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Employment

A Twitter bot is sharing gender pay gaps of companies posting about International Women’s Day

Many companies are swiftly deleting their tweets after being called out by the Gender Pay Gap Bot.

Employers are hastily deleting their tweets about International Women’s Day after being called out for their gender pay gaps by a Twitter account. 

Calling for “deeds not words”, the account – named Gender Pay Gap Bot – is indiscriminately holding companies across the UK to account this International Women’s Day by sharing their publicly available gender pay gap figures, which measure women’s median hourly pay compared to men’s.  

“Employers, if you tweet about International Women’s Day, I’ll retweet your gender pay gap,” the account warns in its bio, demanding that we all “stop posting platitudes. Start fixing the problem.”

The UK’s gender pay gap increased during the pandemic to 15.5 per cent. The Labour Party has predicted that if levels of pay continue at current rates, the gap won’t be closed until 2059. 

Some companies with the greatest gender pay gaps to be highlighted by the bot are: Young’s Pubs, where women’s median hourly is pay is 73.2 per cent less than men’s, fast fashion brand Missguided where women are paid 40 per cent less, and Barclays bank which has a gap of 34.5 per cent.

Young’s Pubs says that due to the furlough scheme brought in over the pandemic, their gender pay gap was “significantly distorted” as just 40 of the pub chain’s 4,600 regular employees were counted as staff. Adjusted for furlough, Young’s says that its median gender pay gap is 5.6 per cent.

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Essex Police were called out for their gender pay gap of 22.9 per cent, while Manchester United Football Club sees women paid 0.9 per cent less than men.

After having their gender pay gap highlighted for all to see, some companies have deleted their tweets. 

“Today’s #IWD2022 amusement – watching companies scramble to delete their fluffy IWD Tweets after @PayGapApp re-tweets them – but with their gender pay-gap stats attached. I deeply salute whoever thought of this. It’s deadly genius.” tweeted writer and journalist Caitlin Moran. 

“Nothing quite like seeing performative actions “in action” when social media teams are deleting their tweets about #IWD2022 when called out by the @PayGapApp Equal parts hilarious and depressing,” wrote Sam Langford @scottishscicomm.

A handful of companies have flipped the switch on the gender pay gap, where women are actually paid more than men, including the London Fire Brigade, Canal and River Trust, and National Farmers Union where women’s median hourly pay is 57.5 per cent higher than men’s.

In a small minority, some organisations have been highlighted as having men and women receiving equal pay, including the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, national charity Community Integrated Care, and Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge. 

“Save your  #IWD2022 ‘celebrations’ – pay women for their labour, allow them 6 months paid maternity leave, promote women at an equal rate, fund their science equally, ensure women have access to justice. Enough with the bullshit.” wrote Dr Rachel Pope tweeting under @prehistorian. 

You can use the government’s gender pay gap search tool to find the gender pay gap of any company with 250 or more employees. 

Women (and men) across the UK are set to strike on issues including the criminalisation of sex work and the climate crisis. Here’s how to get involved.

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