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Equal Pay Act 1970 : AIBU to fucking ask why women still earn 20% less?

(15 Posts)
Interdasty Tue 28-Jul-15 16:21:48

45 fucking years after !!!

www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/gender-pay-gap/

If legislating equal pay won't cut it, wtf will? How is this still possible in 2015? Are we all just living in a Kafka novel?

StellaAlpina Tue 28-Jul-15 16:26:45

YANBU - It's the patriarchy's fault!

- I love using the word patriarchy grin

Seriously though, I hope that increased paternity leave for men will help things.

32percentcharged Tue 28-Jul-15 16:38:22

YANBU to ask, though the article does go a long way towards giving some of the reasons. A big one being that there is inequality in the rights of men and women when it comes to things like parental leave, though thankfully things are improving and
Like Stella, I hope transferable parental leave is taken up on a huge scale. I suspect the knock on from this will be that fewer women will then see it as the 'default' that they go part time or let their husband's career take priority.

DadfromUncle Tue 28-Jul-15 16:41:12

In most places I've worked it is frowned upon or specifically fobidden to talk about colleagues' earnings. That helps employers to pay what they can get away with. During a short and fairly rubbish spell in middle management I found one female team member had scandalously low pay compared to everyone else (male and female) persuaded my boss we should sort it out - but it wasn't easy. Maybe everyone's pay should be public?

sparechange Tue 28-Jul-15 16:45:52

As a manager, generally women aren't as good at asking for payrises. I've had male colleagues come to me mid-year with job ads that are similar roles to theirs, paying more than they are on. They asked me for a reason they shouldn't get a payrise to the same. They've questioned their bonus payments and they've pushed for promotions.
I've not had female employees doing the same and I've never had anyone question their bonus.

I would agree the patriarchy is the reason women don't feel able to stick their head above the parapet and say they feel they are worth more and therefore want more money, but I can't say companies are automatically to blame.

RedDaisyRed Tue 28-Jul-15 16:47:31

I have always gone on about how good I am and required extra pay. I hope I have ensured my daughters do too and think I maanaged - they are in their 20s now and both pay 40% tax.
I also recommend short maternity leaves and always working full time. It works and you get out of loads of dull domestic dross jobs too so it's win win all round. And if you don't get enough promotions set up your own company - that worked for me too and they you can out earn most men. It's huge fun.

MaidOfStars Tue 28-Jul-15 16:51:27

The gender pay gap is actually (mostly) a parental pay gap, I think.

unlucky4marie Tue 28-Jul-15 16:56:01

Don't think its that easy to make a judgement.
aren't women more likely to be public sector so get less in wages but more pension?

Taking gaps whether to go traveling or have children does affect long term earnings.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Tue 28-Jul-15 17:03:07

The Fawcet society have form for being a bit selective in the presentation of their facts. The pay gap for all employees (full-time and part-time) was also the lowest on record at 19.1%. The gender pay gap, based on median hourly earnings excluding overtime, has narrowed for full-time employees, to 9.4%, still not fully equal but not quite the 20% figure that gets published by the FS

The ONS has an interesting breakdown of this:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ashe/annual-survey-of-hours-and-earnings/2014-provisional-results/stb-ashe-statistical-bulletin-2014.html#tab-Gender-pay-differences

This bit stands out

Figure 9 shows gender pay differences by age group. The gap is relatively small up to, and including, the 30-39 age group (with the exception of the 16-17 age group). In fact, the gap is negative for the 22-29 and 30-39 age groups, meaning that women earn on average more than men. Thereafter, there is a relatively large positive gap. This is likely to be connected with the fact that many women have children and take time out of the labour market.

meowth Tue 28-Jul-15 18:37:11

There's loads of reasons why women earn less.
Women don't really go for the STEM fields. They go for teaching, childcare. Those jobs pay less than engineering or biomedical sciences.

Women also go on more sick leave than men. Maternity leave included.
If a woman was doing the exact same job as a man, say, a woman is a Credit Controller. And a man was a Credit Controller. They earn the same. The woman then goes on Maternity leave. The man stays. She's earning statutory pay, while he is earning wage.

It is completely illegal to pay men and women a different wage for the same job. but women take more sick leave, therefore get sick pay, not wage.

Obviously, you can't pay a 30 year old male engineer the same as a 30 year old female receptionist. But you HAVE to pay the male and female engineer the same. A male solicitor is going to earn less than a female secretary, but a male secretary will earn the same as a female one, until she (or he!!) goes on sick leave, paterinity/maternity leave.

The main people who are complaining about this, are women with a gender studies degree. If you complain about not getting the same as a man in the STEM field, go into STEM. Then, you have the same pay. As I said, it's illegal to pay less. if a woman has no sick/maternity leave, she gets the same as a man in the same job.

LurcioAgain Tue 28-Jul-15 18:53:44

The "job choice" argument gets trotted out a lot, but it is not the full explanation. Nor is saying "it's illegal" because that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

I work in STEM. My organisation has just done a pay audit. On average women are paid over 10% less than men. That discrepancy persists even when you compare like-with-like, i.e. men and women at the same grade in the same job role. I'm currently part of an equal pay claim by our trade union. The law is there, but it is widely flouted.

I'd say to anyone who thinks they're being paid the same as the man at the next desk doing the same job, "Are you really sure?" Especially if you're in a workplace where it is contractually forbidden to discuss pay. If this is the case, I'd say chances are you're being screwed.

(Oh, and for any of you advising your children on their career choices, STEM careers are not the route to riches beyond the dreams of avarice. Most of them are shockingly badly paid for the amount of training involved.)

FirstWeTakeManhattan Tue 28-Jul-15 18:59:29

I read recently that the reason nothing changes is that everyone is in agreement about how bloody unfair it all is.

Everyone passionately agrees that it's unfair, and somehow, that sucks the actual 'doing something about it' out of it.

youareallbonkers Tue 28-Jul-15 19:10:07

Probably because a lot of them take big career gaps to raise children

32percentcharged Tue 28-Jul-15 19:20:28

It's essential to get to the actual facts though, rather than the hyperbole. If a woman with the same qualifications and experience and doing the exact same job as the man sat next to her is paid less, then obviously that's unacceptable. But the headline figures do mask a lot of issues as described above. Anecdotally I know loads of women who have happily worked part time for years, or who choose to remain underemployed (eg working as an LSA when they are actually a qualified teacher etc. Which is fine, as long as you accept that your wages and long term prospects will be affected by your choice. Personally I chose to work p/t only 3 days a week for approx 4 years. My wage and pension have taken a hit (even though I've been back full time for knocking on 18 years) Many many women I know choose to work part time for far longer. I accept that I now earn slightly less than my DH even though we began on exact same income. It would be ludicrous if having several years of working part time or not working at all didnt have an impact really... Why would anyone expect to take time out of the workplace and keep progressing up the pay scales equivalent to those who haven't?
Incidentally if I was having my kids now rather than 20+ years ago I would absolutely opt for transferable parental leave

RedDaisyRed Wed 29-Jul-15 17:51:40

I heard on Radio 4 that even if you stip out all women with children and who don't work full time women still are paid less and I suspect that's because they don't lobby enough for and ask for more pay at work and don't move jobs as much and present the boss with higher pay offers from other employers and all that kind of thing.

I certainly agree that you can make things better by not taking lots of time off and partly that is achieved by equal marriage and not tolerating sexist men and being more than happy to let your other half or outside help do dull domestic stuff.

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