Even in the 21st century, our greatest treasure is knowledge. Knowledge is power and inequality and gender gaps are society’s kryptonite.

This year, SXSW wanted to emphasize that no more shall we allow that kryptonite to drain men and women’s full  and underutilized potential.

In honor of International Women’s Day, which took place March 8, Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP“)  and WIRED invited SXSW attendees to “smash the glass” by breaking down workplace barriers.

A cathartic act in deconstruction, guests were able to show their support for workplace equality by literally smashing the glass ceiling, piggy banks, and/or other outdated work systems and equipment to level the playing field.

It’s Time to Level the Playing Field, Because It’s A Fact: Women Earn Less Than Men

According to ADP’s 2018 Pay Equity study, women earn a 17% lower salary (approximately $15,000 USD) than men.

However, when you factor in bonus initiatives where there’s a 69% gender pay gap, the total earnings pay gap widens to about 19 percent (approximately $18,500 USD).

Young women (ages 20-30) came out significantly worse, with a 21% less bonus-to-base ratio compared to their male colleagues.

Women with a low-starting salary began their jobs with a near-equal base pay of men; however, the base salary gap worsened for them after six (6) years.

Where many feel that social media is a perfect outlet to complain and protest, having an event like this at SXSW makes for an even more influential form of speech.

Destroying Outdated Values and Obsolete Tech

But guests were not just able to break those gender gap barriers, but they could also let out their frustration for the outdated technology which still plagues the workforce.

The Outdated Technology room had a variety of obsolete and outdated technologies, like a useless fax machine or an assortment of clocks marked ‘WORK,’ depicting the return of power every single one of us has to control the work/life balance we often times forget.

In 2019, work is about more than what you do; it’s about achieving something greater for one’s self and others.