Pay Gap Store

Today we’re pleased to launch the world’s first Pay Gap Store, a new, ground-breaking online store where the prices reflect – and offset – the pay gap in the wider world.

The store’s male customers are among those invited to pay higher prices, since U.S. men still earn, on average, 18% more than U.S. women – a difference known as the gender pay gap.

Meanwhile, the store asks various other customers to pay lower prices, reflecting the extent to which those of their gender and race/ethnicity on average earn less.  

The store is the creation of Trusaic – and our way of helping to highlight the persistence of large gender and racial/ethnic pay gaps.

What is the Pay Gap Store?

Upon arrival, the store asks visitors their gender and race/ethnicity. Based on their answers, the store suggests prices for customers that reflect – and balance – the pay gap that members of their gender and race/ethnicity on average face in the real world. You might call it the world’s first “Pay Gap Offset Scheme,” where the “price gap” for each type of customer offsets the pay gap they experience offline.

The store sells a range of T-shirts, mugs, and tote bags, each bearing the message, “Where’s my X%?” – where the value of “X” for each customer depends on their particular gender plus race/ethnicity and the associated pay gap.

If you belong to a gender plus race/ethnicity that on average experiences higher pay, the Pay Gap Store suggests you pay more than others, in proportion to that advantage. And vice-versa – if you belong to a pairing that on average earns less, it invites you to pay less by the corresponding amount. 

It’s important to remember that the listed prices are suggestions and reflect what a “fair price” would be for each customer based on their gender and race/ethnicity. It would be illegal to require those of different genders and races/ethnicities to pay different prices for the same commercial goods. 

Why did Trusaic launch the Pay Gap Store?

The federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 together sought to end pay discrimination. Yet here we still are – nearly 60 years later. 

It wasn’t until recently that federal and local legislators have sought to strengthen the federal equal pay laws in important ways. States such as California and Illinois are leading the charge in the U.S. by requiring employers to submit pay data on their workforces, a proven method for helping identify and close gender and race/ethnicity wage gaps.

Our mission through the Pay Gap Store initiative is to emphasize the importance of a long-standing issue: pay discrimination and the need for equal pay. 

If we can’t immediately close the global gender wage gap, (the World Economic Forum suggests it will take another 136 years to achieve this) it only seems fair that those who earn less are asked to pay less – and vice-versa. 

The hope here is that by changing the way we shop, perhaps we can speed up the process for closing the gap. It’s 2021 and U.S. women still on average earn just 82 cents on the dollar earned by U.S. men.

How were the pay gaps calculated?

To calculate the different Pay Gap Store prices suggested to the store’s customers, we used U.S. Census data collected from the 2019 American Community Survey. Using this data, we took the difference between the average wage earned by the selected class and the highest-paid class. We then divided that figure by the highest-paid class’s wages. The resulting percentage is the pay gap that exists between the selected class and the highest-paid class and is reflected in the price that applies to customers of each gender and race/ethnicity.

On the individual level, you can show your support for the cause by picking up an item from the Pay Gap Store. Net profits from the store will be donated to a relevant charity.

Employers too can get in on the action to help solve one of the world’s most persistent social issues by conducting a pay equity audit. With PayParity, conducting the audit is simple, accurate, and fast. You can achieve equal pay for your workforce and be sure that each offer of compensation you extend, whether it be to a new hire or a promotion, is fair, allowing you to prevent pay inequity from ever happening.