Facebook parent Meta still pays women in the U.K. and Ireland less than men and gives them much smaller bonuses—despite previous commitments for gender parity by 2023

March 9, 2023, 12:58 PM UTC
Serious looking businesswoman using phone
For every £1 a male employee earns at Meta U.K., women earn 92p when looking at median hourly pay.
Zorica Nastasic—Getty Images

Like many businesses, Meta jumped on the International Women’s Day bandwagon yesterday.

The parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp posted advice for the “extraordinary women” in its community on LinkedIn.

But perhaps, the only advice the tech giant should be posting is how the females in its firm can earn as much as their male counterparts. 

Because the woman working at Meta, in the U.K. or Ireland, are still being paid significantly less than men at the tech giant. 

According to Meta’s most recent gender pay gap report for its U.K. and Ireland arm, its female workers are paid less than their male colleagues—whether they’re hourly workers or on a salary.

The company also hands women smaller bonuses and men make up the majority of high-paid workers in the U.K. and Ireland business that has headquarters in London and Dublin. 

Pay gap report paints a decline in gender equality

For every £1 a male employee earns at Meta U.K., women earn 92p when looking at median hourly pay. 

The average bonus going to women at Meta is also 34.8% less than bonuses paid to men, and women hold less than a third of the highest-paid roles.

Women were paid 2.1% less than the average man in 2021-2022, and the trend seems to be going in the wrong direction, as the data points to a decline in gender equality at the firm.

In 2018, when Meta published its first report on gender equality, women were paid on average 0.9% less than men.

The gap report from Meta’s Ireland business makes for an even more grim reading.

The report, which was quietly released in December as part of a new law in the country that went into effect last year, revealed that women working across Meta in Ireland were paid 15.7% less on average than men in 2022. 

The difference in bonus pay in the country is even starker, with the average bonus for women being 43.3% lower than those that men were awarded.

What Meta says about its gender equality gap

Meta blamed “unequal representation” for their pay gap.

“We have more men than women working at Meta in technical roles, particularly senior technical roles,” the company said in a statement:

It further explained that the pay for those with these “skills” are higher than for “non-technical roles” and that “the pool of this talent, particularly for more senior positions, continues to be predominantly male.”

“This is a challenge faced by all companies in Tech and by many companies in other industries. We recognize that this is a journey, one we are fully committed to and believe the actions we are taking now are, and will continue to have impact on improving the diversity of our workforce,” Meta added. 

While most of the company’s employees are in the U.S., which does not require pay gap disclosures from companies, Meta has about 3,000 workers in Ireland and about 5,000 in the U.K., making up roughly 10% of its current global workforce.

In the report, Meta also shared its ambitions for half of its global workforce to be made up of women and underrepresented minorities. But the company’s diversity reporting shows signs of stagnation. 

As of last year, women make up 37% of the workforce, up just 1% since 2018 when Meta began sharing its diversity report.

The social media company said that it’s addressing this representation issue through hiring, including its Diverse Slate Approach, and by reviewing and assessing its Attract strategy.

“Last year we established an External Partnership model comprising three flagship partnerships: ColourinTech, Everywoman and BYP (Black Young Professionals),” Meta commented.

“All these partnerships result in a steady increase in the hiring rates of underrepresented candidates, and we have seen increases to female representation at Meta, including in technical roles and in leadership roles.”

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