Online store ‘coup’ aims to promote understanding of inequality in the workplace

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A recently launched “Pay Gap Store” aims to highlight inequalities in the workplace by encouraging shoppers to pay different prices based on their race and gender.

Launched earlier this month, the online store asks shoppers to disclose their gender, race or ethnicity before browsing products such as t-shirts, mugs and bags. Users are then encouraged – but not required – to pay different prices depending on their response.

Prices in the “Pay Gap Store” are based on US Census data from the 2019 American Community Survey, according to Protocol.

Asian men, the highest paid in the workforce, are asked to pay the highest prices, while Hispanic women are asked to pay the least.

For example, Hispanic women get 51% off the base price of in-store items such as mugs, which are priced at $12.24 after the change. Asian men are encouraged to pay $24.99 for the same item to account for the statistical “pay gap” between the two groups.

Trusaic, a human resources software provider, created the store.
paygapstore.com

The store’s website includes a disclaimer that price discrepancies are suggestions rather than requirements.

Charging different prices based on track record would be illegal.

“Ultimately, it’s up to you — and your conscience — whether to pay the highest price suggested for you or the lowest price available, which you can always choose if you prefer,” the site says.

HR compliance software firm Trusaic, the company responsible for the store, said the stunt was intended to raise awareness of shortfalls.

In an interview with Protocol, Trusaic spokesperson Matt Gotchy compared the creative pricing used in the store to carbon offsets intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Trusaic says he plans to donate all proceeds from the store to charity.

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