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Café Charges Men More to Highlight Pay Gap


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A new Australian café is serving a healthy dose of gender parity alongside its coffee and lattes, all to make a point.

The Handsome Her café in Melbourne, Australia, brands itself as a “space by women, for women” and is charging its male patrons an 18 percent premium to highlight the country’s gender pay gap. The money is donated to women’s services groups, according to the café.

In Australia, men earn an average 17.7 percent more for full-time work than women, according to a 2016 gender pay gap report, the most recent from the government. That percentage translates to women making an average of about $16,200 less Australian dollars (about $12,767) than men in their full-time base salary.

And that’s in keeping with global trends.

The most recent Global Gender Gap Index from the World Economic Forum found that “all countries can do more to close the gender gap,” reporting that it could take 170 years to rid countries of the disparity in pay and employment opportunity. The authors of the report found that only five countries have closed at least 80 percent of the gender gap.

The index ranks Australia 42nd out of 144 countries for economic participation and opportunity. By comparison, the United States, which has seen its own share of debate over pay inequality, ranks 26th.

The café’s “house rules” also offer women priority seating and remind its customers that “respect goes both ways.” The rules were displayed in colorful chalk on a blackboard at the café, and staff members have reportedly nicknamed the gender-focused upcharge a “man tax.”

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