An audacious television ad takes aim at the sometimes-hairy issue of gender wage inequality in Australia.
Economic Security4Women (eS4W), one of six government-funded National Women’s Alliances, created the spot, designed to look like one of those late-night product pitches. Women in the ad are told that all they have to do boost their salaries is use a “Man-Over Kit” — a cheap-looking mustache to stick under their noses. Because in order to get pay equal to men, you need to look male. Right?
The ad’s tagline — “Equal pay is just common cents” — exposes the absurdity of that idea.
A news release by eS4W accompanying the rollout of the TV ad says Australian women currently earn 16.7% less than men, and that the gap rises to 25.5% in Western Australia.
“This advertisement targets younger women and asks them to work with their male colleagues to ensure they are being paid the same as the other people doing the same role,” says Kate Gunn, chairwoman of the alliance. “This is a task men and women should undertake together to ensure that women are paid the same amount.”
Only time will tell whether a grass-roots approach, targeted at the younger generation of the workforce, can affect change.