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How fair is Britain?

09:41 UK time, Monday, 11 October 2010

Progress in closing the gender pay gap appears to be "grinding to a halt", according to a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). What does "fairness" mean to you?

The commission said that on average women earned 16% less than men, widening to 27% for women aged 40.

Among other inequalities identified by the EHRC were that girls of all ethnic backgrounds outperformed boys in education, and those from wealthier social classes live seven years longer than those from less privileged backgrounds.

Commission chairman Trevor Phillips said there was a risk of society being divided by inequality.

In their conference speeches this year, the three main party leaders all discussed the concept of fairness, and how to make Britain a fair society.

Do you think Britain is a fair country? Have you been discriminated against? How can the gap in inequality be closed? Can equality be ever achieved?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    The UK will soon have more of a problem of being divided by wealth inequality than all this stuff about gender or ethnic origin. Our biggest problem is that the country doesn't pay it's way in the world, importing far more than we export and selling everything in sight ( Liverpool FC, Cadburys etc) to get things back in balance.
    Our time and money is being wasted by all these people whose jobs depend on moaning about "inequality" rather than getting proper jobs making things we can export like cars, TVs, trains, aeroplanes, computers and stuff like that. The employees of the EHRC should all be put to work trying to make things the UK can export for a couple of years. That would teach them how important their "inequality" is. Oh, by the way, there are a lot of people who can run faster than me but I don't consider that inequality. Would the EHRC? And so girls outperform boys at school? That isn't exactly earth shattering news. We all know what to do.....parents need to put pressure on boys to work hard at school....but do they? In most cases probably not.

  • Comment number 2.

    Is Britain fair? Compared to what??

    In compared to the US Britain is fairer - but in comparison to France and Germany and other EU countries - A DEFINITE NO!!

    We have bigger gaps in Education - Working Conditions - pay - health and welfare than most of the EU - a.n.d. it is going to get worse under "We're all in it together" apology for a government.

  • Comment number 3.

    Fair, just, reasonable, equitable … what are we talking about?

    Of course society anywhere in the world is little better than a lottery.

    Fat cats grow fatter as scraggy kittens drown by the million.

  • Comment number 4.

    With far more women in the lower levels of management and girls significantly out performing boys in academic study, then how long before this subject is relegated to the dustbin of history.

    Never mind about the difference in pay between men and women, what is more important is the difference in pay between those at the top and the rest. It used to be about 1:40 and is more like 1:400 at present.

    Several years ago I visted over 60 firms supplying the high street company I worked for to audit their management systems. I usually talked to a female staff member who I knew administered the system in addition to their main job, and at 2/3 rds the salary of the male equivalent.

    I came to the conclusion that I had seen the future of management in the UK,



    And it wore a skirt.



  • Comment number 5.

    How fair has the UK ever been? The rich still continue to get richer while the poor get poorer.
    Come on Cameron, deliver on you promise of making it fair.

  • Comment number 6.

    I hate these stats.

    Are women taking jobs in lower paid sectors?
    Are they taking identical jobs to the men?
    Do they have the same level of experience as the men they are compared to?

    Can we compare like to like please?

    Women absolutely deserve the same pay for the same work. They also deserve the same access to higher paying jobs..

    Some sort of nebulous statistic that doesn't take demographic and occupational differences into account is useless though. Worse than useless actually, because it perpetuates the idea that there is prejudice and discrimination where there very well may not be.

  • Comment number 7.

    How fair in Britain?

    Too many people sitting on their backsides doing nothing, and being paid the wealth of others to do that. Excessive public services sapping everyone's wealth. A political system that doesn't really represent anyone, run by people we don't really want in control. Jails that don't reform. State schools that don't educate. Wars we didn't need to start, that we shouldn't be fighting. An Olympics we didn't ask for. Huge bureaucracy that works badly. A TV licence system that forces us to pay rather than giving us a choice....

    Not very fair.

  • Comment number 8.

    There is, as NewsStudent says in #1, far too much inequality for it to be served via EHRC. Mr Phillips says "there is a risk of society being divided". He must be joking. Society is already divided, and, as rapidly as one division is identified, another division opens up.

    Recessions are dangerous times, times when scapegoats are readily discovered, pointed at, and targeted with anger, hatred and bitterness because ordinary people are unable to get at the real villains.

    Would the EHRC suggests ways in which ordinary people can "get at" the real villains? It used to be via democracy but even that has been swept aside in the carnage of our one sided, top heavy, botched attempt at being fair.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm constantly penalised for trying to give my family the best that life has to offer. I pay more tax, I work crazy hours, and yet the politicians are constantly trying to engineer things against me.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am SO sick of this word 'fair' being bandied about all the time.

    Life isn't fair; get used to it, get over it and stop whining for goodness sake!

  • Comment number 11.

    Have you been discriminated against?

    As a white,straight male i'm discriminated against every day of my life.

    Actually I'm not, I just thought I'd join in with the usual bleatings from the Daily Mail posse.

    Sometimes its nice to belong.

  • Comment number 12.

    Probably not but that is human nature. Not advocating discrimination but I don't think you will change anything.

    I do have a point on so called positive discrimination. I have missed out on two jobs either because I wasn't a woman or I wasn't black. Annoying and it means I will never apply to those particular public sector organisations again.

  • Comment number 13.

    The first post makes a lot of sense. What we are seeing here is that, as with Health and Safety, what started out as a good idea has turned itself into a self-perpetuating industry. It is right that people should have equality in the eyes of the law, for instance - it would be ridiculous for two motorists, each charged with, say going at 38 in a 30 zone, to pay different fines because of their gender, ethnicity, etc.

