Something is finally being done to reduce the gender pay gap, at least in the world of Monopoly.
Hasbro is debuting a new version of the iconic board game to celebrate female empowerment, with women players able to make more money than men ‘for the first time’.
As well as enabling female players to earn more money, Ms. Monopoly also marks the first time in the game’s history when a new mascot will be featured on the cover of the game.
Ms. Monopoly is ‘a fun new take on the game that creates a world where women have an advantage often enjoyed by men,’ the company said in a statement, as per CNN. ‘But don’t worry, if men play their cards right, they can make more money too,’ the statement continued.
In this version of the game, women will collect 240 Monopoly dollars when they pass ‘go’ while men will collect the usual $200. But the pay gap begins before players even make a move on the board, with the banker doling out $1,900 in Monopoly money to each female player and $1,500 to each male player.
Then, instead of investing in real estate properties like they would in the classic game, players will invest in inventions and innovations created by women – including bulletproof vests, solar heating, and chocolate chip cookies, USA Today reports.
In a tweet posted by the company, they introduced Ms. Monopoly as a ‘self-made investment guru’ who happens to be Mr. Monopoly’s niece, before saying it was ‘about time’ a game celebrated women trailblazers.
A video posted alongside the tweet explained how women hold just 10 per cent of all patented inventions, a fact that ‘fortunately, most young girls are unaware of’.
To counteract this, Hasbro is celebrating the achievements of three young female inventors: 13-year-old Gitanjali Rao, from Denver; Sophia Wang, 16, from Connecticut; and Ava Canney, also 16, from Ireland. The company gifted all three teenagers a first edition version of the game, as well as $20,580 in real – not Monopoly – money to help get their creations off the ground.
Gitanjali, a high school student, has already created a few different inventions including a device which detects lead in drinking water, and was included on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for science this year.
The 13-year-old, who is an avid Monopoly player, said she was ‘appalled’ to learn about the gender pay gap:
There are so many big things that most people think are created by men, but they’re actually created by women. It really expanded my knowledge and was so empowering to me.
I never put the dots together and realised it was that much of a gap. I think it’s super important to talk about equal pay and that there’s no such thing as boys’ subjects and girls’ subjects.
Despite campaigns by women’s rights groups to close the gender pay gap, the latest figures found the gap has actually widened in favour of men in the past year – with 78 per cent of the biggest companies in Britain reporting a gap which favours men, Independent Lifestyle reports.
With men typically being paid significantly more than women in most UK businesses, I think that while this game won’t reduce the pay gap, it is an important step in helping to empower young girls and women and encourage them to bring their inventions and knowledge to life.
Ms. Monopoly goes on sale this month at major national retailers for $19.99 (approximately £16), but will be available to pre-order from Walmart.com beginning today (September 10).
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).