OP6

Women’s Reddit Army takes on the corporate patriarchy

Althea Spinozzi
Senior Fixed Income Strategist

Summary:  Mimicking the meme stock Reddit Army tactics of 2020-21, a group of women traders launch a coordinated assault on companies with weak records on gender equality, leading to huge swings in equity prices for targeted companies.

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Saving and investing has become a crucial topic among female communities. Many realise that because women’s life expectancy is longer, they need more long-term savings. However, they might have missed the opportunity to invest in the longest bull market in history due to the wage gap. On average, women earn 20% less than men in the same positions, thus have less disposable income to invest. Making things worse, the Covid crisis aggravated the gender inequality crisis, as it was disproportionately women who left their jobs to take care of children during the lockdowns. Because of the pandemic, it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender pay gap, versus 99.5 years before Covid, according to the World Economic Forum. 

Women are not willing to wait any longer. Tired of the lack of progress, 2022 sees a massive grass-roots effort based on social media platforms to force companies that break civil rights laws to address unfair and sexist, racist, ageist and ableist practices. Although women have been struggling with lower salaries they have higher saving rates than men. Those savings will now come in handy as they decide to take the situation into their own hands and throw their considerable influence around in a #metoo movement in financial markets. 

In contrast to the often-nihilistic original Reddit Army, the Women’s Reddit Army will be more sophisticated, with women traders coordinating a long squeeze by shorting stocks of selected patriarch companies. At the same time, they will direct funds to companies with the best metrics on female representation in middle management and among executives. Instead of condemning the development, politicians worldwide welcome and support their cause, putting even more pressure on companies with outdated patriarchal attitudes, poor gender equality in pay, and under-representation of women on boards and in management to address the errors of their ways. 

Market impact: The movement gets real results as the broader market catches on to the theme and joins in, forcing targeted company prices sharply lower, which sees companies scrambling to change their ways. It marks the beginning of a gender parity renaissance in markets

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