Brainlabs, a British data analytics company, makes its money by selling mathematical expertise. So you’d think they wouldn’t buy into the products of debunked pseudo-statistics, like the “gender pay gap.”
Brainlabs we have voted to eliminate the overall gender pay gap by increasing women’s pay by an average of 8.6%. We had calculated the 8.6% to be our gender pay gap: the difference between the average men’s and women’s salaries, which we normalised only for experience. At the same time, we reviewed salaries across the whole company, to ensure that all employees were being paid fairly based on their role and experience.
So, Brainlabs they took experience into account when making their calculations. But that means that they didn’t take into account all the other causes of average differences in pay across genders — such as job roles, total numbers of hours worked, and whether the employees actually negotiated for pay rises.
They instead reduce the problem to “unconscious bias,” which they aim to solve by banning colloquial expressions. No, really.
Finally, in an attempt to tackle one of the most noticeable yet most ingrained aspects of gender inequality, we have tried to define what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to language in the company. This is not to say that swearing is banned; it’s more that we do not see this office as a place for comments such as “stop being a girl”.
It seems that Brainlabs also doesn’t buy into Sheryl Sandberg-brand feminism, taking a swipe at her advice for women to “lean in.” Perhaps they’d prefer the Facebook COO’s slightly wackier, statistically illiterate college feminism.
Eliminating the gender pay gap was an important first step, but it was only that. My experiences in the workplace have taught me that you can’t fix structural inequality by telling women to “assert themselves more”or to “lean in”. You’ve got to change the unfair system that has failed women in the past and continues to fail women today.
In granting the blanket pay rise, Brainlabs are ignoring a wealth of data which shows that in the U.K as in the U.S, the gender pay gap is a myth. As always, its feminist proponents make the basic statistical mistake of looking at average differences in pay and assuming that discrimination or “structural sexism” must be the cause.
If women and men were indeed being paid different salaries for the same work, it would be illegal. Brainlabs knows this. Being a statistics company, they should also know that the “wage gap” problem is a lie.
Then again, they’re also a marketing company. And to their pinkwashed corporate clients in London, paying lip service to progressive feminist mythology is probably still good marketing.