Women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man, according to the US Department of Labor. website. That’s why a local group of local women, all of whom own a business in Summit County, came together to celebrate International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8, with an 18% discount, paying tribute to the difference of 18 cents in gender pay. difference.
The idea started with Erin Young, owner of Red Buffalo Coffee & Tea in Silverthorne. Every year, Young said she would post on social media to call for International Women’s Day, but she wanted to step it up a notch this year. She pitched the idea to a local group of business owners, all of whom were women, and was met with excitement and excitement about how they could all contribute.
“Yes, this is to raise awareness that women are still, on average, paid less than men for similar jobs, but also to highlight the great work that women do in our communities, in our homes, in our lives,” Young said.
For the past two months, these women owners have met once a month at a participating business to network and discuss similar challenges and successes. About 10 owners usually meet each month, but 15 companies have decided to offer the 18% discount or celebrate the holidays with promotions and special events. In addition to Red Buffalo, this included:
- Local liquor in Silverthorne
- The Pad at Silverthorne
- Minimal impact lifestyle in Silverthorne
- Lady Sunshine in Frisco
- Lauren Jefferson Health and Wellness Consulting
- Studio B Dance Center in Frisco
- Mountain Dweller Coffee Roasters in Frisco
- All Flooring in Frisco
- Incredible brains in Frisco
- Saved by Wine at Dillon
- Peak Yoga Studio in Dillon
- Gillespie Photography in Silverthorne
- Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails in Silverthorne
- Shoe Inn Boutique in Frisco
Stacy Gillespie, co-owner of Gillespie Photography, said the room came alive as the group began collaborating and sharing about how they could – together – make this vacation a success.
“From that meeting came all of this, which I think says a lot about working together and coming together as women and business owners and mothers and wives,” Gillespie said. “Since that meeting…it has led to this incredible day of celebration.”
On Tuesday, Gillespie offered 18% off family sessions and portraits booked by women. She also spent the day supporting the other businesses involved by having coffee at Red Buffalo, having lunch at Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails, and spending happy hour at The Pad, which hosted live music and discounts.
“It’s just amazing to see a room full of semi-strangers getting down to business and talking about how we can grow, help and be better, encourage, support and (celebrate) the complexity and sometimes the difficulty of being a woman and a business owner. … I just left feeling really empowered,” Gillespie said.
Jenny Hammock, founder and CEO of Minimal Impact at Silverthorne, learned about the rebate through the Summit Chamber of Commerce’s Co.Starters program, where Young gave a presentation a few weeks ago. On Tuesday, Hammock also offered an 18% discount to all female customers. Later that day, she hosted a Girl Scout troop and introduced them to business ownership and sustainability.
Hammock, whose business isn’t usually open on Tuesdays, said she wanted to participate because she wanted to stand in solidarity with other female owners. She was raised in the south and said she witnessed the gender pay gap firsthand.
“It was very prevalent when a lot of my college classmates were starting to get jobs (where) a lot of women weren’t getting the same salaries as our male counterparts, so it was one of the first times that I was really aware of the pay gap,” Hammock said. “Being a mother as well, I’m very aware of the gap that comes with being away from work and being a mother. for me.
All three business owners said they received positive responses from customers, and Hammock said it was a good sales day for her despite not being generally open. The three owners have used their businesses to raise awareness of various issues – such as wildfire mitigation, mental health awareness and sustainability – and all three said they plan to continue offering this discount in coming years.