Trick-or-Treaters Experience the Pay Gap in Women’s Foundation’s “A Scary Truth”

KANSAS CITY – This Halloween, the Women’s Foundation and creative agency Barkley are illustrating just how unfair the gender pay gap is using kids’ favorite currency: candy.

In “A Scary Truth: The Wage Gap,” adorable young trick or treaters are shocked and outraged when they realize the girls are getting less Halloween candy than the boys.

“We love this project because it illustrates how the gender pay gap violates the most basic principle of fairness that children grasp intuitively,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation. “We hope ‘The Scary Truth’ helps call attention to the fact that women are still not paid equally for equal work – and the solutions that can finally help close the gender pay gap once and for all.”  

When the trick-or-treaters show up at the Scary Truth house, they aren’t greeted by a friendly parent in a vampire costume but instead by a businessman in a suit who shamelessly gives more and better candy to the boys than to the girls. The heartbroken kids are children of Barkley employees and friends who were invited to participate in the trick-or-treating experiment without knowing its purpose.

The candy disparity illustrates the gender pay gap, where nationally women are paid an average of 80 cents on the dollar to men.

The kids aren’t cool with the discrepancy. “We deserve that one,” declare the girls while pointing to the oversized lollipops being handed to the boys. Another girl says, “They’re both people, they should get the same amount.”

The work supports the efforts of the Women's Foundation and the American Association of University Women (AAUW), to close the wage gap with programs like salary negotiation training and best practices for employers.

“Our hope is that we can play a small part in getting a generation of women the tools they need so these little girls grow up and never hear the term ‘wage gap,’” says Katy Hornaday, Executive Creative Director of Barkley.

Don’t worry. After the cameras stopped rolling, all children were given plenty of equal sized candy.

“The Scary Truth” notes that women of color face even wider pay disparities. For example, November 1st is Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day, marking the day when Latina women’s earnings finally catch up to what men earned the previous year. Latinas typically earn only 53 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men and must work nearly 23 months to earn what white men earn in 12 months.

See the video at:  

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