The suffragette adage “deeds not words” has been taken to a new level by a Twitter bot. International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th, and like many other awareness months or days of reflection, it is frequently leveraged by businesses to make themselves appear better than they are by promoting platitudes about women on social media.
Many of these businesses, though, speak the talk but don’t do the walk. Employers with a staff headcount of 250 or more in the United Kingdom have been required to declare their gender pay gap since 2017, and the data is publicly available. While celebrating International Women’s Day 2022, a Gender Pay Gap Bot on Twitter is highlighting the hypocrisy of firms who are underpaying women.
The Gender Salary Gap Bot quotes International Women’s Day tweets from firms, colleges, organizations, and government agencies, comparing women’s median hourly pay to men’s on their payroll. Some companies pay men and women the same. Many, according to the bot, don’t. Many firms who have been taken off guard have either removed or re-posted their tweets with altered phrasing and even without the #IWD2022 hashtag.
It only goes to demonstrate that, despite their best efforts to look fair and equal, many corporations continue to underpay women — a problem that is exacerbated for women of color, handicapped women, and LGBTQ+ women. It’s pointless unless it’s accompanied by genuine action, as when businesses display a rainbow flag during LGBTQ+ history month but don’t address inequalities or reform their policies from inside.
The gender pay gap is the disparity between men’s and women’s average (mean or median) incomes across a workforce. Employers having a headcount of 250 or more on their snapshot date’ must comply with gender pay gap reporting laws beginning in 2017. Employer payroll data from a specified date each year is used to calculate the gender pay gap. The snapshot date’ is the name given to this particular day.
There are two deadlines, each with its own set of snapshot dates: Most public sector employers are required to utilize a snapshot date of March 31. By the 30th of March of the following year, they must submit and publish their gender pay gap data. Employers in the private, volunteer, and public sectors must utilize the 5th of April as a snapshot date. By the 4th of April the following year, they must submit and publish their gender pay gap data. A formal declaration from these employers is also required.