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WEP

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rogueantimatter Tue 20-Oct-15 09:59:08

Launch of the Women's Equality Party policies today.

Anyone think they might vote for WEP?

I might.... (I've voted for almost every other pp in my time!)

FreshwaterSelkie Fri 23-Oct-15 06:31:34

I joined this morning and I've been reading through the policy paper here

All seems like something I can get on board with, and I can't recall that I've ever read a policy paper and not thought at some point "Oh good lord no, I don't think that's a good idea" grin

I'm a bit limited in what I can do as I'm not in the UK, but I'm certainly planning on getting involved where I can.

rogueantimatter Fri 23-Oct-15 11:22:55

Thank you for the link.

(I almost went to a local meeting to watch the policy launch but I was too timid!)

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 12:00:25

Forty-five years after the Equal Pay Act, for every hour they work, women still earn just 81p of every pound earned by men. There are many ways of measuring the pay gap – pay for each hour worked, pay for each worker, total pay for all women, and for all men – but however you measure it, the story is the same: women earn less per hour, less per job and less overall.

However you measure it using those (extremely flawed) methods, the story is the same.

Unfortunately, every single one of those metrics is distorted because it doesn't take into account the pay for different roles: law, medicine, finance and STEM jobs pay higher than e.g. care and teaching roles.

AQG gives various estimates at male primary teachers, from 1 in 10 to 1 in 20, and a statement of "a quarter of primary schools have no male teachers".

On the Solicitor's Roll, 48.6% were women, however 60ish% of entrants to university and training contracts are women (from here, so we should see an equalisation (and then swing) in the next few years.

I've tried (and failed) to find the stats of university entrants - this showed that women are more likely to choose the likes of sociology and care fields compared to STEM, etc. We know there's been a big push to get more women into STEM which is a good thing as long as those women want to be in STEM. I don't want half of Gender Studies applicants refused entry and forced to go into Biochemistry if it's not something they want to do. However, those choices will maintain a "pay gap" if the ridiculous methods of calculation above continue to be used.

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 12:04:54

In total, women earn just 52% of what men do every year because not only do they earn less, they are more likely to sacrifice the opportunity to earn a wage for the sake of their family

Is that not a life choice? Is the household wage not just that, a family's income? IMO it does not matter which parent brings in the money, I'm all for SAHFs, but to state that reason is a gender pay gap is disingenuous. It is for each family to decide how the manage their income streams. I think it would be a positive culture shift for women to have an equal chance of being a primary or sole wage earner.

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 12:08:11

Currently, women earn 34% of the wages in the UK and make just 33% of the pension contributions

That doesn't strike me as a major difference. Without seeing the underlying figures, it could even be as close as (or closer than) 33.5% wages and 33.4% pensions.

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 12:10:11

WE believe a fully equal system of parental leave would guarantee both parents (including same-sex couples and adoptive parents) six weeks away from work on 90% of pay, with an additional 10 months of leave at statutory pay to be shared between the parents.

Completely agree, I've thought along these lines for a while.

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 12:11:51

WE will tackle the stigma and reform services, both public and private, to make it clear that a parent’s gender or sexual orientation does not determine their ability to care for their child.

Completely agree, great ideas in this section.

rogueantimatter Fri 23-Oct-15 14:11:10

Re choice of career 'explaining' the pay gap: STEM careers need not necessarily pay more than traditionally female occupied careers such as teaching. I assume there's a supply and demand element that (at least partly) influences the salaries offered for different occupations, but salary is also a reflection of the perceived value of different occupations. And/or (historically at least) salaries are more likely to have been decided by men - as men are more likely to be working at the most senior levels.

ChunkyPickle Fri 23-Oct-15 14:23:32

In total, women earn just 52% of what men do every year because not only do they earn less, they are more likely to sacrifice the opportunity to earn a wage for the sake of their family

Is that not a life choice?

We don't live in a vacuum - it's a life choice heavily influenced by society. A society that is scandalised (well, my MIL is, my sisters and mother are just a bit baffled by my choice, my dad makes comments that I rebuff by pointing out it's exactly what he did) that I should decide to work full time when my DP also does, so I don't need to do it for the money, yet DP working full time even though I do doesn't even register as a thing.

