Equality & Diversity
So lets see if one can start a thread and post a URL here.
This story from the graun http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/dec/14/mps-vote-firms-publish-gender-pay-gap
seems sensible enough a story - but the comments?
There are still so many people who think this is about shorter hours, part time work and maternity breaks. It really is extraordinary
Edited by Suw to fix, maybe, URL
The wilful ignorance is frustrating, but not in the least bit surprising. People don't want to believe that women are still discriminated against, because that means they'd have to do something about it and probably because they fear losing money to make up women's pay. :/
It's the number of people posting BtL who flatly refuse to acknowledge that women tend, even when on the same payscale, doing exactly the same job, are paid less - ie on average they are lower on the scale, failing to get discretionary points within the scale or failing to be promoted on to a higher one. A few years ago, I would have been conflating the same arguments they are, except that I have actually seen the real data for my own employer and I know that the pay gap is real, because it's highly unlikely that this pattern is not repeated. But the data are confidential, so I can't discuss it.
So I am all for transparency...
I don't know why people don't want to believe it though. I think as you say it's partly the implications, but I think a lot of people benchmark equality with women not being forced to give up working on marriage, and that with that, and paid maternity leave, all is essentially sorted. They kind of want it to be sorted and can't face that it isn't - their paradigm hasn't moved beyond the 1976 act. I don't know it's very weird.
If you want a very good example of this sort of thinking, then I can give you no better one than this:
The analysis this article is based on was done by Mark Perry, who is affiliated with a right-wing American think tank, so the whole thing has been skewed through the lens of conservative ideas of traditional gender roles. An example of his thinking:
“Therefore, BLS data show that marriage has a significant and negative effect on women’s earnings relative to men’s, but we can realistically assume that marriage is a voluntary lifestyle decision, and it’s that personal choice, not necessarily labor market discrimination, that contributes to much of the gender wage gap for married workers,” Perry wrote.
Another significant factor contributing to the wage gap is the number of hours worked. Married women working full-time and having children under the age of 18 earned only 78.9 percent of what married men with children earned. But there is no evidence this is due to discrimination — the difference was that men were more likely than women to work 40-plus and 60-plus hour work weeks, contributing to higher earnings.
“Once again, we find that marriage and motherhood have a significantly negative effect on women’s earnings; but those lower earnings don’t necessarily result from labor market discrimination, they more likely result from personal family choices about careers, workplace flexibility, child care, and hours worked, etc.,” Perry wrote.
So everything's about women's choices, because women choose to get married, and choose to have children and work fewer hours (ignoring the fact that the pay gap persists after factoring in for hours worked), all because they like the idea of the lifestyle... I can't even...
Why is there no headdesk emoji!
Oh, god I know.
But in any case, that's ALL lifetime earnings, not pay gap - two totally different things. But even when you point that out people with that world view still claim that womens' choices are what dictates their position.
May favourite counter to that is this - it introduced me to the concept of "choicism", and although it is very academia heavy, I think it applies to most professions, like law, politics and medicine, etc.
Oh I love this quote:
But the BLS data found that higher
education has actually helped women in the past few decades more than it
has helped men. Since 1979, inflation-adjusted median weekly earnings
for women with a bachelor’s degree or higher have increased by 32
percent, but just 18 percent for men.
well, durr - what this factoid wholly fails to note is the increase in womens' participation in HE - presumeably expanding in to more higher earning professions like law and medicine. It's all very well noting the increase, but they don't give what they are increasing from...
Or whether that increase has closed the gap very much...
Even Jennifer Lawrence suffers from the pay gap:
Sony’s hacked e-mails have revealed a troubling truth — that even the wealthiest and most powerful women among us are burdened by the ever-present gender pay gap. In a Dec. 5, 2013 exchange, Sony and Columbia Pictures executives mulled over that fact that Jennifer Lawrence was being paid less than her male co-stars in “American Hustle.” The inequity of the situation should have been obvious. Lawrence brought an indisputable level of star power to the movie: She had just starred in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, which claimed one of the largest box office opening weekend in movie history and, earlier in the year, she had won the Oscar for Best Leading Actress for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Her co-star in that film, Bradley Cooper, was nominated for an Oscar, but didn’t win. Until then, he was best known for his less-than-Oscar caliber performances in “The Hangover” franchise.
Still, the Sony e-mail revealed that when Cooper and Lawrence starred together again, in “American Hustle,” Cooper was getting the bigger paycheck. The e-mail detailed the “points” — or percentages of back-end profits — that each of the film’s main actors was to receive, and noted that Lawrence wasn’t the only actress getting shortchanged. The male actors — Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper — were each getting 9 points. Amy Adams, the lead actress, was getting just 7 points. (It should be noted that Amy Adams, at this point in her career, had been nominated for four Academy Awards — more than Renner and Cooper combined. Bale had one Oscar win at the time.) Lawrence, meanwhile, had originally been receiving only 5 points, which was later raised to 7 points, according to the e-mail written by Andrew Gumpert, Columbia Pictures President of Business Affairs and Administration. The e-mail proposed raising Lawrence to be equal with her male co-stars. It’s unclear whether Lawrence’s or Adams’s compensation rates were increased, but to the critique that they were unfair in the first place, Sony Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal responded: “there is truth here.”
So Freakanomics thinks that they have solved the entire problem of the gender pay gap, and that they have Found The Truth:
It's a single-source interview with Claudia Goldin, a prof of economics at Harvard, with no counterarguments made at all from people with other points of view.
It is just awful. If I hadn't spent much of friday and yesterday ranting about EDfuckingF, I'd fisk it right here, but I'll have to come back to it later...
Interesting discussion about the gender pay gap:
Some good points made, amongst the dross.
Companies are increasingly facing pressure to audit their pay and make sure there is no gender pay gap:
Women are paid less than men, on average, at all levels in the Unites States, making 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to Census data. Women of color make even less, as compared to the wages of white men. If you drill down into those numbers, and control for things like education and time spent in the workplace, the gap does narrow but not entirely.
There’s a chunk of the gap that can probably only be explained by gender discrimination, Cornell economist Francine Blau told HuffPost earlier this year.
Companies don't often talk publicly about gender and pay, but 20 percent of human resource managers recently surveyed by CareerBuilder said that men were paid more than women at their organization. Learning more could help grow understanding of what causes pay discrepancies and help lead the way in eradicating them.
John Oliver on the gender pay gap
Fawcett Society's research on the gender pay gap in the UK:
Haven't read it yet, so if anyone gets a chance to do that and report back, please do!
US women's soccer team take their employers, US Soccer, to court over unfair pay:
Really, really do not read the comments.
The European Regions Where Women Earn More Than Men
The title is a bit misleading as it makes it sound like there's lots of regions when there's only a couple, which stand in stark contrast to the majority of Europe where men earn more than women. But the map is fascinating.