Every International Women’s Day, photos of smiling women appear on social media with steady frequency along with testimonials from brands eager to show their support for gender equality.
This week, however, the stream was interrupted by a Twitter account that revealed pay gap data for companies, schools, and nonprofits.
Every time a UK university or hospital promotes International Women’s Day on Twitter this week with certain keywords or hashtags, including #IWD and #BreakTheBias, the pay gap accounts automatically. retweeted the message with a note on how the average hourly pay for women working at the organization compared to men.
Francesca Lawson, a copywriter and social media manager in Manchester, UK, created an automated account, or bot, with her partner, Ali Fensome, a software consultant.
Ms Lawson, 27, said: “The bot exists to empower employees and members of the public to play their part in perpetuating inequality. pay the difference. ”
Since 2018, the UK Government has required companies with 250 or more employees to report the difference in wages between men and women each year. The reports are available to the public on a searchable government website.
Ms. Lawson said she created a Twitter account to make this information easier for the public to access. “For it to have an impact, people need to be able to find it,” Ms. Lawson said.
On Wednesday, the day after International Women’s Day, the pay gap account had more than 205,000 followers. Some organizations have deleted tweets that the payment difference account had flagged, while others responded with their plans to resolve the pay gap.
English Heritage, a charity that manages historic sites like Stonehenge, responded to a note noting that its female workers are paid 3.9% less than men. its report on data, from April 2020.
“Since then, we’ve worked hard to reduce our pay gap, and it’s narrowing,” British Heritage said on Twitter. “But regardless of its size, a void is a void and the charity is committed to closing it.”
The Wage Disparity Account highlights average hourly wage data, but UK companies are also required to provide information on the difference in average bonuses. Some companies also voluntarily provide more data and context in their reports.
Australia and Germany have also asked companies to report their pay disparities, but there is no comparability requirement for businesses in the United States, where women’s annual income equals 82.3%. with men in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This gap is even wider for black and Hispanic women.
Ms Lawson said she hopes the popularity of her account will dictate the need for more data like this. “I hope that other governments will want to start making reporting of that data mandatory,” she said.
The couple first created the account the weekend before International Women’s Day 2021 and used it as a test run to see what worked and what didn’t. Now, they’re trying to figure out how to best use the attention the account has generated to advance other issues related to inequality. Ms. Lawson said she would like to see some imitation attempts.
“The more people doing this job,” she said, “the fewer places for companies to hide.”