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This App Makes Sure You Don’t Accidentally End The Gender Pay Gap

Finally, a tip calculator that suggests a lower tip when your server is a woman.

This App Makes Sure You Don’t Accidentally End The Gender Pay Gap
[Top photo: cgsniper via Shutterstock]

You probably know that because of the gender wage gap, women working full-time earn an average of 78% of what men working full-time make. Based on current trends, projections for when the wage gap will close are now as far away as 2056.

In most cases, the fault for this pay disparity rests on employers. By rewarding longer hours and face-time over quality of work, or having subtle biases against mothers, companies deserve the blame for women being paid less than their male counterparts. But there is one area where you as a consumer can affect the gender wage gap–in your tips to restaurant servers.


Thankfully, as with most things in life, there’s a tongue-in-cheek app for that. Toothpick is the first tip calculator that appropriately takes into account the gender of your server. If your meal was brought to your table by a woman, Toothpick will automatically deduct 22% from your tip. You can still adjust your base tip rate from 15% to 18% or 20% or whatever you’d like, but no matter what you can be assured that you will never accidentally tip a woman more than a man would get for comparable service.

Toothpick is a real app that is available for iPhones. But its real goal is to raise awareness about the gender wage gap by pointing out an obvious truth: If you wouldn’t tip someone less because of their gender, then people shouldn’t earn less because of their gender.

Its website, tipthemless.org, links to a WhiteHouse.gov petition that calls for the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the constitution that passed in Congress in 1972 but failed to be ratified. So if you’re serious about ending the gender wage gap, you could sign the petition.

Until then, it is entirely within your power to tip your server the same, regardless of their gender. But you wouldn’t want that, would you?

About the author

Jay is a freelance journalist, formerly a staff writer for Fast Company. He writes about technology, inequality, and the Middle East.

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