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 14:25:59

STEM doesn't necessarily pay more than teaching, but highly likely.

The reality is, in a capitalist structure, commercial positions will pay more than public positions. E.g.:

"The combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of the Prime Minister is £142,500 at April 2013. This figure includes the parliamentary salary of £67,060."

Run a company of 200-250 employees and you'd probably be on double that, never mind running a country of 64 million.

Public positions don't generate money as such, commercial ventures do - it's easier to command higher salaries. Social care, teaching etc. are all highly essential roles for a {I can't think of the proper word so I'll use 'pleasant'} society; the sad fact is that they don't (possibly, can't) pay a salary commensurate with their importance.

rogueantimatter Fri 23-Oct-15 14:26:45

SAHM's being a life choice. Depends on how you interpret the word 'choice'. If there was more gender equality in the work place many more women might make a different 'choice.'

I'm in favour of much more job-sharing and flexible working hours so that both parents could choose to work part time. The household income would be the same/similar to that earned by one parent working full time and the woman wouldn't lose her financial independence or chance of progressing in her career.

Tbh I'm suspicious of the whole long-hours-working-culture and idea that most jobs (more likely to be done by men) could not be shared. How convenient for all those men who don't want to admit that they don't want to spend much time at home being responsible for children. Or that their self-worth is bound up with their career. Or that they'd rather have all the domestic stuff done for them than share the roles of breadwinner and carer.

ChunkyPickle Fri 23-Oct-15 15:08:40

^ that.

Men have the power to change this, to stay at home, to share it all, but how many of them even take up what's offered now, let alone fight to get more?

I think that is a very clever move on the part of the WEP - campaigning for paternity leave equivalent to maternity rather than hoping men demand it for themselves would force some wonderful, family friendly policies to be enacted - once you can't say that it doesn't make economic sense for your family for the man to take leave, because they have the same benefits, once a company can't depend on the woman taking the career hit in a couple, it forces change to happen, whilst being totally, openly, obviously fair.

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 15:14:29

Tbh I'm suspicious of the whole long-hours-working-culture and idea that most jobs (more likely to be done by men) could not be shared.

It's not just whether it's possible or not, it's whether it's attractive. For most companies, there will be fixed costs of employment, therefore having two people doing 40 hours a week in total will cost them more than having one person doing the same 40 hours per week.

I'm in favour of much more job-sharing and flexible working hours ... chance of progressing in her career.

There would still be the problem of other people whose circumstances mean they are able and willing to work full time will gain who would gain more experience than the part-time parents in question, and career progression (assuming the same level of ambition).

I would expect that two parents working part time would both have reduced career progression (compared to childless work people). The greatest benefit to the household income would still likely be one person working full time and one part time. I'm not saying I support that, just thinking about the likely outcome of the situation.

FreshwaterSelkie Fri 23-Oct-15 15:16:48

About the stats in relation to pay, can we explore what's currently out there in terms of research please? I get the sense that you are cynical about this WMittens?

Also, I got in a shocker of a debate with a friend IRL the other day because he insists that the pay gap has now all but disappeared, and feminism is clinging to outdated, discredited research. Now, I disagree that the Fawcett Society (which is where I'd get my figures from, along with the research that was done in my most recent workplace) is biased, but is there some controversy out there over the accuracy of figures on the pay gap, because I was honestly quite taken aback at the vehemence he argued the case with. As far as I was aware, it is still very much an issue, but I didn't have the stats to hand.

ChunkyPickle Fri 23-Oct-15 15:32:00

By the same token though, it's hugely positive for a company to have two people doing the same job. I'm in IT, where we try to reduce single points of failure, and having 2 people who know how a system works, what procedures are etc. having built in redundancy at the premium of one more set of fixed costs is probably, in many roles, an excellent trade off.

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 15:48:51

I get the sense that you are cynical about this WMittens?

