Nikki, an NHS GP based in Manchester, took to Twitter after filling out an online application form on the credit card company’s website.
After selecting the title “Dr” and the gender “Female” on the form, she received an error message reading: “Your gender does not match the title you provided. Please check and try again.”
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Nikki shared the post with her followers, calling out the company directly for the system error – and suggesting it was an example of “everyday sexism”.
— Nikki (@_hurricanenikki) March 17, 2019
Some users were outraged by the suggestion women couldn’t be classified as doctors, calling out Barclaycard.
OMG that is SHOCKING.
— Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop (@anaturalstate) March 18, 2019
— Rebecca Lewis (@swaziswan) March 18, 2019
Others – including women who worked as doctors and professors – shared their own examples of gender discrimination.
I had this with John Lewis, who refused to discuss my fridge because they assumed someone called Dr Leaton Gray would have to be a fella.
— Sandra Leaton Gray (@drleatongray) March 18, 2019
Haha. My husband booked a flight to me using ‘Professor’; the system assumed I’m male and had problems getting on the plane. I know, so nineteenth century.
— The Money Principle (@moneyprinciple) March 18, 2019
This reminds me of the time I went to open an account with @Barclays and my husband (who was with me for the trip) got called ‘Dr Thomson’ and when he pointed to me (the customer) they still addressed their questions to him… 🙄🤦🏻♀️
— Dr Mel Thomson (@DrMel_T) March 18, 2019
That is ridiculous, I’ve heard the same first hand about a national window fitter who said “shall we wait for your husband to come home to sort the finances?”
— Ryan McDonough (@ryanmcdonough) March 18, 2019
The window company won’t even quote me without my husband being at home 🤣
— Michaela Dickson (@MichaelaDickson) March 19, 2019
However, one person discovered the issue was more likely a technical glitch than actual sexism – pointing out the “doctor” and “male” combination also failed.
… oh and Dr/m fails too. Discrimination in tech is real, but so are bugs. pic.twitter.com/tMNV2TDHPE
— Christian Kissig 🇪🇺 (@christiankissig) March 18, 2019
Nikki later updated her Twitter followers, confirming that Barclaycard had processed her card application after the “technical glitch”.
To follow up – I’ve spoken to @Barclaycard and they’ve kindly processed my application. I always thought it was a computer glitch, I never thought they were being deliberately sexist. I just thought it was an amusing technical error that others might appreciate
— Nikki (@_hurricanenikki) March 18, 2019
Barclaycard also confirmed their systems were “certainly not programmed” to not accept female doctors.
Hi Nikki. This shouldn’t happen, our systems are certainly not programmed to do that and we’ve had no other reports of this malfunction. Can I just ask you, did you change any details further through the application, or hit the ‘back’ button at any time during it? 1/2
— Barclaycard (@Barclaycard) March 17, 2019
It was only earlier this month that Virgin Atlantic finally ditched compulsory make-up for female air stewards.