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AIBU?

To think gender pay gap deniers are just sexist

47 replies

JumpyCastle · 14/07/2017 10:35

Why do so many men like to say there isn't such a thing a a gender pay gap? We all know it exists throughout the world.

They often use the excuse that women are at lower levels of an organisation. Well why do you think they are ffs could it be because they are not promoted? I haven't seen anyone ever disprove it without loads of holes

OP posts:
Nikephorus · 14/07/2017 10:40

Maybe some men don't believe it because they've not seen it and feel that as it's not something that they'd do personally they can't see why anyone else would do it either? It's not a conspiracy.
If women are at a lower level then they should be paid for that lower level, otherwise that's discrimination too (against lower paid men). The lack of promotion is a separate issue (though totally unreasonable obviously).

StickThatInYourPipe · 14/07/2017 10:43

Maybe some men don't believe it because they've not seen it and feel that as it's not something that they'd do personally they can't see why anyone else would do it either?

I think it's most likely this. Especially men on the min wage where both sexes are paid the same for the job they do. I earn significantly more than my dp and all team mates in his role are paid the same, he wouldn't think about a gender pay gap as he has never come across it nor it it something he would do in a position to decide.

foodtime · 14/07/2017 10:45

Because there isn't one! everyone wants to be the fucking victim in the country.

I say this as a feminist.

There is a race and class pay gap though which is truly real and damaging.

StealthPolarBear · 14/07/2017 10:50

Of course there is one

53rdWay · 14/07/2017 10:50

YAB a bit U, because the factors behind the gender pay gap are complex and a lot of people see that as evidence it's not sexist rather than evidence of deeper cultural sexism. So, "there is no gender pay gap - women are just more likely to work part-time!" without looking at WHY women are more likely to work part time, e.g.

skyzumarubble · 14/07/2017 10:55

Foodtime where do you get that from?!

There is very definitely a gender pay gap in my industry and a distinct lack of women at high level too.

It is thankfully being addressed but I don't think it will disappear for a while yet.

foodtime · 14/07/2017 10:58

Foodtime where do you get that from?!

There is very definitely a gender pay gap in my industry and a distinct lack of women at high level too.

It is thankfully being addressed but I don't think it will disappear for a while yet.

Sorry, I like to base my beliefs on facts. Please can you show me any evidence that women earn less then men?

Steph999999 · 14/07/2017 11:01

I hate all this gender pay gap stuff. Where I work you get paid x for doing a job whether you are male or female. I know in some companies pay is negotiable/based on experience so I can see how people doing the same job can get paid differently. This could include men being paid more than women, men being paid more than other men and even women being paid more than their male counterparts.

The stats that you see in the press are always done on average wage per age group and surprise surprise around the child bearing years women's pay goes down compared to men's. Obviously time spent on maternity leave or returning part time can have an impact on your career progression and therefore salary. I know this isn't always the case but generally speaking it's true.

I'm on maternity leave at the moment and rather than complain about my career stalling and earning potential decreasing I actually feel very privileged to be allowed this time off and to return part time so that I can spent time watching my child grow up. And I think women in this country are also incredibly lucky to be paid to take this time off. I see all that as an absolute privilege and will gladly take a slight pause in my career and stall in wages in return for it.

Sadly I think these days women want the best of both worlds and won't stop moaning until they get it.

I'm sure a day will come when men will start taking up the shared maternity/parternity leave more and more and we will see more equal salaries of men and women.

53rdWay · 14/07/2017 11:07

Sorry, I like to base my beliefs on facts. Please can you show me any evidence that women earn less then men?

Office for National Statistics: visual.ons.gov.uk/find-out-the-gender-pay-gap-for-your-job/

LittleBooInABox · 14/07/2017 11:08

YABU - why should anyone be paid more when they don't work the same hours. Or have the same qualification or experience.

Women tend to work part time, more than men. For childcare, and such. So that's why it looks like it. It's been disproved many times over.

Ifailed · 14/07/2017 11:09

There are several gender pay gaps. For example, women in the 20s earn more than men. At around 35, it flips - can't think why.

Overall, women do tend to earn less than men, usually because they are in the majority in areas like carers, retail etc. which have historically been low pay jobs - the root of which is almost certainly sexist.

