ACTIVIST DAY: How an International Women’s Day post can backfire

A couple of weeks ago I recalled the views of Clay Shirkey who in ‘Here Comes Everybody’ observed that the social web saw a shift.

Consumers were no longer happy to be consumers but wanted to have a voice too, he said.

Those words really came back during International Women’s Day on March 8 that global celebration of women and their place in society and the workplace.

Over recent years, this has often been content focused by brands and organisations on women who make a difference.

Like this one…

However, over the last few years this has taken a markedly activist turn.

Comedian Richard Herring has taken the day off to search Twitter for blokes complaining at the lack of International Mens Day.

In 2022, it’s got a harder as fewer people make this quip. But still…

This year, the whole International Women’s Day under a microscope has gone on several levels.

Sharon O’Dea, who was a local government force for good before she became a wider force for good, calls out the worst offenders.

Here, she tweets Capgemini for ‘upholding the values that drive our actions’ and yet their female staff don’t share in pay equality.

Of course, its marvellous to read but this year, it’s gone to a whole new level with @PayGapApp whose Twitter bio reads:

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

Here’s one…

And another…

The fact the account is having some impact can be seen by the number of accounts deleting tweets or deleting then reposting without the hashtag.

Of course, online activity is one thing but taking real steps to demand action is something quiote different. But this feels like a start. If you make claims you need to back them up.

If women are important then pay them.

Just as if the environment is important, do real things to make a difference.

It is the job of communications with a poker face to flag up the reputational damage of standing next to a cause without the policies to back them up.

Words and action.

Judge people by their actions not their words.

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