On Tuesday, April 14, the nation recognized a date that symbolizes the amount of extra time it takes for an average American woman’s earnings to catch up to the wages earned by a male colleague in the previous year. According to many surveys and reports on the matter, there exists in this country a significant gap in the wages of men and women across a vast array of occupations and professions. Though the specific percentages appear to differ depending on a number of variables (including location, education, marital status, etc.), this is certainly a matter garnering a great deal of attention both in popular culture and politics.
The Same Sky on Campus Club has been lending a hand to the cause by raising awareness here in the York Prep community. Club members spoke at the Middle and Upper School Town Hall Meetings and created posters highlighting these issues. Where the hallways and bulletin boards were sporting the NYEqualPayBill hashtag and startling facts, the school was buzzing with students of all ages and even teachers engaged in thoughtful conversation about the importance of gender equality.
In celebrating the Equal Pay for Equal Work and the UN Women’s Planet 50-50 by 2030 initiatives, the Same Sky Club sought to empower students by informing them about the serious issues of unequal pay in the United States and gender equality globally. Following the example of its namesake, the international non-profit organization, Same Sky Foundation, this student group is doing much more than simply disseminating information. The Same Sky members sold their own merchandise and, much like the bracelets sold by the foundation, the tee-shirts the students designed are meant to serve as a reminder each time they are worn.
Two hundred forty five tee-shirts were sold for $2 each over the course of the week in order to get the whole school involved. On Friday, April 17, both students and faculty were invited to wear their Same Sky shirts in a unified show of support and join in on the group photo. Anyone who was unable to contribute to this outstanding show of support can still make a difference by using the equalpay hashtag on their social media profiles and telling their friends! By becoming informed, everyone can help raise awareness about gender equality and the necessity of equal pay for equal work.