Chia Sisters debate women’s wage divide with juices

Would you accept 8.6 percent less juice in a bottle?

We don’t think so! This is why Nelson’s Chia Sister’s International Women’s Day activation is genius.

They’re visually highlighting the gender pay gap with a run of drinks containing 8.6 per cent less juice because in New Zealand, women are paid on average 8.6 per cent less than men.

The limited-edition juice is on the shelf at Fresh Choice Nelson from today, sitting beside juices filled to their usual level. The labels have also been redesigned to confront shoppers and ask the question: “Would you accept 8.6% less? Then why should women?”

“It’s a way that we can share a story visually and promote something that we think is important,” says Chia Sisters co-founder Chloe Van Dyke “It will be interesting to see what people think, and it’s more confronting, isn’t it?”

It may be seen by some as a publicity stunt but Chloe says the company’s intention is to put the issue in the public eye.

“We’ve created something that hopefully will generate some attention because it deserves attention,” she says. “And it raises the question, is this acceptable? Would you accept it? And if not, then why should women?”

Proceeds from the sale of the partially filled juices will go to Nelson Women’s Refuge “because otherwise, it’s a hard push to get people to buy a low-filled drink because it’s not acceptable”.

And that’s exactly the point! Women are paid on average 8.6% less than men in New Zealand and it’s worse for wāhine Māori, Asian, and Pasifika women. For every $1 a Pākehā male earns, a Pākehā woman earns $0.89, an Asian woman earns $0.83, a Māori woman earns $0.81, and a Pasifika woman earns $0.75.

As a majority women-owned and led business and certified Living Wage employer, Chia Sisters campaign with Fresh Choice Nelson aims to create more awareness around the Gender Pay Gap, a significant issue that reflects the broader inequalities faced by women in the workforce, and intentionally using Chia Sisters as a platform to test different ways of doing business that have a positive impact on the environment and communities in which they operate.

This morning, Chloe and her co-founder/sister Florence Van Dyke are also speaking at breakfast event at Parliament about how we can each see and call out gender bias through the different platforms that we hold, alongside Dame Farah Palmer, Dame Miranda Harcourt, and Hon Louise Upston, on the International Women’s Day theme of inspiring inclusion. The event, organised by Zonta International, is being live streamed kicking off at 7.30am.

“Everyone has a platform. Whether it is in a boardroom or at the dinner table, we all have platforms that we can create change from,” says Chloe. “We also just want to celebrate women because women are absolutely amazing. Hats off to all the women.”

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