Tech, Now + Beyond

This app makes you split the check according to your privilege

Check (your privilege), please! Because splitting evenly doesn't mean splitting equitably.

After a great meal with your friends or coworkers, it’s then time to split the bill. Some people would rather pay for what they ordered, and others like to split it by the number of people at the table. But hang on.

When the women at the table are, statistically speaking, likely to be making 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male friends, is that really the fairest way to do things? How can you practice justice at a dinner table in a world where the gender wage gap becomes a deep chasm for women of color and working mothers?

That’s where EquiTable comes in.

Presented by comedian Luna Malbroux, EquiTable was the grand prize winner of Cultivated Wit’s 2016 San Francisco Comedy Hack Day, which unites comedians and developers to build apps and tech projects that will make you laugh.

At the beginning of her presentation, Malbroux points out gender and color disparities when it comes to equal pay for equal work. The solution to this problem of how to split the bill? Calculating privilege.

The app requires users to input race and gender to determine how the bill is to be split. When you’re dining with friends, you select them from your friends’ list. As you do this, the app rates your diversity- more of an entertaining feature than anything else.

Once the bill is split, the results are shown in a pie chart to easily spot the privilege, which is in addition to the amount of money each of your friends has to pay that shows up next to their profile on the list.

At this point, you can accept or protest the bill. Here’s where users can learn a thing or two about privilege and unequal pay.

Users can choose from a range of excuses after they’ve chosen the protest option. Equitable will rebut their excuses with educational and witty one-liners, all lead back to the same thing: splitting the bill according to privilege based on historical inequalities that still exist today.

For high privilege users of the app, Equitable tacks on a pay it forward surcharge, which will then subsidize the meal for others.

An iOS app is coming soon! In the meantime, watch Malbroux’s hilarious presentation of the app below.