It doesn't get more iconic than Hasbro's Monopoly when you're talking about board games, and for their latest version, Hasbro is celebrating female trailblazers and also addressing the gender pay gap in a unique way. The new game is titled Ms. Monopoly and updates the game with modern tweaks like rideshares and wif-fi in the place of waterworks and utilities, but it also is the first version of the game where women make more than men according to Hasbro (via USA TODAY). Senior director of global brand strategy and marketing for Hasbro Gaming Jen Boswinkel said this was the right time to bring a game like Ms. Monopoly to the market, and described how women get an advantage in this game right off the bat.
"With all of the things surrounding female empowerment, it felt right to bring this to Monopoly in a fresh new way," Boswinkel said. “It’s giving the topic some relevancy to everyone playing it that everybody gets a turn, and this time women get an advantage at the start.”
So here's how that works. When you start the game the banker will give each female player $1900 in Monopoly Money while each male player receives $1500. That gap will also be represented when players pass GO, as women will receive $240 compared to the $200 male players receive. All of the real estate of past games is gone now as well, replaced by inventions and innovations created by women, and those range from chocolate chip cookies to bulletproof vests.
“We made sure that this felt authentic and was a fun game families could play and learn about these things that they love and are a part of their life that they didn’t know were invented by women,” Boswinkel said.
You'll also get new tokens to go along with the game, which include a white hat, a watch, a barbell, a glass, and a jet plane. There's reasoning behind those new tokens, as according to Boswinkel the white hat is meant to symbolize Mr. Monopoly passing the top hat to his nice. The watch says that "it's about time for some changes".
As part of the celebration, Hasbro surprised three female inventors with $20,580 in real money, and those three inventors are Gitanjali Rao, Sophia Wang, and Ava Canney.
“There are so many big things that most people think are created by men, but they’re actually created by women,” said Rao, who was included on Forbes’ 2019 30 under 30 list for science. “It really expanded my knowledge and was so empowering to me.”
Rao has played Monopoly often, but seeing it applied here really opened her eyes to the pay gap, something she was "appalled" by.
“I never put the dots together and realized it was that much of a gap,” she said. “I think it’s super important to talk about equal pay and that there’s no such thing as boys’ subjects and girls’ subjects.”
Ms. Monopoly is available for order at Walmart now for $19.99.
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