Melbourne, Australia- A café has come up with an interesting way to fight back against what they perceive to be an unfair gender pay gap. The café is called Handsome Her and has decided that male partons should have the option to add an 18% charge to their bills to combat the wage gap. In Australia, the average man earns 17.7% more than their female counter parts for similar full-time work.
Belle Ngier, the manager at Handsome Her, had this to say, “All we really wanted was to raise awareness and start conversations about the gender gap.” While starting a conversation on a topic that the owners of the café feel are one thing, many have raised concerns about this extra charge being gender discrimination towards men.
Ngier dismisses the accusations of gender discrimination, saying “Men have their own spaces that we’re not allowed in to, so why not have that space for women?”
The 18% tax is gaining traction and even has some staunch supporters. Ngier says that no one has declined to pay the tax, which is optional and proceeds raised from the tax go to support women’s charities around Australia. Some supporters have given more than the recommended 18%, which Ngier says is not surprising since 18% of a four dollar coffee works out to 72 cents.
Donating to women’s charities is a wonderful idea, but the presentation of the donation is what seems to be upsetting some people. Others, however, are going out of their way to travel to the café and happily pay the tax as well as an added donation.
Owner of the café Alex O’Brien had this to say on the company Facebook page;
Well, it’s been a hectic couple of days. Who would have thought one little chalkboard would cause such a stir?
Notes from the real world – yesterday and today we were jam-packed with customers showing their support. I had a woman bring her daughters in today and when she came up to the till and saw our gorgeous vulva stones and our period sticker packs she beamed, thanked us for what we were doing and said: “what a beautiful place to take my daughters”… I swelled with pride.
We’ve had men travel across town to visit us and pay “the man tax” and throw some extra in the donation jar – guys; you’re pretty neat.
Many thanks are in order to the local community who have come up with so many of the concepts and pillars that underpin HH, but most importantly I need to thank my incredible staff who have taken all of this in their stride.
It’s not every day that your boss pulls you into her fire-pit of feminism and you have to quickly become warriors and defend where you work and what you do on a level that others never do. You have not only been incredibly strong, proud and supportive, but nurturing and protective as well.
In three days we have opened the cafe, withstood a social media storm, hosted a joyously entertaining trivia night for a fabulous women’s network, and gotten Australia talking about the long forgotten gender pay gap.
Thank you to everybody for coming along for the ride.
So look at Handsome Her and their interesting idea on starting conversations all while doing a little bit of good however you want. They have some enthusiastic supporters of the project and are happy to be doing their part.