Meet the gender pay gap bot exposing companies across South Yorkshire

Written by Lauren Kelly

For this International Women’s Day an anonymous bot account on Twitter has stunned users with its exposure of some very big gender pay gaps.

8 March 2022 marked this year’s International Women’s Day and many companies took this day as an opportunity to thank their female workers and colleagues for the amazing work they do.

One user on Twitter, @genderpaygapbot, decided to expose every company that used the #IWD tag and replied exposing each gender pay gap.

The definition of unequal pay is paying men and women differently for the same or similar job role. This is illegal in the UK and all companies must ensure equal pay within the same job roles.

The definition of gender pay gap is the difference in median hourly pay between men and women. If, for example, a woman’s pay is less than a man’s it usually means more men, on average, have senior roles in the company.

Some of the companies exposed by the account were based in South Yorkshire, and a horrifying amount paid their female workers less than their male workers.

Sumo Digital was one company victim of this cyber bot who exposed the organisation for paying women 23.4% less per hour than men.

A spokesperson for Sumo Digital said: “Sumo Digital can confirm than men and women receive equal pay for the same or similar work, we have a culture of honesty at Sumo and acknowledge we have to improve our gender pay gap. We are committed to working towards this goal in the future and will share more in our upcoming report.”

Housing 21 posted a Twitter press release in response to being targeted by the bot for female workers earning 31% lower than the average male in the company.

In the Twitter thread they said: “The gap is driven mainly by the structure of our workforce, where women occupy the vast majority of service delivery roles. However, we know this is something we must keep working to improve and our new Respect and Inclusion strategy has exciting plans to explore new pathways to progression for women in the organisation.”

Excuses about childcare and child rearing are often the top excuse as to why companies suggest women are mainly in the lower paying roles within their companies yet the average male graduate is paid 5% more per year than the average female graduate.

This is despite the fact that women are more likely to get a first class degree or a 2:1 than men.

A silver lining in the appalling pay statistics: Barnsley Council only pay women 0.8% less than male workers, this is a huge win for pay gap equality.

Educational establishments are not in the clear either with The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Astrea Academy Trust with men being paid more on average than women.

The University of Sheffield were exposed by the bot for paying women a median of 8.4% less per hour than men and told Sheffield Wire the mean figure is actually 15.8% less.

They also said action is being taken to improve the recruitment processes and career progression opportunities for women.

Astrea Academy Trust is an all-through school for children aged 2-18 years old and pays women a median average hourly pay of 44.1% lower than men.

A spokesperson for Astrea Academy Trust said: “At every level women are part of our workforce, including at board level, which has a majority or women and is chaired by a woman. All our staff are paid the same for the same role, but we need to do more to attract women into more senior secondary leadership and operations roles.”

Chrissy Meleady MBE, CEO of equalities and human rights UK said: “Women should be compensated fairly for the work they do.

It is shameful and outrageous that now, in 2022, here in Sheffield and South Yorkshire we still have employers who are paying women less per hour than what they pay men.”

Chrissy Meleady went onto tell Sheffield Wire that in 2019 the average difference in pay was 16% whereas now in 2022 it has grown to 37%. This is predicted to be from the increase in more women working part-time.

At Sheffield Wednesday the gender pay gap bot exposed the company who pay women 41% lower than men.

After contacting the Sheffield Wednesday directly, they refused to comment on the matter.


Written by Lauren Kelly

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