WATCH: The Gender Wage Gap by the (Musical) Numbers

If you’re having trouble explaining the wage gap using just charts, graphs and scholarly articles, a new video with a toe-tapping tempo might be able to help.

Hannah and Eliza Reilly, stars of ABC Australia’s comedy show Growing up Gracefully, tout an inspiring no-nonsense attitude in #LeaveAt343, a segment from the show, when it comes to how much women are paid for their work. The depressing statistics around the gender wage gap come to light in the short video—like the fact that a female barrister’s salary is equal to her male counterpart’s if you halve his salary, then halve it again—but don’t worry! The up-beat tune keeps you keepin’ on and singing along anyway.

Hannah and Eliza come at the issue with a big question: If women are only getting paid a fraction of what men are being paid to work, why shouldn’t they work a fraction of the time?

The video is focused on the Australian wage gap instead of the American wage gap, but women down under are facing a similar crisis. According to the government-run Workplace Gender Equality Agency, women in Australia are paid 21.1 percent less than men. According to the Pew Research Center, overall women in the U.S. were paid 83 percent of what men were being paid in 2015. Of course, this does not take into account the wage disparity faced by people of color. An Economic Policy Institute report further found that in 2016, Black women were paid 65 percent of what white men were paid. Hispanic women were paid 59 percent. Although white women and Asian women fared far better, at 81 percent and 88 percent, respectively, their own fight for equity goes on. Earlier this year it was found that women in the White House currently see a 37 percent difference between their pay and their male counterparts.

These numbers show us that, on average, no group of women is receiving compensation equal to that of their white, male counterparts—here or in Australia. Around the world, women’s economic equality must be at the forefront of movements seeking to confront issues of class, race and gender.




Kelsey Cochran is an Editorial Intern at Ms. and a senior at Gettysburg College majoring in Globalization Studies with a focus in Western media portrayal of Arab countries. She aspires to be a photojournalist and has previously been published in her hometown’s independent newspaper The Bay Weekly. When she isn’t tracking down subjects to interview for her next article, you can find her running on the rugby field, taking her friend’s next profile picture or talking about her time spent abroad for the hundredth time.