top of page

The Pink Tax: Why Women Are Paying More But Still Earning Less

Eva Anido gives her take on the pink tax, detailing what it means and ways you can take a stand.


Two Razors sit side by side in a store, however one costs 29% more than the other. Is it sharper? No. Will it last longer? No. Is there anything that differentiates them from one another? Yes! The razor that costs 29% more is pink… [1]


The pink tax is an extra amount of money added to a product that appears pink or is otherwise marketed towards women. It is important to note that the pink tax affects people of other genders who also use these products. Although it can hinder anyone purchasing these feminine marketed products, women are the main consumers and therefore become the main demographic affected by the pink tax.


With the gender pay gap still alive and well in every country (that’s right, every country), it’s more important than ever to equalise how much we are spending on the same products as men. In Australia, on average, women earn 80.5 cents to every dollar a man makes. So, right now in Australia, on average, women pay more for products and get paid less for our work. [2]


It is not only women’s toiletries that are having their prices inflated, these companies start normalising inflation to women from a young age. One study showed that young girls’ toys cost more than young boys’ toys 55% of the time and 26% of the time for children’s clothing. [3]


Companies have also discovered that women are more likely to buy a product that is more ‘feminine’. This is why we see so many brands adopt the “pink and shrink” model of marketing. This is as simple as it sounds. Companies take a product that they have marketed towards men, they make it smaller, box it up in pink packaging and mark up the price. Why does this happen? As disheartening as it is to inform, companies understand that women are willing to spend more money on these items and, in turn, take advantage of this. [4] But what can we do about it? Well, there are a couple of options;


1. Call out injustices! If you see two products go up on a shelf that are the same in content but are priced unjustly, say something! Follow the footsteps of many consumers posting to Tik Tok about their findings. We’ve seen this prove effective in cases like that of Big W. One consumer documented the store attempting to sell ‘soap packs’ containing the same contents. One was marketed towards women and one marketed towards men, however the women’s one cost an extra $4. The store quickly corrected the pricing of the product shortly after this came to light. [5] Continuing to hold companies accountable for their missteps may be a step in the right direction towards eradicating the pink tax.

2. Legislation is an effective step towards change. Australia does not have any government policy regulating a gender-based tax, however some states in other countries do. The US has three states which have regulations that prevent retailers and services charging women more for the same thing as men. [6] We know it’s possible so let’s make it happen! One way you can help this process of law reform is by writing to your local MP and informing them on your personal experience and findings.

3. This, like most strides for equality, will take time to come into full effect. So, in the meantime, don’t conform to gender specific products. If men’s and gender neutral products have the same ingredients and get the job done, then why not save some money and buy those products instead? Who says girls have to wear pink anyways!




[1] Richie, Alex. “The Pink Tax Explained: The Real Cost of Being a Female Consumer”. Ratecity, 8 Mar. 2022, https://www.ratecity.com.au/bank-accounts/articles/ pink-tax-explained-real-cost female-consumer.

[2] Global Gender Gap Report. World Economic Forum, 2022, https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2022/in-full.

[3] Wells, Taylor. “Price Discrimination Strategy: Why Women Pay More Than Men For Similar Products?”. Taylor Wells, 3 Sep. 2020, https://taylorwells.com.au/ price-discrimination strategy/.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Clear, Belinda. “Big W is Slammed as ‘Sexist’ For Charging $4 More For ‘Female’ Versions of the Same Soap: ‘The Pink Tax Strikes Again’.” Daily Mail, 7 Dec. 2022, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/real-life/article-11510059/Big-W-slammed-sexist-pricing charging-4-Christmas-soap-Tradie-pack-women.html.

[6] Fontinelle, Amy. “What is the Pink Tax? Impact on Women, Regulation and Laws.” Investopedia, 11 Aug. 2022, https://www.investopedia.com/pink-tax-5095458.

Comments


bottom of page