As the students from the Jordan High School Young Democrats set up their table in the middle of the common area, there was an air of nervous anticipation. This was their first big event as a club and it had already garnered enough attention to attract TV cameras to the scene.
They were holding what's being called a “gender equality bake sale” with the goal to highlight the issue of wage inequality between men and women. The cookies, artfully arranged on the table, were sold at 77 cents apiece for girls, and $1 for boys.
Their president and founder, Kari Schott, said the price of the cookies reflects the current relative earning power of the genders due to pay inequality.
“We mostly got good comments from it, but some people were a little outraged by it. They thought that we were being sexist, which we were, but that’s the point - to maybe start a conversation and make change," Schott said.
Studies show that, on average, women will earn $500,000 less during their lifetimes than their male counterparts, while doing the same amount of work.
Schott said she wanted the club to do something that would send a powerful message and perhaps even ignite a little controversy.
“A lot of people at my school didn’t know that this was an issue, that this is an issue across America, so I think that we did reach our goal,” Schott said.
All proceeds from the bake sale are going to help the club pay for more conversation-starting events such as this in the future.