This article was published on March 8, 2022

This righteous bot trolls hypocritical brands posting about International Women’s Day

Companies exposed for their gender pay gap


This righteous bot trolls hypocritical brands posting about International Women’s Day
Cate Lawrence
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Cate Lawrence

Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart ci Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart cities, and the future of alternative energy sources like electric batteries, solar, and hydrogen.

It’s that time of year again: inspiration porn is everywhere, image libraries are seeing huge downloads of diverse females in suits, and women are organizing their own celebrations without pay.

Yes, it’s International Women’s Day.

But what happens when we look behind the sickly efforts of corporations? The back-patting social media posts? The tokenization?

Well, you’ll find a fucking huge gender pay gap.

Introducing… the Gender Pay Gap Bot

gender bot
The Gender Pay Gap Bot

Today some anonymous activists launched a campaign on Twitter to raise awareness about the gender pay gap. It explains:

Employers, if you tweet about International Women‘s Day, I’ll retweet your gender pay gap.

That’s right: it uses a bot to name and shame. Excellent. 

It’s a mighty, powerful fuck you to corporations and their carefully curated social media posts, and I like it. Some choice examples: 

The bot is using data sourced from a UK government database.  This is great, especially when you consider the state of women in the UK government.

The UK is governed by a conservative government, where women make up just 33% (225) of the elected representatives in the House of Commons, and only six ministers in the current Cabinet (27%) are women. 

On top of that, only 28% (229) of members of the House of Lords are women. And no, I don’t understand how the House of Lords can exist in 2022 either. 

One thing’s for certain though: that’s a lot of men making decisions on behalf of women. 

Fortunately, the campaign also highlights some companies that are doing things right:

Great to see!

A day doesn’t make up for a year of gender discrimination 

However, the reality is that equality and inclusion go far beyond an event or campaign. I haven’t been at TNW for long, but I’m pleased to work for a company where pay rates are the same regardless of gender. 

This is achieved by having a salary house assign a wage level (or two) to a role based on experience and qualifications, meaning each person gets paid the same amount for that role. 

The company hasn’t always been blameless when it comes to speaker representation or remuneration. However, TNW is currently working to ensure that half of our conference speakers are female or gender diverse. 

I’ve written about the lack of gender diversity at tech conferences before. Many of us are familiar with attending events where we feel unwelcome, such as through the use of marketing gimmicks like “booth babes.”

Yes, this is still a thing, even in Berlin, a city where International Women’s Day is a public holiday.

So please take a closer look at all the companies blasting out about their great female employees today. 

Ask yourself, how many women are in management? How many are board members? Do they foster an inclusive workplace culture? What practices do they have to deal with workplace sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination? Do they provide maternity and paternity leave? 

We’re privileged to work in tech, the wealthiest industry of all, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Fixing the gender gap takes more than a day each year.