This Twitter bot calls out companies with huge gender pay gaps for International Women’s Day
Thanks to the diligent research and data analysis behind one Twitter account, many companies, schools, and nonprofit organizations have been taken to task for the gender pay gap found within their employees’ salaries. While it’s great that companies feel compelled to give their female employees a public shout-out for International Women’s Day each year, this year things went…a little differently.
In Britain, organizations or companies with more than 250 employees are legally required to report gender pay gap data. The @PayGapApp Twitter bot used that data to highlight the hypocrisy of “Happy International Women’s Day” posts shared by the guilty parties.
Here are some examples:
Oof, right? Yeah. That’s rough. It’s also no surprise that many companies deleted their original “supportive” tweets after the bot called them out publicly. While it’s brilliant to have this unfold on a social media forum the way it did, it’s also brutally depressing that so many companies all over the world are guilty of paying their female employees far, far less than their male counterparts.
According to a Pew analysis of median hourly earnings from 2020, women in the U.S. earned 84% of what men earned. Based on that estimate, it would take women an extra 42 days of work to earn what their male counterparts earn.
Many factors contribute to gender pay gaps—gender discrimination, workplace segregation, and educational attainment. One of the biggest contributing factors to the difference in earnings? Becoming a mom.
Motherhood can lead to interruptions in women’s career paths and have an impact on long-term earnings, according to Pew’s research. Their 2016 survey of workers who had taken parental, family or medical leave in the two years prior to the survey found that mothers typically take more time off than fathers after birth or adoption. The median length of leave among mothers after the birth or adoption of their child was 11 weeks, compared with one week for fathers. About half (47%) of mothers who took time off from work in the two years after birth or adoption took off 12 weeks or more.
The @PayGapApp was the brainchild of Francesca Lawson and her partner, Ali Fensome. Lawson is a copywriter and social media manager in Manchester, England, and Fensome is a software consultant.
Lawson tells The New York Times that she created the Twitter account so the public could find pay gap information more easily. “For it to have influence, people need to be able to find it,” she said.
And that is exactly what women around the world did. Bravo, Ms. Lawson!