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Brunswick café charges men 18% ‘gender gap’ surcharge

By   /  August 7, 2017  /  No Comments

A café in Melbourne has set the cat among the pigeons after charging men a ‘surcharge’ to highlight the gender pay gap.

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Handsome Her café is looking to highlight the gender pay gap with 18 per cent surcharge for men

Vegan café Handsome Her in Brunswick is asking men to pay 18 per cent more and giving women priority seating.

Cafe owner Alex O’Brien (left) wants to highlight the issue of unequal pay for men and women.

Co-owner Alex O’Brien told Seven News the surcharge, which is in place one week out of every month, wasn’t compulsory.

“If people aren’t comfortable paying it or if men don’t want to pay it, we’re not going to kick them out the door,” she said. “It’s just a good opportunity to do some good.”

It’s also a great opportunity to get great free publicity on both social media and the MSM.

“love it! Spaces for ladies is always great and highlighting the pay gap like this is harder for people to ignore,” said one Twitter user.

Others were less sure. “I think if you want to fight for equality then surely treating everyone the same is the way to go,” said another.

The voluntary surcharge is being used to help support women’s services.

The café says it has had a positive response so far, and says it wasn’t just women who were backing the idea.

“We’ve had men travel across town to visit us and pay ‘the man tax’ and throw some extra in the donation jar — guys, you’re pretty neat,” wrote one Facebook user.

The cafe also thanked its staff for putting up with the sudden attention.

“It’s not every day that your boss pulls you into her fire-pit of feminism and you have to quickly become warriors and defend where you work and what you do on a level that others never do,” the café wrote on its Facebook page.

“You have not only been incredibly strong, proud and supportive, but nurturing and protective as well.”

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