There’s a 16% discount on offer at Australian business Travelwithjane.com for anyone who identifies as a woman, in a clever marketing move the Sydney startup hopes other businesses will copy.
That 16% reflects the current national gender pay gap, according to data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and Australian Bureau of Statistics, which Travel With Jane aims to highlight by offering the discount on a number of its travel insurance products.
Travel With Jane co-founder Ben Webster hopes the pricing strategy will “challenge corporate Australia to follow suit”.
Asked about the Sex Discrimination Act, the team noted the discount is available to those who identify as a woman, but are also happy to provide the code to “anyone who’d like to receive the discount but feel they don’t want to identify as a woman.”
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Ultimately, they say the move is designed to start more conversations in business about the pay gap.
“We are keenly aware this disparity exists and we’re excited to make any difference we can,” Webster told Women’s Agenda.
“We hope we can play a small part in forwarding the conversation and force the business community, government and decision makers to genuinely come up with a solution.”
He added he thinks it’s only fair Australian businesses that claim to care about their female customers also aim to cover the gap. “Parity starts with salaries, [but] why not pitch into bridging the gap in the meantime?”
As a female-focused business, he said it’s crucial that they also play a part in advocating for gender equality. He said the financial implications of the gender pay gap extend well beyond what women earn, into how they retire and how and if they can travel (and travel safely). “We are passionate about travel and hope that a 16% discount will assist them financially with travel, if even in a small way.”
While Travel With Jane is initially aiming to get attention locally for the move, it wants to see companies internationally addressing the pay gap their customers and employees deal with. As community head Michelle Legge said, working women are getting a raw deal no matter where in the world they’re clocking in. She noted the 27% pay gap in India, an 18.1% pay gap in the UK and the fact women earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns in the United States. “There’s no excuse for the pay gap,” she said.
Travel With Jane plans to offer the discount until March 2019, and follow the national pay gap’s fluctuations according to statistics published by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. It says it will then review its strategy.
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.