Times Square is not only a venue to advertise products, it is also used as a forum for social activism. One vendor utilized an ice cream cart to highlight the discrepancies in the cost of products marketed to men and women consumers. It’s a visual display of the so-called “pink tax” whereby female-oriented products are charged an average of 7% more than those targeted toward males.

Key perpetrators of this unjustified variance are clothing manufacturers, dry cleaners, vehicle repair shops and self-care products. There are dozens of studies and examples where the same product in a male-oriented package costs more than one aimed at females, where dry cleaning a shirt costs half as much for men as it does for women and where a haircut, even on short hair, is significantly more expensive for the ladies.

Several municipalities and the state of California have passed legislation outlawing the practice, but it is still prevalent across the globe. In the United States, it is estimated that women pay $1300/year more for comparable products due to this unjustified markup!

Pink.tax recently ran commercials on Hulu and the increased focus on equity and feminism has brought new attention to this long-standing issue. Retailers and service providers have been charging additional for years because they can. Many people are unaware of the unbalanced pricing practices, so outlets like the ice cream vendor help to bring the problem into the forefront.

If you owned an ice cream truck parked in Times Square, what issue would you choose to highlight? Is there a way you can do so in your own way in your own community? The more ways we communicate knowledge to others, the more likely progress will be made.







I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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