Not many people want to bring up the wage gap on a dinner date, but a new app wants to make it easier for you to point out how race and gender can affect your paycheck. EquiTable is a bill-splitting app that doesn’t take into account what you ordered; it bases its calculations on economic inequality.
EquiTable “doesn't split the bill equally—it splits it equitably,” the app promises. In other words, it’s trying to make up for discrimination one group brunch at a time. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on how much (on average) women make compared to men and how much white people make compared to other races, the app calculates how much you should actually be paying to make a fair split. If you only make 79 cents for every dollar your dining partner earns, should you really be splitting the bill down the middle?
The app emerged from Comedy Hack Day, an event that has comedians, developers, and designers collaborate to build "hilarious tech," so it's not necessarily meant to be taken seriously (and used to debate whose privilege trumps whose extra cocktail order at the restaurant). But its implications are serious: Its automatic calculations make it a useful tool for figuring out exactly where different groups stack up on the earnings scale. The app also provides rapid-fire stats on diversity and economic inequality that you can whip out during an argument over whether we really “need” feminism and affirmative action anymore.
Look out for the iOS app in the next few weeks. Sorry, Android users, you’ll just have to pay the old-fashioned way for now.
[h/t Time Out]