Online store ‘stunt’ aims to promote understanding of workplace inequality

A newly launched “Pay Gap Store” aims to highlight workplace inequality 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 and race or ethnicity before browsing products such as T-shirts, mugs and bags. Users are then encouraged — but not required — to pay different prices based on their response.

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

Asian males, the workforce’s highest earners, are asked to pay the steepest prices, while Hispanic women are asked to pay the least.

For example, Hispanic women receive a 51% discount on the base price of store items such as mugs, which are priced at $12.24 after the change. Asian males 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 the price differentials are suggestions rather than requirements.

Charging different prices based on background would be illegal.

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

HR compliance software company Trusaic, the firm responsible for the store, said the stunt is meant to raise awareness regarding earnings shortfalls.

In an interview with Protocol, Trusaic spokesman Matt Gotchy likened the creative pricing used in the store to carbon offsets meant to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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