Sheryl Sandberg Launches Equal Pay Day Initiative #20PercentCounts

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Equal Pay Day, which falls on April 4 this year, highlights wage discrimination against women.

Today is Equal Pay Day.

For those unfamiliar with Equal Pay Day, it's an initiative that's dedicated to raising awareness about the gender pay gap. It was started 21 years ago by the National Committee on Pay Equity, and this year, it falls on April 4 to symbolize how far into this calendar year women have to work to earn the same amount as men did the previous year. Women of color have to work even later into the year to reach equal pay; black women have to work until July 31 and Hispanic women until Nov. 2.

To highlight the day, Facebook chief operating officer and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg has launched a campaign with Lean In called #20PercentCounts to represent the 20 percent less that women make in comparison to men. (Females made about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2015.)

Hundreds of local businesses across the country are offering 20 percent discounts to women and men as part of the campaign, including such Los Angeles-area establishments as Found Coffee in Eagle Rock, FrankieLucy Bakeshop in Silver Lake and LoveCakes in Atwater Village. (Check out participating businesses in various cities here.)

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On a national level, Luna is offering a 20 percent discount on all Luna Bars through its online store using the “EQUALPAY” promo code through April 11. Luna, which partnered with Gina Rodriguez to promote the campaign, will match the discount amount with a donation of up to $100,000 to fund salary negotiation workshops hosted by non-profit organization American Association of University Women.

Lyft is donating 20 percent of your ride fee on Tuesday to charities that support women and families, and Proctor & Gamble is offering a 20 percent rebate on its products, which can be found on leanin.org.

Last week, Minka Kelly joined socially minded company FashionABLE, co-founded by Rachel and Barrett Ward to help create jobs for women in Ethiopia who were previously part of the sex industry, to host a dinner in honor of Equal Pay Day. The retailer launched a limited-edition red pebbled leather pouch ($68) and 100 percent pima cotton shirts ($36), both inscribed with the word “femini$t” and the “s” replaced with a “$” to further emphasize the initiative.

L.A.-based shoe designer Tamara Mellon is taking part in the day by offering a 20 percent discount on Tuesday only. “Yes, I said I wouldn’t discount, and yes, the direct-to-consumer pricing of my shoes doesn’t allow for it. But I'm breaking my own rules because I want to draw attention to something I believe in: equality and empowerment for women,” wrote Mellon, who relaunched her business last year after filing for bankruptcy.

Lean In also partnered with Funny or Die and Hulu for a campaign video that details what it's like to be women with 20 percent less of everything, from cellphone battery power to a cup of black coffee.

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