Day 6

The 'other' tax: Societal privilege and the cost of being different

As tax season plods along, Canadians are sitting down to take stock of their finances. But neuroscientist Vivienne Ming says there's a good chance you're paying far more in taxes than what's listed on your T4 forms — especially if you are not a straight white male. Ming joins guest host Laura Lynch to discuss the financial opportunity costs of social difference.
According to Vivienne Ming's research, women in the U.S. tech industry face a social 'tax' of roughly $300,000. (Getty Images/Image Source)
Listen8:30
Vivienne Ming. (SRK Headshot Day)

Neuroscientist and big data specialist Vivienne Ming speaks to Laura Lynch aboutthe social 'tax' that comes with being different — in other words, not a straight white male.

By her estimate, women in the U.S. tech industry face a lifetime opportunity cost of up to $300,000, while being a gay man in the U.K. can cost up to $54,000. 

We are bad at valuing other people, and we are worse the more different they are than us.- Vivienne Ming 

Ming — who is herself transgender —  spent three years meticulously calculating the financial opportunity costs of social difference by gathering data from 100 different websites and coding 55,000 variables based on salary, occupation and other factors.