Men and women are paying different prices to confront the wage gap.
THE GOOD NEWS:
A Canadian magazine is forcing its readers to confront the wage gap by charging different prices for its newest issue.
Discriminatory pricing experienced by men and women has long been a hallmark of inequality, but a magazine out of Canada is using that very practice to make a statement.
The latest issue of Maclean’s, a Canadian monthly magazine focusing on social issues, politics, and pop culture, is available to men and women at two different prices. As the gender pay gap benefits men with higher pay overall, the magazine is suggesting men pay a 26% premium to offset that benefit, creating the same “effective” price for people of all genders. That 26% disparity is higher than the reported 20% that permeates the U.S. workforce.
In order to drive the point home and eliminate any confusion as to why the magazine is changing up its prices, Maclean’s sent this tweet of the magazine cover, which makes things clear for any prospective customer:
Two covers with two different prices—one at $8.81, the other at our regular price of $6.99—to reflect the 26 per ce… https://t.co/iSZ5lGBJne— Maclean's Magazine (@Maclean's Magazine) 1518092116
Here is what the “men’s” and “women’s” versions look like on newsstands:
A press release from Maclean’s outlines the rationale.
“After years of stasis, pay equity is having its moment as the next beat in the cadence of the #MeToo movement. Our hope is that these dual covers stir the kind of urgent conversation here that is already happening elsewhere around the world.”
Lest the cynics among us think that this exercise by Maclean’s is just a pretense to grab another buck or two from guilt-ridden male readers… they won’t be keeping the money. The company states, "the $1.82 differential in our cover prices this month is being donated to those for whom the pay gap is most extreme."
Specifically, the money will be given to Indspire, a charity that will use the money to fund a scholarship for Indigenous women.
Backing up what otherwise could serve as an empty marketing or goodwill stunt, the company has also addressed the issue recently with new articles focusing on the wage gap issue.
Our feature article, which goes into the complicated reasons the wage gap exists: https://t.co/HY0n30xxJ9 #PayEquity— Maclean's Magazine (@Maclean's Magazine) 1518114726
It may not be a sustainable practice beyond this one issue, but it certainly has opened eyes to the issue by offering a real-life implication for men who haven’t experienced how the other half lives.