For years, many have disputed the gender wage gap, arguing that the figures reported do not reflect many variables.
“The big pushback behind these numbers is that they are based on median earnings for full-time year-round workers,” said Jessica Milli, senior research associate with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a think tank that analyzes public policy through a gendered lens. “They do not control for things like occupation, hours worked aside from full-time, education etc. The argument is that men and women are not the same — men tend to work longer hours, have more work experience, work in higher-paying occupations etc. — and so comparing their overall earnings is misleading.”
But Milli stood behind the averages and expressed support for projects like the pop-up shop, saying that they have value.
“I think it’s an inventive way to encourage further discussion of the gender wage gap and the implications that it has,” she said. “The average woman will lose over $500,000 by the time she is 59 due to the wage gap. That’s a big deal. You could buy a very comfortable home for that much. It could also mean the difference between retiring in poverty or being financially secure in your retirement.”