Australian Business Takes On The Cost of Gender Pay Gap
2 June 2017 at 1:04 pm
In an Australian first a Sydney startup is applying a gender pay gap discount for their female customers and is calling on other businesses to follow suit.
Travel with Jane offers a 16 per cent discount on its travel insurance to reflect the current wage inequality between Australian females and males.
Travel with Jane co-founder Ben Webster said the travel insurance company would cover the gap and has challenged other Australian businesses to follow suit.
“Women are paid, on average, 16 per cent less than their male counterparts and until parity is achieved, we think it’s only fair that Australian businesses that profess to care about their female customers, cover the gap. Although, parity starts with salaries, why not pitch in to bridge the gap in the meantime?,” Webster said.
Webster said applying the discount was the insurance company’s way to advocate for wage parity for Australian women.
“The financial implications of a gender pay gap have far reaching consequences, naturally some of which spill into the ability for women to seize every opportunity to travel, and travel safely,” Webster said.
According to a 2016 Australian Council Trade Unions report the gender pay gap means that Australian women, on average, lose more than $1 million over a lifetime.
“It’s a cumulative process that occurs at each stage of a woman’s life. It includes gender-specific factors, discrimination and is evidence of deeply entrenched inequality in Australia,” the report said.
Travel with Jane head of community Michelle Legge said the notion was hoping to disrupt pricing structures in Australia and worldwide.
“While the objective is clearly to arrive at gender wage parity, we hope to assist the fight for equality by challenging corporate Australia to offer a pay gap discount in the interim. In fact, knowing that Australian women are not alone in this, we challenge companies worldwide to bridge the gender pay gap seen in their countries.
“Working women get a raw deal no matter where in the world they clock in. India currently stands at 27 per cent and the UK at 18.1 per cent. In the USA, women are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. There is no country in the world where women earn more than men. There’s obviously no excuse for the pay gap – men and women performing the same job should make the same amount of money, end of story.
“By offering a discount of 16 per cent on all travel insurance policies, we aim to assist women financially, as well as raise awareness and encourage corporate accountability here, and globally.”
The discount will apply to all customers who identify as women and the Sydney startup has committed to mirror the gender pay gap as it fluctuates, until March 2019, when the policy will be reviewed.
Travel with Jane has also established Jane’s Gap Year, a 2017 sponsorship program that will commit $12,000 in cash donations to support 12 Australian women who are active in the space of gender equality.