As thoughtful posts from companies claiming to value women on International Women’s Day continue to roll out, one Twitter account has been fact-checking their progress when it comes to closing the gender pay gap.
An automated bot account, @PayGapApp, has been calling out companies on Twitter and revealing the percentage of how much less women get paid as compared to men.
For example, England’s Southport College uploaded a tweet highlighting its principal CEO with the hashtags #InternationalWomensDay and #BreakTheBias. The bot then quote-tweeted the college’s post and wrote, “In this organisation, women’s median hourly pay is 25.9% lower than men’s.”
Companies that have been called out range from colleges and charities to fashion brands and banks, with the gap in pay being as high as 73.2%.
In this organisation, women’s median hourly pay is 22.3% lower than men’s. https://t.co/6oDP9kZkM2
— Gender Pay Gap Bot (@PayGapApp) March 8, 2022
Creators Francesca Lawson and Ali Fensome both have experience with social media and technology. Lawson is a freelance copywriter and social media manager, while Fensome is trained as a software developer. The idea came to them the weekend before International Women’s Day last year, and they pulled it off with help from a 2017 U.K. law that mandates companies report pay difference between men and women. Lawson did not respond to Fast Company‘s request for comment.
The pay discrepancies for over 13,000 companies were made publicly available in a gov.UK database, from which Lawson and Fensome downloaded a CSV file containing the data. A code was created to have the bot match the name of the company and name on Twitter with its pay gap data.
Lawson told Vice they wanted to tackle the problem of the gender pay gap head-on. “If we’re not confronting that data and acting on it, then the problems are just going to persist forever,” she said.
Some companies couldn’t handle the pressure after their statistics were posted on Twitter. Many on the receiving end of the bot’s tweets have ended up deleting their posts about International Women’s Day. However, one Twitter user compiled them into a thread because she “loves mess.”