‘Genius’ Twitter ‘bot’ reveals gender pay gaps of brands celebrating International Women’s Day

Some organisations have deleted their posts after being called out by the account

Saman Javed
Tuesday 08 March 2022 12:31 GMT
<p>The ‘bot’ has caused an uproar on Twitter</p>

The ‘bot’ has caused an uproar on Twitter

A “geniusTwitter account is holding businesses accountable as they take to social media to celebrate the women who work for them this International Women’s Day (IWD).

IWD, which takes place on 8 March every year, is both a celebration of women’s achievements and an opportunity to highlight pressing issues, such as gender inequality in the workplace.

Companies across the UK have been taking to Twitter to raise their own profiles by highlighting the achievements of the women who work for them and how they are supporting them. Many are also hosting events, competitions and panel discussions.

But any attempts of performative activism have been thwarted by the Gender Pay Gap Bot, an account dedicated to highlighting pay disparities between men and women.

Every time an organisation tweets about their IWD initiatives, the account is responding by publishing the company’s pay gap.

As per the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, men earned 7.9 per cent more than women in 2021.

The Twitter account is gathering its data from the government’s free, online tool which allows the public to search and compare the gender pay gap of any companies that employ more than 250 people.

The Gender Pay Gap Bot has caused an uproar on Twitter, with some organisations even deleting their original tweets after being called out.

The account revealed that British pub chain company Young’s Pubs pays its male employees 73.2 per cent more than women after the business tweeted that it was “very privileged to have some incredible women working” for it.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust deleted its original IWD post after the account tweeted that it pays men 19.5 per cent more than women.

It also highlighted a pay disparity in the police force, with Surrey Police paying women 21.5 per cent less than men.

Separately, the account has also been highlighting the organisations which either pay women more, or pay men and women equally.

Women who work for the London Fire Brigade are paid 2.7 per cent more than men, while the Dover District Council pays women 6.1 per cent more.

In a joint statement to the Independent, Patrick Dardis and Tracy Dodd, CEO and people director of Young’s Pubs, said the 2020/2021 pay gap figures “are very misleading and in no way are a true reflection of the Young’s business”.

“This was due to a mandatory change in reporting due to furlough. Covid-19 forced us to close all of our pubs and in order to protect our business, we had to furlough the vast majority of our staff,” the statement said.

“This meant our gender pay gap figures were significantly distorted as the sample size taken for the report was only 40 people compared to 4,600 staff we employ.

“Our figures adjusted for furlough are a more accurate reflection of our business, which shows our median gender pay gap is 5.6 per cent and our mean is 10.9 per cent, substantially better than the national median of 14.9 per cent. This is more in line with the figures we achieved in 2018 and 2019.”

The Gender Pay Gap Bot is being hailed as “genius” by social media users.

“Gender Pay Gap Bot is seriously doing the best work calling out hypocritical corporate fauxminism on #IWD2022 – I’d be fuming if I wasn’t so tickled pink,” one person wrote.

Another said: “This Gender Pay Gap Bot is giving me LIFE today! Stop your posturing and sort your pay out.”

“Today I am mostly obsessed with the [Gender Pay Gap Bot]. A bot that [retweets] any company tweeting about #IWD2022 highlighting their gender pay gap. It is hilarious and depressing in equal measures,” a third person wrote.

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