16th February, 2017 – Imagine a world where men and women are paid the same, for doing the same work? No exceptions? Unfortunately for most Australian working women a wage pay gap of 16% currently sits between them and equality.
In the lead up to International Women’s Day, an Australian business is offering a world first Gender Pay Gap discount, in a bid towards wage parity.
Travelwithjane.com has today announced it will be offering its female customers a 16% discount on its range of travel insurance products. The benefit, which reflects the national Gender Pay Gap, as identified by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), will be available on Travel with Jane’s full travel insurance product range; basic, comprehensive, annual multi trip and one way cover.
The national Gender Pay Gap, as identified by the WGEA, draws on current ABS data and is updated on average twice yearly in February and August.
As stated above, the Gender Pay Gap indicates that Australian women earn on average 16% less than their male counterparts. As recently as 2015, the gap reached levels as high as 18.8%. While gains have been made, there’s no evidence to suggest that parity will be reached in the near future.
From its inception a year ago in 2016, Travelwithjane.com has sought to offer a tangible product benefit to women, which the company has identified as an underserved audience in the Australian travel insurance market. While women purchase up to two thirds of the travel insurance policies nationwide, few, if any benefits are directed at them.
Travelwithjane.com identified bridging the Australian Gender Pay Gap as an opportunity to directly serve women, while also raising awareness of the issue, and challenging corporate Australia to follow suit.
“To our knowledge, our Gender Pay Gap discount is a world first”, Ben Webster, co-founder of Travelwithjane.com said.
“Women are paid, on average, 16% less than their male counterparts. Until parity is achieved, we think it’s only fair that Australian businesses that profess to care about their female customers, cover the gap. Although, parity starts with salaries, why not pitch in to bridge the gap in the meantime?”
According to the March 2016 *‘The Gender Pay Gap OVER THE LIFE CYCLE’ report by the ACTU, it states that “The Gender Pay Gap adds up to women losing more than a one million dollars over a lifetime. It’s a cumulative process that occurs at each stage of a woman’s life. It includes gender-specific factors, discrimination and is evidence of deeply entrenched inequality in Australia.”
Webster said, “As a business focussed on the safety and wellbeing of female travellers, it’s crucial that we help advocate equality in all issues faced by our customers. The financial implications of a Gender Pay Gap have far reaching consequences, naturally some of which spill into the ability for women to seize every opportunity to 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.”
Travelwithjane.com has committed to mirror the Gender Pay Gap as it fluctuates, until March 2019 (at which point, the Sydney start up will review this strategy).
Travel With Jane, Head of Community, Michelle Legge, supported the notion that the insurance company was hoping to disrupt pricing structures in Australia, but also worldwide.
Legge said, “While the objective is clearly to arrive at gender wage parity, we hope to assist the fight for equality by challenging corporate Australia to offer a pay gap discount in the interim. In fact, knowing that Australian women are not alone in this, we challenge companies world wide to bridge the Gender Pay Gap seen in their countries.
“Working women get a raw deal no matter where in the world they clock in. India currently stands at 27% and the UK at 18.1%. In the USA, women are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. There is no country in the world where women earn more than men. There’s obviously no excuse for the pay gap; men and women performing the same job should make the same amount of money, end of story.
“Gender equality is as huge a challenge as it’s ever been. The difference is that today, women in Australia and beyond, have reached saturation point. Call it the third wave of feminism if you like, but we’re seeing that gender parity has never been more top of mind for our female customers.
“By offering a discount of 16% on all travel insurance policies, we aim to assist women financially, as well as raise awareness and encourage corporate accountability here, and globally.”
The insurance company offers the Gender Pay Gap discount to women, and to customers who identify as women. The startup is well aware that it may be courting controversy and claims of discrimination.
Legge continues, “We’re not sure whether to expect a backlash from Men’s Rights Activists who are especially vocal on social media. The hope it that Australian men will see the Gender Pay Gap discount in a positive light.”
To further support their initiative, Travelwithjane.com will support 12 Australian women who are active in the space of gender equality, through its 2017 sponsorship program, Jane’s Gap Year. The travel insurer has committed $12,000 in cash donations, together with approximately $12,300 worth of comprehensive travel insurance, to help support the work of a range of women, working in various ways to challenge gender inequality and social injustice.
The program includes Layne Beachley’s ‘Aim for the Stars’ foundation which provides financial grants and mentoring to Australian women and girls who have a dream and need a little help to achieve it, Roz Campbell’s sustainable sanitary ware social enterprise ‘Tsuno’, which donates 50% of profits to ‘One Girl’ – promoting education for girls in Africa. As well as Mei Lai Swan, founder of ‘Birth for HumanKIND’, which provides quality support, education and care for women experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage during pregnancy and birth.
DISCLAIMER: The Gender Pay Gap in every nation fluctuates constantly, please double check these figures before publishing.
*UK Gender Pay Gap source – http://www.equalpayportal.co.uk/statistics/
*USA Gender Pay Gap source – http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/workplace-fairness/fair-pay/americas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf
Travelwithjane.com (www.travelwithjane.com @travelwjane) is powered by Insured By Us (insuredbyus.com @insuredbyus). We are based in Sydney at Level 5, 63 York Street in Sydney Australia.
For media/interview enquiries, get in touch with Kathryn Price, Ruby Agency – firstname.lastname@example.org or 0406497067
As of 23 February the national gender pay gap was revised from 16.2% to 16%. We have adjusted this announcement accordingly.