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“A Facebook Live with a Disruptive Twist”

That’s what The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) was striving for with its special (and first-ever) Facebook Live video on International Women’s Day. Hosted by the Director of Strategy at CMI, the stream featured a gender equality debate between panellists and a live Q&A session with viewers.

After the #MeToo campaign kicked off late last year, followed by the row over the President’s Club earlier in 2018, gender inequality has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Research from CMI recently revealed that 85% of women report experiencing discriminatory behaviour in the workplace, a statistic matched by an in-stream poll which asked viewers: “Have you experience or witnessed any form of gender discrimination in the workplace?” Viewers were asked to ‘react’ using the Facebook buttons, with a ‘Like’ to answer no and an ‘Angry’ reaction to answer yes. 100% of respondents reacted with a yes, saying they have witnessed or experienced gender discrimination in the workplace – a shocking statistic to kick off the event!

The aim of the live stream was to launch the CMI’s Broken Windows campaign, which aims to call out and fix gender discriminatory behaviour in the workplace. The live Facebook panel featured Anna Whitehouse – founder of Mother Pukka: a platform that is fighting for the right to flexible working for one and all, Stevie Martin, writer & comic performer, Randall Peterson, trustee of the UK board of UN Women (the only global organisation dedicate solely to gender equality), Reetu Kansal, senior business analyst and CMI gender champion, and Haleema Baker-Mir, a Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice at Nestlé.

Anna Whitehouse started off the debate by discussing the frustration she felt when she requested flexible working after the birth of her daughter and was declined. She said: “I couldn’t be there to smash those glass ceilings because my employer wouldn’t let me.”

Using Groovy Gecko’s Question Moderation System, which takes questions posted by viewers in the comments and allows the client to vet them before sending them to the panel leader’s device, a member of the audience asked: “should we tackle flexibility in the workplace or the gender pay gap first?” The general answer from the panel was to start with small transgressions, and then once we’ve tackled these we can look at the bigger picture.

Reeta went on to add that she believed it was smaller, less obvious behaviours, like being described as “pushy”, that are more prevalent. Another in-stream poll supported this, asking “what is the most common of the behaviours highlighted in the video that you have experienced or witnessed in the workplace?” 78% of viewers used a “wow” reaction to say that being described as “bossy or pushy” was more common than a lack of promotion. According to CMI, “unless these smaller discriminatory behaviours are challenged, they contribute to wider issues such as gender pay discrimination, as well as inhibiting female progression.”

The current gender pay gap at manager level is exactly 26.8%, according to CMI’s ‘Mind the Gender Gap’ report. So at the 22nd minute of the event, with 26.8% of the 30-minute stream remaining, a twist was initiated. Suddenly, male viewers were faced with a pixelated screen and were unable to take part in polls or ask questions, but this wasn’t a technical fault. It was done using Groovy Gecko’s bespoke tool which allows clients to create a secondary stream that can only be viewed by certain audiences using limited data from their profile, such as region, or in this case gender. CMI felt this was the most effective way of getting men to truly understand gender bias, even if the experience was only for a short moment. It was hoped the live stream would highlight just how frustrating it can be to experience unfair behaviour simply based on your gender, however minor.

Groovy Gecko’s unique relationship with Facebook as a Live Production Partner means it is able to build bespoke tools on top of the FB Live API. The technology which enabling CMI to perform this unique twist is one such tool.

The live stream had over 8,800 viewers on the day it was first aired – since then it has had 15,000. One live video marketing strategist and journalist even branded the live stream “probably one of the most creative uses of Facebook Live”. We think that’s a really great way to launch a campaign! Watch here: https://www.facebook.com/bettermanagers/videos/10160257425170601/.