select their ethnicity to show even greater potential wage gaps between their earnings and those of white working men. Black women and Hispanic women, for example, only make $6.30 and $5.40, respectively.

“Symbolism is important, but let’s talk about what the $10 bill is actually worth to the average woman,” Lisa Maatz, AAUW’s vice president of government relations, told Bustle. “We felt it was important to draw attention to that fact that the pay gaps affect all women, especially women of color and mothers.”

AAUW’s #TheReal10 hashtag and photo campaign are a new spin on the association’s long-standing effort to show that the gender pay gap is still a reality—this time in a personalized, shareable way.

The campaign is already generating attention on social media. Photos of women on the virtual bill with their respective dollar strength are being posted to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and beyond, validating what WongDoody Executive Creative Director Pam Fujimoto called “a great opportunity to bring attention to another monetary issue for women,” in an interview with Adweek.

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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