I'm skeptical of most things until I can see robust figures or reports. However, I don't need to be cynical about statements like, "There are many ways of measuring the pay gap – pay for each hour worked, pay for each worker, total pay for all women, and for all men" because I can instantly see that every one of those definitions does not represent "equal work".

Also, the policy paper stated "Forty-five years after the Equal Pay Act, for every hour they work, women still earn just 81p of every pound earned by men." An ONS report from a year ago stated that gap was 9.4% (so about 91p) - that does break down by industry but not role.

This is why the disclosure of wages is so important (as central statistics such as HMRC don't provide all the info we need), but it's equally important to adequately explain the figures. The problem with any summary MI is that it prunes away the details, hence "lies, damn lies and statistics."

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 15:50:48

I meant to add in my previous post, is it assumed that all men get paid the same as all other men for equal work?

WMittens Fri 23-Oct-15 15:53:42

By the same token though, it's hugely positive for a company to have two people doing the same job. I'm in IT, where we try to reduce single points of failure, and having 2 people who know how a system works, what procedures are etc. having built in redundancy at the premium of one more set of fixed costs is probably, in many roles, an excellent trade off.

I agree with the principle, but it depends on the situation. One company I worked for had an IT team of 4; redundancy already existed (it was company policy that every team and department should maintain coverage over absences). It is not necessarily more advantageous to have 8 part time employees instead of 4 full time.

If a company had one IT person then yes, I would agree, however in those cases the company is probably small enough that they would employee outside contractors/consultants in addition, for that very reason.

ChunkyPickle Fri 23-Oct-15 16:13:39

In large companies too - more people brings more breadth of experience, more backup in case of emergency, and we're not saying that everyone will work part time, I'm just saying that it's not all about direct money, there are very positive benefits to job shares that are totally quantifiable, but would be forgotten if you only looked at a simple balance sheet.

I've worked at lots of levels in IT - from coder to Head of Development - and I think there is great potential for flexible working in IT - we need to ramp up and down capacity, lots of jobs require 24 hour cover, plenty of stuff can be done remotely, lots of jobs can be done part time, very little has to be done 9-5, it's actually beneficial to take some time out and read around your subject - it should be perfect for women, and women with kids - and yet, it's only that I've been lucky and tenacious that's let me continue to be successful, working largely from home, around kids (so that my DP in his traditional job can continue to call at 6pm and say he's not going to be home for another hour because of an emergency and can I put the kids to bed for him)

FreshwaterSelkie Fri 23-Oct-15 16:40:30

Hmmmm. I am no statistician so I don't want to get myself out of my depth here. Will do some reading and see if I get any further forward with this.

LurcioAgain Fri 23-Oct-15 17:03:00

Okay brace yourselves for a total rant. I get so sick of people coming on threads like these saying "it's just because women choose lower paying jobs." That simply is not true. There are jobs in my workplace where, for exactly the same job at exactly the same grade men are paid on average more than women. I know this because management has done a pay audit and admitted it is the case. It was the same in my last workplace in a university - it was not because women were less likely to be professors, if you broke it down by grade, women on lecturer A got less than men on lecturer A, ditto lecturer B, ditto senior lecturer, ditto reader, ditto professor. It is a fucking lie that women are paid less than men because women choose to be aromatherapists/"mumpreneurs" making cup cakes while men choose to be brain surgeons.

Oh and as for STEM subjects being well paid - hollow laugh! It has taken me 13 years and 3 promotions post PhD to reach the UK median wage. And I work somewhere shit hot too - on most measures - citations, research output, pull through to things useful to the public in measurable ways - we are regularly somewhere in the top three in the world.

rogueantimatter Fri 23-Oct-15 17:12:16

In principle pt working will allow for a healthy work-life balance. And it shares the work more.

Sorry for the assumption that stem jobs are typically well-paid. I was thinking of engineering and IT blush

Elendon Fri 23-Oct-15 18:16:13

I've joined, a couple of weeks ago.

And I make no apologies for doing so.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Fri 23-Oct-15 19:12:13

lurico I know this because management has done a pay audit and admitted it is the case

That's shit, I hope they rectified their pay scales - I'm not surprised you are ranting about it.
Bloody frustrating.

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