Detrimental patterns of wage disparities are taking center stage today again as people across the country observe Equal Pay Day.
This year, the occasion lands four months and 10 days into the year — even later than last year’s April 4 observance — marking how far into the new year women must work in order to catch up with what men were paid in the year before. (The discrepancy translates to an average earnings of 20 percent less per year for women, compared with the income of men.)
While fashion brands and retailers have had their own share of issues related to gender discrimination and the wage gap — Walmart, Burberry, Victoria’s Secret and others have been called out for gender pay gaps in the past — there are firms that are stepping up to the plate in various ways to push for change.
Here, four fashion brands celebrating Equal Pay Day.
The Germany-based athletic brand — along with its Reebok label — is partnering with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s organization LeanIn.org to raise awareness of the gender pay disparity. At Adidas stores across the country and on Adidas.com, the brand is asking consumers to think about the impact of 20 percent less — labeling its shopping bags and receipts with the slogan #20PercentCounts. The company also pledged its own commitment to equal pay for all of its employees — male and female.
“At Adidas, we believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives … Equal pay matters, and by eliminating the gender pay gap, we can improve the lives of women and their families,” said Karen Parkin, chief HR officer and adidas executive board member.
LeanIn.org is also raising awareness about how much deeper the pay disparity goes for women of color. (On Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Aug. 7, and Latina Equal Pay Day, Nov. 1, the organization said it will do the same to raise awareness of the 38 percent and 46 percent pay gaps they face, respectively.)
Citing what she deemed to be unequal pay as one of the reasons she left Jimmy Choo in 2011, Tamara Mellon said she has felt a personal responsibility to build her eponymous brand around causes that champion women’s rights.
In the hopes of highlighting the wage gap and bringing attention to this critical issue, Tamara Mellon is taking 20 percent off across her brand’s direct-to-consumer website today.
Alice + Olivia
Offering a capsule collection of limited-edition tees designed in partnership with Global Fund for Women, Alice + Olivia and founder Stacey Bendet continue to lend support to Equal Pay Day.
A standout in the collection is the green gossamer cropped tee with the message “Equal Pay” across the front.
Ten percent of the net proceeds from each sale will be donated directly to their efforts Global Fund for Women, the company said.
The outdoor lifestyle brand is putting its money where its mouth is, pledging to show its support of the #20PercentCounts campaign by donating 20 percent of sales made today to the American Association of University Women. The company is also offering a 20 percent discount on all spring/summer apparel (both in-store and online).