Even children can recognize that the pay gap isn't fair. So why can't the rest of the world?

By Lena Hansen
November 07, 2019 02:36 PM

In an effort to raise awareness about the stubborn persistence of the pay gap, Citi has released a new campaign called “The Moment,” which captures children’s reactions to finding out about the differences in pay and workplace opportunities for men and women. “With this new campaign, we hope to shine a light on the unfiltered reactions of children to this persistent issue and inspire a broader conversation around pay equity and the representation gap,” Carla Hassan, Citi’s global chief brand officer, said in a statement. “‘The Moment’ is intended to fuel the powerful emotions that are needed to spur action among adults, as well as showcase how to communicate with and empower future generations.”

Kelia Anne MacCluskey

Some of the girls interviewed said they wanted to be doctors and engineers. They also expressed an interest in being a “boss.” When told that “in general women get paid less than men,” the girls shared reactions like, “That would make me feel mad,” “I’d rather have what the boys get,” “That’s kind of confusing,” and “It’s not fair.”

Kelia Anne MacCluskey

One of the girls interviewed added, “That makes me feel like I want to do something about it.” Another expressed, “I feel that there is just more to us than just looking pretty. I guess some people just don’t see girls doing that.”

The campaign also included the opinions of boys (all the featured kids are children of Citi employees). “What if I told you of the 500 most successful U.S. companies only 33 of them had female bosses?” the interviewer asked. “It’s not good,” one reacted. “That’s really few,” another observed. “I don’t think that’s fair,” said one. “I feel like it’s a little sexist.”

Kelia Anne MacCluskey

According to the World Economic Forum, earlier this year, Citi became the first U.S. bank to publish unadjusted or “raw” global pay gap figures, which measures the difference in median compensation when factors such as job function, level and geography are not accounted for and revealed that female employees earned 29 percent less than their male counterparts while minorities earned 7 percent less than non-minority employees.

Kelia Anne MacCluskey

In addition, while women make up more than half of Citi’s workforce, only 37 percent of them are in senior positions. In a statement, the bank expressed, “Citi is committed to closing the female leadership gap and the gender pay gap by pledging to increase female and minority representation globally at senior levels to 40 percent by the end of 2021 and 8 percent for African American employees to reduce the unadjusted pay gap.”

Other companies need to make the same pledge to end gender inequality in the workplace. “The Moment” campaign also emphasized this sobering fact: “If the gender pay gap continues at the current pace, women will have to wait until 2227 to earn the same as men. That’s an astounding 208 years.”

Renowned TV host and investigative journalist Maria Elena Salinas got a standing ovation at People en Español’s Poderosas luncheon last year when she discussed how the pay gap affects Latinas even more. “They don’t treat us the same,” she said. “It’s no secret that a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar that a man earns doing the same job. For Latinas the statistic is even worse — we earn 58 cents for every dollar that a man earns.” So this November 20, which is Latina Equal Pay Day, remember that the fight is still ongoing.

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