Ladies, if you have the same job as a bloke and doing the same work then from today you are working for free for the rest of 2015 as your male counterpart is paid 20% more than you! Suck it up, princesses!
Just because I took a year off doesn't mean I'm suddenly less qualified or capable. It took me about 3 weeks to get fully up to speed again....yet I'm still paid less. I have the same output in 3 days a week as some of my colleagues have in 5 days a week. My boss has told me this on several occasions. Yet I'm still paid less. I'm not crying 'poor me', I'm just saying it does happen. Not every company is ethical.
This is a bigger issue than stopping work to have babies. I saw this a lot pre-kids and a lot if the time it comes down to, as a PP mentioned, men are more likely to push to get paid more. I personally always did quite well in private business as I could sell my increasing value to my employers. I know I was the exception as far as my female colleagues went though.
Women are, generally speaking, socially conditioned to be modest, not bignote themselves, ask nicely rather than demand etc.
Then there's the disparity between performance assessment. To be outwardly seen as professional, a woman must wear makeup, hair styled and coloured, and often not use language that is completely acceptable for a man to use around clients etc, these are additional expectations on top of the man's basic expectations of clean, nice clothes and shoes and a neat haircut. It is so much easier for a woman to be perceived as letting her professional standard drop based on grooming.
Like I said, stopping to have babies (or the threat that you might do that if you are of childbearing again) is just one piece of the puzzle.
IMO What we need is two-fold:
1. we need a better paid parental leave system based on people's salaries like every other country and with one portion just for fathers to induce men to take time off when they have babies. In Scandinavian countries where this is done, men stay home for a period (usually starting around 6 months after birth) and the mothers go back to work. Following this, both parents work about 75-80% (usually 4 days per week) meaning the child is with one parent two days per week and in Childcare or with grandparents etc 3 days per week. As a result, caring for children is not a woman's issue and both parents share the responsibility.
2. There needs to be a presumption of 50/50 care of children following separation (not for cases of DV etc obviously). Too often the women take the lion's share of the responsibility following separation and fathers get to see the children when it is convenient for their work schedule. The mother is usually the one responsible for school drop offs and pick ups and needs to arrange care if necessary. When the children are sick, she's the one taking time off. During school holidays, mum is responsible for sorting out care (because dad only has so much annual leave...). Basically (and stereotypically but reflective of the majority of cases) mum arranges her work around the kids and dad arranges time with the kids around his work... If it were deemed to be 50/50 then of course parents could agree something different but it would enforce the idea that each has an equal responsibility for their children and they'll either need to make it work or sort something out with the other parent. A large percentage of parents are separated / divorced so what is happening post separation certainly factors in to gender pay issues.
I think the book The Wife Drought pretty much sums it up well.
The gender pay gap is comprised of two parts - women being paid less than their male counterparts for the same job/skills/performance, and women tending to enter careers which are lower-paid than other, more male-dominated roles.
Plenty of you have already commented on the first source of pay disparity.
But the key to reducing the second source of disparity is encouraging/convincing more girls to study and work in science/tecnology/engineering fields. Out of six senior engineers at my workplace, I'm the only female - not because of discriminatory hiring practices, but because that was about the ratio of women:men who did my particular ****** of engineering at uni >15 years ago. There are plenty of women in our office, but they are mostly in support roles (eg. secretarial/accounting/HR) which don't attract the same kind of pay.
Until more women enter STEM fields, this is going to.continue to be the source of at least part of the gender pay gap.
Last edited by Gentoo; 28-10-2015 at 04:20.
Pregnant for the first-time?
Not sure where to start? We can help!
Our Insider Programs for pregnancy first-timers will lead you step-by-step through the 14 Pregnancy Must Dos!