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Gender pay gap and job evaluations

(8 Posts)
Iamhangingin Sat 18-Jul-20 10:24:21

Hi - I am feeling a bit isolated work wise at the moment so would appreciate some outside input - if you guys have any! I work in Scotland, in a public sector role in a job which is usually associated with men. I am the only woman to have done this role within my organisation and recently our organisation has reported that we have a gender pay gap.

Last December we were asked to take part in a job evaluation exercise and it was expected this would result in a pay decrease for my job role. I wasn't too concerned as it was probably time for me to move on anyway, I am regularly headhunted for other roles - which I have declined as a single mum, large amount of travel, but my kids are getting older and I was in the process of moving jobs before lockdown. Covid has resulted in a slowing down in my sector so realistically I can't move jobs until next year.

Anyway the job evaluation which we submitted bears no resemblance to what I do. It over states what my colleagues do, but I regularly do tasks which sit with job roles above and below me. I have always been the only female member of a male team over the past 20 years given the nature of my role (mostly private sector). I tend to be expected to do more, do more detail oriented work. This has been more apparent during lock down where I have been working 12 hour days, actually getting new work in and delivered, where as my colleagues seem to achievied almost nothing. The job evaluation exercise involved stating how much time was spent out of the office and I was criticized by my team for performing my role remotely which in our new world had shown to be effective. There is a value based on client/social interaction which I don't hold. Eg. I manage clients, but where as my colleagues might attend dinners/golf events, I spend more time on video/calls getting stuff done rather than entertaining - if you know what I mean? I have child care responsibilities so if I will only attend social events where I think it's worth while. I am pretty focused where I spend my time.

This week we were asked to clarify a response to this job evaluation. I am really annoyed as yet again I will be asked to sign off to say what I should be doing, not what I actually do.

I am regularly asked to perform tasks which sit I a higher pay grade which I can't include in this job evaluation, but my male collogues (and indeed the men who under took this role before me) are/were not. We are a small team. I am the only woman. It could have nothing to do with my sex, but historically based on my work experience I think it is.

My line manager is female. I suspect she expects more from me, because as a woman more had always been expected of her. Realistically in terms of promotion I may be further ahead of my colleagues because due to this I have more experience of running our department than they do so I don't think any of this comes from a place of malice. I just am capable, so people expect more from me - but not of my colleagues (who happen to all be male).

Do I go along with signing off this evaluation or do I raise my concerns with HR that I am being asked to state a role which bears little resemblance to what I actually do/or in general although I am paid the same as my my colleagues my job in reality is different?

OP’s posts: |
Gronky Sat 18-Jul-20 10:47:54

I am being asked to state a role which bears little resemblance to what I actually do

This made my hair stand on end because it severely bit me early in my career. No matter how hard and well you work, if your employer can point to you not fulfilling core job requirements then you're at the mercy of anyone who wants to damage or neglect your career. I would advise ensuring that your stated role reflects what you regularly do at work; that's not to say it should state everything but I feel that it should be written in a way that means you're doing everything it states.

Iamhangingin Sat 18-Jul-20 15:19:23

Thank you. I think I'll have an off the record chat with HR. I am just about to turn 40 and been lurking around feminist boards for a while. I feel like I have put up with shit over the years but now as the gender gap pay wise for many women starts to creep in I'm rethinking. Why should I work harder for less recognition than men?

I read the feminist thread as I have been considering trans issues. Recently (having delved into queer theory) I have been thinking how great my life at work would be if I considered myself male. Sadly I think you are the sex you are, but hell the male people at my work seem to have a much easier ride than me!! Am I contributing to my own oppression by identifying as female?! Its just sad that we are still having to fight for equality at work in 2020.

OP’s posts: |
Redredgreen Sat 18-Jul-20 19:15:31

I also work in a public sector traditionally male dominated area. Although as an organisation we do OK on gender pay, in my area much less so - nobody cares a hoot because across the organisation it's OK. When I had to fill in my job evaluation I was told categorically that I could not put in some of the things I did because my line manager (man) and the senior (man) didn't do some of them and it would result in me getting more points than the senior.

Looking back at it I wish I''d argued the case more. In particular because as there was a senior role between me and my line manager some of the things should definitely have been re-assigned to that role. Instead of which, the things the senior role did were re-defined somehow as 'important' although they were not any different from the generic role I had, just in different areas, while the other things that I had to do which the senior didn't actually was senior work (in that if it was done wrong the organisation would have lost a lot of money). Over the years, this has resulted in the man in the senior role essentially getting paid a senior wage for generic work (IMHO). If you get stuck in this role for whatever reason, this sort of thing can have a very long tail. I don't know if there is any sorting it out but I do think it is worth a try.

Abitofalark Sat 18-Jul-20 21:42:29

There is plenty of established methodology for these work evaluation exercises. And case law. Both would be well aware of traditional biases and weightings in treatment of female vs male workers. You might find it useful to look at what it says about equal or equivalent work and job evaluation on the website of the equality Commission. Link here: www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/what-equal-work

Shmurf Sun 19-Jul-20 00:34:03

It's a tough one, because whilst you raise some valid points, the assessment is about your contractual role rather than all the extra stuff you do.

Iamhangingin Sun 19-Jul-20 09:17:20

Hi - thank you that's so helpful.

I think there are some separate issues. I am expected to do work outside my role, but can not include this in a job evaluation. On a personal level I was ok with the status quo, but having to formally state how I spend my time when it's inaccurate and an expected wage reduction have tipped me over! I don't think there is anything I can do but refuses to do tasks above my role but this would prevent me from developing/things would not get done and I would be criticized.

I think I just need to suck it up (sadly) and look to move to something else.

OP’s posts: |
Iamhangingin Sun 19-Jul-20 09:26:33

Oh and I should have said, the gender pay gap is benefiting me at the moment. There are about 40 roles being reviewed and my role is at the top end of the scale as it's typically a male role where as female colleagues who arguably have far more responsibility are on less. So a big part of me is rooting for a fairer pay award, I think my role is overpaid for what it is. I'm just annoyed that as much as 50% of my time is spent undertaking someone else's role. I have been working crazy hours in lockdown, single mum, homeschooling 2 primary aged kids, while others in my team have had very little to do (as they are not expected to take on these extra tasks). There was also a meeting called as my standard of work (the work that isn't in my job description) was considered below par which may have peaked my pissed offness 🙄

OP’s posts: |

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