Have you ever heard of the Pink Tax?
If you haven’t, brace yourself.
It is described as the gender-specific inflated pricing where items for women cost more than those for men. For example, product-makers intentionally use pink or purple materials or infuse packaging, with sweet or flowery scents to appease gender-normative marketing strategies.
“There’s a significant difference in cost here,” said Nina Fleming, VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Sovos, a tax solutions software company. “The estimation is that women pay $1,351 more per year for products that are a part of this Pink Tax than men do. And that can be significant because we know that women earn less than men do for the same job.”
As of this year, it’s estimated that women earn 82 cents for every dollar men get.
This pay gap has remained unchanged since last year, largely due to the pandemic-induced job losses for women who, already earning less, were forced to leave the workforce to care for their families. It’s even worse when taking a look at Black women.
They earn just 64 cents for every $1 earned by white, non-Hispanic men as of 2020.
“Black women are especially subject to be adversely affected by this practice simply because we can’t afford to lose any more of our earnings,” Fleming shared. “Over a lifetime, the pink tax cost a woman almost $86,000. That’s a huge amount of money, and it’s not new.”
These figures came from Sovos’s team of analysts that regularly track trends in consumer spending, according to a rep from the company.
These wasted earnings Fleming spoke are especially alarming due to rising costs as the nation nears a looming recession.
“It didn’t just start because of inflation,” Fleming ensured. “It has been this way for a very long time. I don’t necessarily think it’s going to level out just because of inflation. I think if it does, it’s going to be because consumers have spoken to manufacturers and stop buying products that are more expensive when there’s a compatible product that’s less. That’s the way that consumers can make a difference—by showing your dissatisfaction through how you shop.”