On Wednesday, you may notice that things are a little slower around here. That’s because some of the ModCloth team, myself included, are participating in the International Women’s Strike.
I am both excited and proud to stand with my sisters from around the world in “recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system–while on-average receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.”
As the founder of a business that sells to and employs women (in fact, 64% of our workforce is female), it has always been important to me that ModCloth supports women, too. That is part of why the “gender pay gap” is a deeply personal issue for me.
Here are the facts: women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation and, in 2015, women working full time in the United States typically were paid on average just 80 percent of what men were paid for the same work. If that woman also happens to be a minority, or transgender, that statistic becomes even worse. This needs to change.
I was raised in a very “traditional” family. My Dad, also an entrepreneur, worked on his business while my Mom stayed home to clean, cook, and raise me (along with a myriad of other duties.) I was also born into a relative position of privilege, being caucasian, heterosexual, cisgender, and firmly in the American middle class. As much as I looked up to my Mom, as a little girl, personally I tried to model my life after my Dad’s. I dreamed of going to college, having a career, and working outside of the home. I am striking today because I want my future daughters (and sons!) to be able to live their life and pursue their dreams in the way that will make them most happy. I don’t want my future daughter to feel like she must give up her career to have kids. I don’t want my future son to feel like he must be the sole breadwinner for his family. It should be their choice.
There are many issues facing women around the world today. The International Women’s Strike can’t and won’t solve them all, but it’s a hopeful step forward. If you’re interested in learning more about feminism or you’d like to get involved, here are some great places to start:
- The Declaration of Sentiments from Seneca Falls, the first women’s rights convention held in 1848
- National Women’s History Museum’s woman suffrage timeline
- Iceland’s women went on strike in 1975, and it made a difference
- The Women’s March
- Teen Vogue’s 34 Essential Works of Feminist Literature