Coffee brand De Koffiejongens asks men to pay a 14% surcharge

In the Netherlands, women’s average gross hourly earnings are 14% lower than men’s, which seemed entirely outdated to De Koffiejongens. So it decided men should pay 14% extra when ordering the brand's biodegradable coffee capsules.

The company's founders were aware of the gender pay gap. They also noticed that when hiring new employees, women routinely asked for lower salaries than men did — the so-called ask gap. Within its own team, De Koffiejongens (Dutch for 'The Coffee Guys') is closing the gap by paying equal salaries for equal roles.

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And the 14% they're asking men to pay extra — yes, the surcharge is voluntary — will be donated to Project Fearless, which works with girls aged 9 to 14 to build confidence and break stereotypes.

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While most countries have legislation mandating equal pay for equal work, the enforcement of those laws varies greatly and women consistently earn less than men. And the sobering reality is that pay parity won't be reached anytime soon: in a 2021 report, the World Economic Forum calculated that it will take 135.6 years for the global gender gap to be closed.

The good news? Like De Koffiejongens, any organization can take steps today to raise awareness, reexamine their compensation practices and correct existing disparities.

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom

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