Women bom­bard so­cial me­dia in equal pay cam­paign

The Herald - - POLITICS - EMILY CHUDY

WOMEN across the UK have been us­ing so­cial me­dia to raise aware­ness of the gen­der pay gap for Equal Pay Day.

The day is ob­served each year based on the cur­rent gen­der pay gap, 17.9 per cent in the UK, af­ter which women are said to work “for free” un­til the end of the year.

The hash­tag #Equalpayday was trend­ing across the coun­try as cam­paign­ers and sym­pa­this­ers voiced their con­cerns.

Car­rie Gra­cie, who re­signed from her role as the BBC’S China ed­i­tor in 2017 in protest at how her pay com­pared to men in sim­i­lar roles, tweeted: “How can you #gete­qual if you don’t know how your pay com­pares?”

Green MP Caro­line Lu­cas pointed to re­search by gen­der equal­ity char­ity the Fawcett So­ci­ety, Tweeted: “Re­search shows one-third of work­ers don’t know it is il­le­gal to pay men and women dif­fer­ently for equal work.”

Other cam­paign­ers en­cour­aged women to Tweet us­ing the hash­tag #Outofof­fice, turn­ing on their “out of of­fice” no­ti­fi­ca­tion while con­tin­u­ing to raise aware­ness of the day.

Cather­ine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equal­ity Party, tweeted: “I’ve switched on my out of of­fice for the rest of 2018 and my Twit­ter isn’t work­ing ei­ther... The gen­der pay gap means this is the last day un­til Jan UK women get paid to work rel­a­tive to men. The gap is greater for BAME and dis­abled women.”

Clare Bald­ing urged her fol­low­ers to share in­for­ma­tion and sup­port each other in work­ing to­wards a fairer so­ci­ety. “I know ‘liv­ing your best life’ is all the rage but what about ‘liv­ing in your best world’? If the sys­tem is wrong, help change it,” she tweeted.

The Fawcett So­ci­ety’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Sam Smethers, said: “In work­places all over the coun­try, pay dis­crim­i­na­tion is able to thrive, and is more com­mon than peo­ple re­alise be­cause of a cul­ture of pay se­crecy which per­sists.”

Other so­cial me­dia users made jokes, with Nathalie Gor­don, a creative at Un­com­mon Stu­dios, tweet­ing: “If I had a pound for ev­ery time I was told that we have equal pay... Wait, I’d only get 82p of it.”

The day was first ob­served in the US by the Na­tional Com­mit­tee on Pay Eq­uity; this year’s date falls to­day, Satur­day Novem­ber 10.

While the av­er­age gen­der pay gap in the UK is 17.9% that fig­ure rises to 19.6% for women of Black African her­itage, and 26% for women of Pak­istani and Bangladeshi her­itage.

„ Green MP Caro­line Lu­cas is back­ing the cam­paign.

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