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To think Justine Roberts should not have written this in the FT

(513 Posts)
FreeWorker Fri 06-Nov-15 09:38:47

Justine writes a comment column in the Recruitment section of the Financial Times section which most MNetters will not have seen as it is behind a paywall.

In her most recent article of yesterday she writes on the gender pay gap and I was astonished to read the following sentences:

"As far as I have seen, then, the gender pay gap has very little to do with discriminatory practices or policies against women."

"The second big problem is that women just do not seem to care as much as men do about salaries and promotion."

One commentator under the FT article called Ezra sums up how I feel.

"Some valid observations - but to say that the gender pay gap has nothing to do with discrimination is frankly delusional."

For those who want to see the full article you may be able to read it via the following link if you search for it via Google and answer a few online questions:

For the rest of the year your pay will be zero

The Financial Times is an extremely influential newspaper in business and Government circles and Justine is also extremely influential as an opinion former because of MN.

AIBU to think that the views Justine has expressed in this article do not reflect the daily experience of women at work? AIBU to think it also contradicts the thousands of posts about unfair treatment at work by women on MN that show discrimination is rampant and that women DO care about salary and promotion?

I have name changed for this post but am a long time male poster on MN and have had male bosses throughout my career who openly and routinely made discriminatory comments in meetings when no women were around to hear them. They knowingly paid women less and passed them over for promotion. I worked in an industry where virtually no women make it to senior positions.

The gender pay gap is always about discrimination in my experience.

00100001 Fri 06-Nov-15 09:40:40

You could ask her where she got the "fact" of 'women just do not seem to care as much as men do about salaries and promotion' doe sit say in the article?

wickedwaterwitch Fri 06-Nov-15 09:41:11

What, Justine really believes the gender pay gap has nothing to do with discrimination? Really? I'm shocked.

wickedwaterwitch Fri 06-Nov-15 09:42:00

And rofl at the idea that women don't care about pay and promotion.

wickedwaterwitch Fri 06-Nov-15 09:43:56

And you're right, the gender pay gap is about discrimination

Or maybe it's because women aren't as good as men? :sarcastic: yes, that'll be it, they're not as good, not discrimination at all. Glad we got that sorted.

PuntasticUsername Fri 06-Nov-15 09:44:40

It's Comment, it's a personal piece. Has she claimed to be repeating facts, or she speaking from her own experience and observations?

I mean, I think she's dead wrong too, but she's entitled to her opinion.

I've worked with male peers in the past who were routinely paid more than me for the same role, with the same amount of experience. It seems endemic to me. I cared very much, as a single mum with children to feed!

CuttedUpPear Fri 06-Nov-15 09:48:56

Puntastic I disagree. When people are being consulted as experts in their field and as representative of those discriminated against, their opinion is taken as fact so it's not a matter of them being 'entitled' to it - it's damaging misinformation.

Serendipity17 Fri 06-Nov-15 09:49:52

shock what that is a very unfair comment. I care a lot about doing well and promotions and getting a good pay. Also I have had employers threaten me that they would sack me if I got pregnant how is that not discrimination as men can't get pregang

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 06-Nov-15 09:50:47

Well I can't access the article, so I don't know if what Justine said has been misquoted or taken out of context.

It's true that some, possibly many women don't care much about pay & promotion (I don't). I expect that true of some, possibly many men.

stealtheatingtunnocks Fri 06-Nov-15 09:52:41

Seems curious. Didn't MN come about in part because of poor employment opportunities for Justine and Carrie when they had small children?

Perhaps she's been misquoted and is furiously jumping up and down in a board room right now.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 06-Nov-15 09:54:50

Wow, I am quite taken aback by that. Doesn't she ever come on Mumsnet?! Otoh I haven't read it yet and am happy to reserve judgement till she confirms she actually said that!

welshHairs Fri 06-Nov-15 09:54:55

Even if you put aside the issue of direct workplace discrimination there is still a society problem, in that on the whole society accepts and encourages women working less hours or giving up work when they have children, while it is generally accepted that men will not change their working hours.

And I strongly disagree with "The second big problem is that women just do not seem to care as much as men do about salaries and promotion." In my last job I fought for a pay rise which I eventually got and still suspect (with good reason) that I was on at least 5k below my male coworker. I bloody cared!

That's disappointing to read from Justine

I think a lot of the gender pay gap is related to men and women working in different sectors, different responsibilities regarding care of children, attitudes to part-time versus full-time work etc. etc.

So sometimes not direct discrimination but still very much a feminist issue!

OneofTHOSEWomen Fri 06-Nov-15 09:57:32

Can someone cut and paste the article? It's difficult to form an opinion about something if you have taken her quotes out of context.

WorraLiberty Fri 06-Nov-15 09:59:19

I am a bit shocked but to be fair, I'd like to hear what Justine has to say about it and whether she was misquoted or not.

In general though, I do hate it when people state that 'women think this' or 'women think that', as though we're all one person instead of individuals.

ThisFenceIsComfy Fri 06-Nov-15 10:00:13

I think that maybe she meant that women have to sacrifice pay and promotion due to childcare. So more women are likely to accept a lower grade job and less money because they need family friendly hours. And women are mostly responsible for childcare. That is gender division and discrimination of course.

However the view that women don't care about this is, in my opinion, wrong. Sadly accepting, maybe, but indifferent, no.

merrygoround51 Fri 06-Nov-15 10:00:15

I can see what Justine is trying to say here. There are lots of reasons as to why women are not paid the same as men, but often its not because they are women but because of what being a woman is.

So for example, a cashier in Tesco earns the same as a man or a woman.
A teacher earns the same as a man or a woman.

But in the corporate world women earn much much less. Why is this?
- Women often lack that self assuredness and high self esteem that men possess and drives them to push themselves forward and ask for more.
- Women want to be liked more than men, who quite often just dont care
- Women who have children tend to want a work like balance more than men who have children
- The world of paid work does, in the whole, not accommodate work life balance so women tend to have to step back or step off. Men rarely do this.

In terms of how we can change this, well as mothers we can raise our daughters to be self assured and care less about being liked - thats a big first step.

We can demand that our partners take an equal share in childcare and we can lobby our employers.

This is going to take a long long time to change

AnnaMarlowe Fri 06-Nov-15 10:01:08

Perhaps Justine would like to join the thread and quote her full statement?

Because I'm torn between being stunned and laughing hysterically if what is quoted above is a true reflection of her statement.

Women don't care about their pay? shockangry

As an aside I guess the MN staffers won't be looking for any pay rises/Christmas bonuses any time soon then...

Theoretician Fri 06-Nov-15 10:01:08

I think there has been research mentioned in newspapers in recent years that showed that the gender pay gap can be almost entirely explained by factors other than discrimination. So that is a respectable point of view. (Note the "almost", I'm not necessarily doubting any anecdata that may appear in this thread that points in the opposite direction.)

wickedwaterwitch Fri 06-Nov-15 10:01:18

I'd be interested to hear from Justine too and to read the full article

welshHairs Fri 06-Nov-15 10:02:39

Me too wicked.

I would like to hear Justine's explanation as I haven't read the article.

wickedwaterwitch Fri 06-Nov-15 10:03:47

Oh that's interesting theoretician, can you link?

"but often it's not because they are women but because of what being a woman is" merry

I get what you're saying here merry but being a woman surely includes all that goes with that, including such things as often also being a mother, and all of society's norms and expectations?

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