As others have pointed out, there are also race pay gaps and class pay gaps. As we live in a society that was historically racist, sexist and class-based perhaps not surprising, however rather than create division along the lines of sex, race etc, wouldn't it be better if all* low-paid workers organised to get a fair deal?

*And still is, though it's more subtle now.

MaidOfStars · 14/07/2017 11:10

It's a "carers" pay gap, where women are more likely to take time away from work to care for others, most obviously children but also parents (and other family members).

I'm sure a day will come when men will start taking up the shared maternity/parternity leave more and more and we will see more equal salaries of men and women
And this is the way to fix it. Offer men the same parental packages as women.

MissWilmottsGhost · 14/07/2017 11:17

More women than men work part time and part time workers are undervalued and underpaid. Thus women are more likely to be undervalued and underpaid.

I think the solution is more flexible working for both men and women. We are still stuck with traditional working hours of 40+ per week, and until attitudes to that changes people who reduce their hours (usually women) will be discriminated against.

But the gender gap is not just about sexism. I cannot work full time due to disability and it is very hard for me to get employment, despite specialist skills and years of experience, because I am considered not fully committed to my job if I work less than 35 hours per week Hmm DH would love to reduce his working hours too but then we would both have stagnating careers.

IMO tackling the gender gap will require changing attitudes to work for both men and women.

Amateurish · 14/07/2017 11:19

The gender pay gap definitiely exists but this is not evidence of a difference in pay for comparable jobs.

"Because the ONS data does not, and cannot, take account of job demands the headline figures for the gender pay gap should not be treated as an indicator of whether women are receiving equal pay for equal work."

Wormulonian · 14/07/2017 11:22

They know - but many think they are so wonderful that they are fully entitled. There is still a lingering attitude about men being the breadwinners and women just doing the job for "pin money".

My DD recently found out that the few men in her company are habitually started on more money than the women (this is a job where you need a Phd) after her trainee let slip about "his paltry salary" that was £2k more than hers! She has brought this to the attention of the CEO - but apparently salaries cannot be discussed and are confidential. DD is now looking to leave.

When my male boss (public sector) got promoted to his role people said it "was good because he had a huge mortgage to pay" . I was aghast -it was his (and his DW who earned more than him)choice to buy a massive detached house. Did the female contenders not deserve promotions who also had mortgages? There were also mutterings about him feeling more on a par with his well paid wife now.

I had a male colleague who was a lot less well qualified than me when we started at the same time in the job (below the minimum needed for the job). He was helped financially and given time off to become properly qualified for the position and was then given a pay rise of 2 increments above me and other women. Apparently he had discussed his lifestyle needs with the male HOD and they agreed he needed more (private healthcare, gym, Armani ties etc). He consistently fell below targets in appraisals which women would have been sacked/disciplined/shamed for but I think they just wanted more men on the staff. He used to laugh about how they couldn't sack him!

Wormulonian · 14/07/2017 11:28

I think it is a deeply ingrained cultural thing. I saw a documentary a while back about Victorian servants and it showed records of how the junior footman earned the same as the female cook in a large household. having male servants showed how rich you were. Female servants were destitute if they had to give up work (illness, old age etc). Seamstresses and factory girls barely made enough to eat and rent a furniture less room - they had to try and marry, live with family or do some prostitution on the side to make ends meet. Same after the first world war when there was a spike in unmarried women the jobs they could find were paid a pittance compared to men - there was a lot of hunger and suicide.

WishfulThanking · 14/07/2017 11:33

From the interesting interactive tool linked to by a PP:

In my industry:

Women are paid 29.8% less than men
£26.26 per hr (£48,125 year)
£37.39 per hr (£79,964 year)
Women hold 44% of these jobs

Megadude · 14/07/2017 11:39

I used to work in insurance giving quotes for employees. I used to go through spreadsheets with employee data, showing age, gender, job title and salary. The gender pay gap was obvious right there in the data believe me. I would see a team of 20 people with the same job title, and every female would have £3k less in their salary.

Once a company wanted a quote, but several positions were still to be recruited: cleaner, admin, sales manager. Even though there was nobody in these posts, the company magically knew the gender, age and salary of these people. I showed it to a colleague who replied, "yes it's terrible, but they're probably right". I replied "they are right, because the same person who made this list, is the same person doing the hiring!".

