A cafe in Melbourne is trying to bring attention to Australia’s gender pay gap by charging men an 18% premium one week out of every month.
Alex O’Brien owns the Handsome Her cafe, where she is using the tax to highlight Australia’s 17.7% pay discrepancy between men and women, she told Broadsheet. “I do want people to think about it, because we’ve had this (pay discrepancy) for decades and decades and we’re bringing it to the forefront of people’s minds.” The Australian government reported that the gender pay gap has hovered between 15% and 19% for the past 20 years.
O’Brien added that this premium tax was voluntary and the money would be donated to charities and services that help women.
And while some social media users have questioned the tax as discrimination, the cafe wrote on Facebook that the response has largely been positive. It has been “jam-packed with customers showing their support” over the past two days, including men who have traveled across town to “pay the man tax” and thank them for raising awareness around the gap.