Today there’s news of a moving, brilliant protest by thousands of Icelandic women who left work early after being paid less than their male co-workers.
Yes, even in the progressive, pro-woman safe haven of Iceland, women experience a pay gap of roughly 14 to 18 percent (recent calculations put the U.S. pay gap at around 20 percent). According to the New York Times, advocacy groups and unions applied that pay gap to the average work day and found that the average woman working the average Icelandic workday is only earning money until 2:38 p.m.
Using that as a marker paired with a flurry of discussion, debate, and publicity, thousands of women in the island nation walked off their jobs at 2:38 p.m. on Monday, leaving their workplaces for organized protests in the streets. It was just about perfect.
It’s important to remember that, in a nation of only 323,000 or so, a few thousand women (and their children) striking and picketing in the middle of the day is the equivalent of millions of American women walking off the job and making their voices heard. In Iceland, one of the best places on Earth to be a woman, it may very well have been a historic turning point in the pay-gap dialogue. It also sets a damned good example for professional women everywhere.
So… who wants to kick off early today?