In a bid to squish irony under its gigantic, corporate toes, PayPal will organize a much-needed session on "gender equality and inclusion in the workplace." However, there's a twist: The panel is all-male.
The flyer for the event reads, “Please join us for a discussion with our senior male leaders … about how men and women can partner to achieve a better workplace.”
As Twitter was quick to note, and outrage about later, a panel discussing gender-related pay gap and inclusion should feature people other than powerful men.
The internet was adamant that PayPal was trying to pull off a Saudi Arabia, a move where you get uninterested, unqualified men to talk about women's rights.
But as this episode shows, reality is at times different from the insights we glean on social media.
The event was organized by Unity, PayPal's women's group, to garner the support of allies, and increase support for the movement by involving men in the discussion.
"Gender equality is not just a women’s issue. It will take all of us to create an inclusive workplace environment where involvement, respect, collaboration and connections are cultivated," LaFawn Bailey, PayPal's global head of culture and inclusion said.
"As a leader in culture and inclusion, I recognize that for men to be a catalyst for change, we have to create an environment for honest dialog to occur. Our hope is that this event, which is open to all PayPal employees, will provide a different perspective and spur advocacy around gender balance."
After the backlash, Unity's president Nolwenn Godard will now moderate the panel.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Beck Diefenbach