Here’s a question: how is the gender pay gap still a thing? How are women still facing this in 2019? As much as we wish it wasn’t true, the pay gap is alive and well and that’s a hard pill to swallow – which makes it easy to ignore instead. It’s easy to think it doesn’t affect us much on our home soil, but according to U.S. census data analyzed by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Minnesota women only make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. That gap is even wider for women of color. When the AAUW analyzed the national statistics by race, they found African American women come in at 61 cents, Latina women at 53 cents, and American Indian women at 58 cents for every dollar a white man makes. As an organization that strives to elevate the powerful female voices of our community, this is an issue we can’t ignore.
In fact, we found ourselves face-to-face with the gender gap just a few months ago when we saw a big announcement about a new comedy tour promoting an entirely male line-up. We couldn’t help but wonder, “where are the women?” So, we gathered some of the most talented female comedians we know from around the Twin Cities and created our own event: The Pay Gap Comedy Tour.
You might be wondering, “what does the pay gap have to do with comedy?” The pay gap isn’t funny, but we choose to use laughter, positivity, and some bad-ass local comedians to take a stand against inequality. To us, it’s not just about money, the pay gap is a systemic reflection of gender disparity on many levels. It’s a measure of our access to opportunities, leadership roles, and success. These gaps become even more apparent in traditionally “male dominated fields” – like comedy. The numbers show that women don’t feel encouraged to step into the limelight; and in some cases, they might feel actively discouraged from doing so. We’re here to say, it’s ok to be LOUD, take up s p a c e, step into center stage and shine!
We are also taking this opportunity to support a few organizations dedicated to stopping violence against women. Portions of the proceeds from the evening will go to Breaking Free to fight sex trafficking in Minnesota, and Casa de Esperanza to help victims of domestic abuse.