Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The pay gap - undervaluing womb-carriers.

Click the title for more. The TUC has discovered that the pay gap - you know, that thing which doesn't exist? - trebles as women get older.

The difference between men's and women's pay more than trebles when women reach their 30s, TUC research revealed today. It found women leaving school at 16 and going into a full-time job earn 9.7% more than their male contemporaries. But from the age of 18 - and throughout the rest of their working lives - they earn less than men.

In their 20s, the pay gap for full-timers is a modest 3.3%, but in their 30s women take home 11.2% less than the men. And in their 40s - the peak age for discrimination - the gap rises to 22.8%. The TUC said the undervaluing of women in the workplace was partly due to a "motherhood penalty".

Got that? A pay gap is always there, with 16-17 year-old boys getting less and then women getting less as soon as they are a legal adult.
The gap has been blamed upon jobs being built around traditionally male skills and lives - 'soft' skills aren't valued and, if you parent a child and want to be able to divide your time effectively for that, the 'top jobs' are inhospitable. As women are more likely than men to do the majority of time-consuming parenting, they cluster in the lower jobs where they can get necessary leave, work at home etc. and don't go for promotions that they are qualified for. As for part-time work, women are earning over a fifth less than their male counterparts per hour in that area.
Yes, this is discrimination against mothers and indeed any parent. If you are prevented from attaining a senior role because it fails to acknowledge your role as a parent - not just a parent, a MOTHER (who will likely be earning less than a father), that is discrimination. People are complaining all the time about an ageing population, yet in a world like this is it any wonder that women put off childrearing for longer? Having jobs which are technically open to everyone but weighted heavily in men's favour due to an emphasis on masculinity and inflexible hours is discriminatory. It IS possible to have flexible hours for the top jobs, to be able to do some work from home etc. Many successful companies have proven this. Why are we making it so difficult for half the population to progress in their careers?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mwezzi. Love your blog, and I have linked to you on my own, if that’s ok!