It's very naive and sexist to claim the isn't going on. I've seen it through personal experience, and I've seen it hard data.

MaidOfStars · 14/07/2017 11:42

I work in STEM academia.

The gender pay gap in my job is 9.2%., with the rather broad grouping split around 50/50 males/females.

We work on banded salary progression, with very specific criteria for each band. Females and males get equal pay for the same job, and our salary scheme is completely transparent.

The gap arises because more females are at lower bands (time off for caring duties) and, traditionally, the upper echelons (and therefore higher salries) are still dominated by males.

My institute was panelled last year in a report than said female professors earn around £6k less a year than their male counterparts. It made no reference to the fact that the professorial grade is split into several pay bands, and, for the reasons above, women are more likely to occupy the lower professorial pay bands. Any woman promoted to professor will earn exactly the same as a male promoted at the same time.

AppalazianWalzing · 14/07/2017 11:45

The problem is people are unclear about what they are talking about.

There is: a gap in average pay based on the fact that there are more women working part time at certain ages due to caring responsibilities. Many people think this is a sign of structural sexism, many people think it's a choice.

There is also a gap in average pay due to there being more women at management levels. Many people think this is because more women are part time, or aren't as competitive, etc etc, but on the whole it applies regardless of experience and is based on perceptions that are still deeply ingrained that men are better managers.

There is also a gap in what men and women are paid for doing the same job, and the same hours. This is less common in some jobs because of the way things are structured, but still exists, and is particularly apparent in situations where people negotiate salaries and are discouraged from talking about what they earn. Some people still justify this by saying women don't negotiate as well as men- but years ago I read an amazing study by McKinsey, who tracked young graduates and classified them by their career style. So, one group were negotiators who were quite aggressive in trying to advance, one didn't do anything proactive but just applied for jobs as they came up, one tried 'soft' approaches like networking, getting mentored etc. They found men who took 'aggressive' approaches did best, but women who tried the same did poorly as people didn't like that from women. Women who networked did best among women, but about the same as men who didn't do anything proactive.

The problem is, we tend to talk about the gender gap without specifying which aspect of it.

It all speaks to structural inequality and discrimination on the basis of sex throughout society, but at the moment it's easier for people to dismiss it as stemming from choice because of how it's discussed.

MaidOfStars · 14/07/2017 11:49

Regarding parental leave etc, and fostering a system where male employees have the same benefits as female employees (this, as many males will end up with carer gaps in their salary progression), can anyone tell me why:

  1. Maternity leave at my place is 6 months full pay, 3 months SMP, 3 months unpaid.
  2. Paternity leave at my place is 2 weeks.
  3. My gay colleague, who recently adopted, was given the full maternity package. Not arguing with that - I think it's a good thing - but if I were another man accessing paternity leave, I'd be pretty fucked off not to be given the same opportunity.
MaidOfStars · 14/07/2017 11:50

(this, as many males will end up with carer gaps in their salary progression)
Should read: thus.

CoarseConcepts · 14/07/2017 11:53

There is no such thing. If any company pays men and women differently for the same job then they get taken to court and fined and have various other sanctions.

You can't simply level insults like "sexist" at people who disagree with you. FWIW, intelligent, sound and respected economists don't believe in the pay gap myth either.

AppalazianWalzing · 14/07/2017 11:53

@MaidOfStars - that happened at my workplace. Essentially, adoption leave applies to either parent who adopts a child. Maternity has an element of recovery from pregnancy built in. So, if you have a stillbirth or love a pregnancy past a certain point you are entitled to full maternity, because it's to do with recovering from the pregnancy. With adoption, it's all about caring for the child, I believe it's overall less than the max unpaid time you can take in maternity but either way you can choose which parent takes it.

foodtime · 14/07/2017 12:05

Again. Men don't get paid more than women.

White middle class men in professional roles tend to get paid more then white women in equal positions.

But don't forget White women in the U.K. Tend to earn more then black men for the same role.

White middle class women tend to earn more then white working class men in professional roles.

White women earn a lot more then black women in professional roles.

Yes there is a problem with white middle class men earning more but the problem is so much deeper.

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