At noon, Mr Bolt summoned staff to the old dining room. He asked female staff to sit, while the men stood. Glancing round the room, he announced a 10% pay rise for all female staff because of the International Women’s Day. The men protested. Speaking fiercely, Bolt said women had always earned 10% less than male staff since the company opened in 1960.
Rising hesitantly, Shanae and the other women began to clap. They failed to understand that nothing had really changed. In their euphoria, none bothered to ask, by what percentage men earned more in each department. Relieved, Bolt nodded to the young man accompanying him, a reporter from the local paper, Daily Express. The story would make front page news tomorrow. Bolt and his company would be hailed, but for the many women who worked at the machines, nothing much would change: So much for parity.