JWT, if you’re not aware, are one of the world’s leading marketing organisations. You’ve probably never heard of the company but you will almost definitely, if you’re a UK citizen, have heard of their work. Such as HSBC’s recent “the secret den” advertisement. Which haunts my 4oD whenever I’m trying to watch Cats does Countdown. Needless to say, they’re a huge player. They’re not just some idiot rogue feminist with bad ideas.
Or are they? Judging by their recent #FthePayGap campaign, it kinda seems they are. As they buy into the trope of the gender paygap. Despite it being thoroughly debunked. Here’s a link to their work and below is my version, fixed for accuracy.
The original piece states that women are earning a quarter less – which may or not even be accurate. A study recently showed that Irish women are getting paid more than anyone, including men – so this whole statistical average thing isn’t really a fair comparison. “Globally” means it takes into account poorer countries, yet directs its anger solely at the rich countries where we have anti-discrimination laws. It’s like shouting at your mate Steve because someone driving a similar car to him ran someone over in Afghanistan. It makes no sense. The people who are discriminating against women, in foreign countries, aren’t going to see this advert. This boils down to virtue signalling and nothing more. It’s just “look at me I think women should be paid as much as men! I’m so great!”.
I don’t disagree that women should be paid as much as men, as a woman I would also like to be paid as much as men. That’s why I’m thankful for anti-discrimination laws here in the UK, where both the creators of this advertisement and the company hosting it are based. If I’m doing the same amount of work at the same level I will be paid as much as a man in the same position. That’s a fact.
However, women on average, despite outnumbering men in 20 universities across the country 2:1 – are taking courses which result in a lower salary. The amount of women in STEM for example is often cited, as its a tiny amount – it isn’t because women aren’t good enough or discriminated against by STEM fields. Its because they choose not to do it. Believe me, I totally get why – I went to art university too.
The original advert, ironically, says “stop insulting women” yet this advert itself is an insult to women. You’ve made it bright pink, because women. You’ve made assumptions about women that aren’t true – as not all women are earning less than men. Finally you’re arguing for women to do what you want them to do, not what they want to do. 56% of women with children in the US want to stay at home, so they do. This obviously affects the global statistics of women’s earnings bringing them down. Stay at home mums significantly outnumber stay at home dad’s too. To the point where the feminist fight for “paid emotional labour” seems to disinclude stay at home dad’s altogether.
This whole gender pay gap ting is disingenuous and rather easy to debunk with even a slight bit of research. I doubt the “artist” who made the adverts did the research though, and instead hopped on the bandwagon. As I’ve discussed before on Twitter, Feminism isn’t a movement, its a marketing ploy. JWT’s campaign is just another nail in that coffin.