2 Nov 2016

Eliminating The UK Gender Pay Gap

By Mike Buchanan, J4MB: Legislation will be introduced in 2018, forcing British companies with 250+ employees to publish their ‘gender pay gap’, with a view to eventual elimination. You have to compare the median pay of all f/t male employees with that of all f/t female employees to arrive at the sort of ‘gap’ campaigners witter on about, 17-20%.
The causes of the ‘gap’ have been well understood for decades, and have nothing to do with companies paying women less than men for the same work (which would be illegal). Key points:

    • there’s a small gender pay gap in favour of females in their 20s, almost no gap in their 30s. Only in the 40s onwards does a gap in favour of males appear, as women focus less on their careers for a variey of reasons including childcare.
    • men are more work-focused than women. Dr Catherine Hakim’s report on Preference Theory (2000) tells us that four in seven British men are work-focused, only one in seven British women.
    • from the moment they leave f/t education, women are more likely than men not to engage in paid employment, or to work only p/t.
    • men are more likely to do the dangerous unpleasant jobs which employers struggle to fill.
    • men are more likely to be willing to work unsocial hours.
    • men are more prepared than women to seek advancement to positions which will be accompanies with high levels of stress.
    • two-thirds of private sector jobs are taken by men, two-thirds of public sector jobs are taken by women. Most of the latter employees have high job security, many are well-paid (e.g. doctors)
    • there is no evidence of employers routinely paying women less than men for doing the same work. They would be committing a crime if they did so, and Fair Pay legislation dates back almost 50 years.
There is, in short, no gender pay gap problem.
Our thanks to Mike P for an eye-wateringly idiotic piece in the Telegraph. It’s accompanied by an equally idiotic video (5:49). An extract:

This is the perfect time, while there is no compulsion to publish the data. They can take the opportunity to investigate the current position, look at the extent of the problem they face, [note the assumption that a problem exists, other than the problem of government interference] analyse the underlying reasons for any gap and decide what they need to do to mitigate the gender pay gap and the associated reputational risks.
So, what might companies do to ‘mitigate the gender pay gap’? They could:

    • increase the pay of their female workers
    • reduce the pay of their male workers
    • increase the pay of female-dominated parts of the business, relative to male-dominated parts
    • preference women over men when promoting staff
    • sack higher-paid men and give their jobs to women
None of the five options makes the slightest business sense. Just as we have with ‘women in boardrooms’ initiatives, the pretence is made that there’s a business case for the privileging of women. Another extract:

Most employers recognise the need to attract and retain the best people. Identifying and addressing any gender pay gap will mean that the value of women in employment is better recognised and increases the potential talent pool. This also has implications in terms of productivity. [My emphasis.]
I think what this is saying, is that if you offer higher salaries for positions than you need to – on the basis of supply and demand – more women will be interested. This is obviously true, but would be true for men also, and would make the company uncompetitive in its marketplace. How it has ‘implications in terms of productivity’, other than negative ones, I cannot start to imagine.
Among the steps which it is recommended businesses take now:

Identifying potential risk areas, e.g. historical pay arrangements for particular groups of staff and work groups that are predominantly male or female and which are subject to different pay arrangements.
This approach will inevitably mean that the less onerous lines of work which women typically favour, will pay better than they already do, further increasing women’s wish to work in those areas. Meanwhile men will do ever more of the onerous lines of work, and get paid less for them.
This anti-male social engineering exercise is happening while we have a Conservative government. In this area, as in so many others, Conservative politicians have waved a white flag to feminists and other Social Justice Warriors. Shame on them.


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