Audi ran a heart-warming ad about gender pay inequality during the 2017 Super Bowl. But it looks like the German auto manufacturer isn't practicing its own forward-thinking values.

The 60-second Super Bowl spot shows a young girl soaring past her male competitors in a soapbox car race.

Over emotional instrumental music, the viewer hears the voice of the girl's father.

"Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?" he asks.

The ad ends with the little girl winning the race, and her father resolving to "tell her something different." A block of white text appears across the final scene: "Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone."

Despite this pro-equality message, Audi has a staggering lack of women in upper-level positions.

Audi board
photo: Audi

As ThinkProgress founder Judd Legum pointed out, Audi has exactly zero women on its six-member board. Audi's executive team doesn't look much better: There are two women on its 14-member team.

Reuters reports that the company signed on to a White House equal pay pledge in 2016, and has been promising to hire more women since 2011. So far, they haven't made much progress.

However, the problem is larger than one company.

car
photo: iStock

Volkswagen doesn't score much better when it comes to women in charge: There is one woman on the German automaker's nine-person board of management, and four women on its 20-person supervisory board.

In fact, consulting firm EY found that women make up only 16% of the executive boards of the world's top 200 consumer products and retail companies. Only 4% of those companies have measures in place to tackle inequality.

A heads up to the executives at Audi, and other car manufacturers worldwide: A woman in the boardroom is worth two in a soapbox car.