TMCNet:  LeanIn.Org Launches #20PercentCounts for Equal Pay Day 2017 to Highlight the Unfairness of the Gender Pay Gap

[April 03, 2017]

LeanIn.Org Launches #20PercentCounts for Equal Pay Day 2017 to Highlight the Unfairness of the Gender Pay Gap

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — For Equal Pay Day (April 4), LeanIn.Org is launching #20PercentCounts, a campaign to raise awareness that women on average are paid 20 percent less than men in the United States. In support of the campaign, LUNA, Lyft, P&G, Salesforce, and businesses in twenty-five U.S. cities have joined forces with LeanIn.Org to offer 20 percent discounts or special offers. In addition, LeanIn.Org premiered a comedic video that shows the impact of 20 percent less on women’s lives and released exclusive new data on the gender pay gap and the benefits of closing it to women, families, and the economy.

“Equal pay is essential to the goal of gender equality,” said Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of LeanIn.Org. “This issue speaks to how we value women’s labor, knowledge, time, training, and so much more. In short, it’s about women’s worth. There’s nothing more fundamental than that.”

Women on average are paid 20 percent less than men. If you break the pay gap down by race and ethnicity, it is even worse: Black women are paid 37 percent less and Hispanic women are paid 46 percent less. Equal Pay Day marks how far all women need to work into 2017 to earn what men were paid in 2016. Because Black and Hispanic women face an even larger wage gap, they have to work until July 31 and November 2 respectively to catch up.

The gender pay gap disadvantages women and impacts families’ ability to buy groceries, pay for child care, invest in their children’s education, and more. If we closed the gender pay gap, the average woman would make $530,000 more over the course of her career, and millions of women and families would be lifted out of poverty. If we closed the pay gap, women on average could afford 78 more weeks of groceries each year—for Black and Hispanic women it would mean 155 and 193 additional weeks of food respectively.  

In support of #20PercentCounts, businesses in twenty-five U.S. cities from Boston to St. Louis to Atlanta are offering 20 percent discounts on everyday purchases from coffee to pizza to pet supplies. Salesforce, the #1 CRM company and an equal pay pioneer, provided a donation for in-store signage, online advertising, and local events to support the national rollout of #20PercentCounts. Leaders from the Lean In Circles program, a global network of small peer support groups, are spearheading this grassroots effort. With support from LeanIn.Org, leaders recruited participating businesses and are serving as spokespeople for the campaign in their communities.

“Women accomplish amazing things when we work together,” said Rachel Thomas, president and co-founder of LeanIn.Org. “Hand in hand with the women in our Circles community, we’re shining a light on an issue that matters to all of us—and to all women around the world.”

The idea to rally small businesses in support of equal pay was inspired by Lean In DC, a Chapter of Lean In Circles led by a group of millennial women in Washington, D.C. Since 2014, Lean In DC has partnered with local businesses to offer discounts commensurate with the gender pay gap, and this year they are playing a lead role in #20PercentCounts.

The #20PercentCounts campaign is further amplified through large-scale partnerships with LUNA, Lyft, and P&G:

  • LUNA is offering 20% off all LUNA Bars sold on (while supplies last) frm April 3–11 and matching the discount amount with a donation of up to $100,000 to fund salary negotiation workshops in partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  • Lyft, which completes 20 million rides per month, is donating 20 percent of proceeds from rides taken in over 240 cities on April 4 to organizations that serve women and families—and will share the campaign with their customers via their app and online channels
  • P&G is offering a rebate on its products through April 30 (via pre-paid card) and will be promoting the importance of equal pay to 46 million U.S. households

All offers and details are available at

With support from all three partners, LeanIn.Org is also raising money for organizations that help women and families in need and provide resources to help them succeed, including AAUW, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Dress for Success, and Feeding America.

Produced by a largely female team in partnership with Funny Or Die and Hulu, LeanIn.Org’s campaign video illustrates the absurdity and unfairness of women receiving 20 percent less—from 20 percent less morning coffee to 20 percent less pay. Both companies are sharing the video with their audiences on and The full video is available here:

The #20PercentCounts campaign is supported by research-based information on the gender pay gap and the benefits of closing it. At, visitors can find the most recent data on the pay gap in the United States and globally, as well as steps companies can take to make sure they pay women fairly. This includes new research commissioned from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that shows closing the pay gap would lift 3.1 million working women and their families out of poverty and add $513 billion in new income each year to the U.S. economy.

LeanIn.Org is also working with the National Partnership for Women & Families to share state-level data on the gender pay gap and how much it costs women and their families in basic necessities such as food, rent, tuition, child care, and more.

With the help of large-scale distribution and advertising partners—including Brit & CoFacebookGoogleInstagramLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube—the campaign is reaching millions of people online. In addition, beginning in early summer Virgin America will play the campaign video and related educational videos from LeanIn.Org, including a new series on negotiation from Duke professor Ashleigh S. Rosette, on its in-flight entertainment system, RED.

To participate in the campaign and help raise awareness of the gender pay gap, people are encouraged to post #20PercentCounts on social media. They can also visit to watch the campaign video and learn more about the gender pay gap.

Quotes from Partner Companies:

“The gender pay gap doesn’t just affect women—it affects entire families who depend on women’s incomes,” says AAUW Board Chair Patricia Fae Ho. “Women can’t afford to wait decades or longer for fair pay. We are so grateful to be a part of the #20PercentCounts initiative and get much-needed support for our salary negotiation workshops and AAUW’s advocacy and research on the gender pay gap.”

“Female-headed households disproportionately experience food insecurity compared to other groups,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “If we closed the pay gap, women could afford more food for their families.  We applaud LeanIn.Org for shining a light on Equal Pay Day and supporting our efforts to help ensure that women and families have the food and fuel they need to learn, grow, and work.”

“We are committed to championing women in the push for equality—inspiring this generation to raise their voice so that the next generation of girls can focus on their efforts and not their paychecks,” said Kit Crawford, co-chief Visionary Officer of Clif Bar & Company and owner of the LUNA brand. “April 4th is Equal Pay Day, but our work to level the playing field doesn’t end here. We are proud to partner with LeanIn.Org and AAUW to work towards closing the gender pay gap and support equality for women everywhere.”

“Lyft is proud to team up with LeanIn.Org to shed light on the gender pay gap and promote action on issues that affect women,” said Logan Green, CEO of Lyft. “We know that equal pay is just one of a number of barriers that women face in the workplace, and today we strive to do our part to grow awareness and support for bridging the pay gap.”

“We are proud to support LeanIn.Org’s efforts to raise awareness about the pay gap between women and men,” said Carolyn Tastad, P&G Group President North America & Executive Sponsor Gender Equality. “P&G is passionately committed to equal pay. P&G is passionately committed to gender equality. We know that when women have the opportunity for full and equal representation that businesses perform better, economies thrive, communities are healthier, and the world is a better place—for all of us.”

About LeanIn.Org
LeanIn.Org is an initiative of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation to empower women to achieve their ambitions. LeanIn.Org offers inspiration and support through an online community, free education materials, and Lean In Circles, small groups of peers who meet regularly to learn and grow together. The Lean In community includes more than 1.5 million women and men and 32,000 Lean In Circles in more than 150 countries. The Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation is a private operating nonprofit organization under IRS section 501(c)(3).

CONTACT: [email protected]

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