    However, what has happened is that certain vocal activists have taken "equal" to mean "identical" and have been busy carving little careers for themselves on this basis. When we had our daughter, I was, being male, unable to breastfeed her. Does this make me "unequal" as a parent? Was it somehow "unfair"? Of course not!

    People come in all shapes and sizes, with all manner of abilities and equally with all manner of things they just can't get to grips with. We should accept this and stop this essentially pointless pursuit of some imagined, Utopian "equality" that can never exist. As a first step, I suggest disbanding the EHRC which seems to exist primarily to allow Trevor Phillips to spout nonsense from time to time. Get a proper job, chum!

  • Comment number 14.

    At least some of the paygap between women and men is down to choice. A lot of women choose to put their family before their career and accept work which fits round family commitments. Additionally because the women's income may be the second income there can be less pressure on her to try and get the maximum income possible. My wife for example is very interested in Health Matters and therefore trained as an OT, she gets paid a reasonable salary but could have earnt far more if she had gone into one of the professions, or if she was prepared to move into a management role, something she chooses not to, as she would much prefer to deal with her patients.
    I myself am an accountant in industry and have never found a paygap where men and women are doing exactly the same job. My Female colleagues have been paid the same as me, and if they wished they could aspire to higher roles. At one compamy my boss for example was female and earning £90k. However she earnt it as her time was not her own, and she effectively had to choose between her career and have a family. You could say she was harshly treated as she had to make this choice, but in my experience men have to make the same choice at that level as the majority of men at a similiar level were either divorced or on their second marriage.

  • Comment number 15.

    This country will never be as fair as we used to until we get rid (permanently) all those who have tried to destroy our long fought for rights. I include police, politicians, bankers, illegal immigrants and civil servants. Doesn't leave too many - does it

  • Comment number 16.

    How many times do we have to listen to this rubbish ?

    Gender pay equality will never happen as women are more likely to be working part-time and the majority of them also take a year or two out of their careers each time they give birth while men are more likely to be in full time work and to have been in continuous employment.

    How about the EHRC investigate the inequality that men face ?
    Maybe the fact that men are many times more likely to be given a custodial sentence for a given crime than a women.

    Or that the family courts are biased in favour of women resulting in men being fleeced by former wives while being denied access to their children.

    Or that the NHS spends four times as much on Breast Cancer research that they spend on Prostate Cancer research and that while women enjoy a £72 million a year cancer screening program, men have to do without such a program and fend for themselves even though more men die of cancer each year than women.

    Or that men are far more likely to be employed in extremely dangerous professions and that even when women are employed in such professions that it is generally the men who end up with the most dangerous tasks and are therefore several times more likely to be killed at work than women.

    Or that there are hundreds of women’s refuges all over the country while there are fewer than five men’s refuges in the whole of the UK and that the domestic abuse support system virtually ignores the needs of vulnerable men who suffer at the hands of their violent partners.

  • Comment number 17.

    "5. At 11:25am on 11 Oct 2010, David Cunningham wrote:
    How fair has the UK ever been? The rich still continue to get richer while the poor get poorer."

    Really? The poor are getting poorer? Than what? Say, the 19th century? The 1950s? The real truth is that standards of living are much much better for all than they were 50 or a 100 years ago. To say otherwise is absurd. Would you rather we went back to houses with no hot water and an outside loo? Rather we returned to 60 hour working weeks and no more than a week's holiday a year? Before the NHS and free state education?

    What you might mean is that the rich and the poor are both getting richer but maybe the poor aren't getting richer at the same rate as the rich.

  • Comment number 18.

    Personally I think the only way to make pay fairer is to make all salaries public to the rest of the company. I think by doing this it would police itself and pay gaps between men and women (and between managers and non-managers) would have to be brought closer in order to retain staff.

  • Comment number 19.

    While the wealthy continue to avoid paying their share of the tax burden, by both fair means and foul, this country remains one which is run by the rich for the rich. That seems pretty unfair to me.

  • Comment number 20.

    This report highlights the danger of statistics. The headline statistic is that on average women earn less than men, it does not take into account what jobs they are in or how much time they have spent in those jobs.

    You would normally expect someone who has been doing a job for longer to be better paid.

    It is much more common in our society for women who are having children to take substantial time out of work in order to raise their families rather than it is for men to do so.

    This means that overall women will have had less time in their job than men and hence a lower average wage.

    So really what the report is saying is that 'In our society, women are more frequently the ones who take time out for raising a family' not what is implied from the headline that 'women get paid less than men just because they are women'.

    Similarly, the ethnic background statistics do not take into account the social background of the individuals.

    If more of a certain ethnic background are in low paid jobs as a proportion of their total population then all inequalities related to low paid jobs (shorter life expectancy etc.) will be artificially over-represented in those ethnic groups.

    So again, what the data really suggests is that 'more people of this ethnic group are in low paid jobs' rather than the headline that 'being in this ethnic group results in poorer life expectancy'.

    The part of this that raises the greatest concern is that reports of this type, with poorly interpreted data, are used to form legislation which does nothing to alter the undelying factors which give rise to the statistic.

    No amount of equal opportunity legislation is going to make mothers more likely to stay in work instead of taking time out to raise their families - I don't say this out of some obscure mysoginistic outlook whereby I think it is a woman's job to take time off to raise the kids, in my experiance it is what most women prefer to do.

    All that is achieved by creating more legislation on the back of these statistics is more expense, both for employers to comply to it and for governments to enforce it with quango's and equal opportunity non-jobs.

  • Comment number 21.

    Fairness to me means if you can afford a car to run your precious offspring to school you don’t need benefits of any kind.

    It also means you don’t give me some trumped-up nonsense about your child paying my pension, or becoming a doctor and saving my life. I paid national insurance for my pension and when your child becomes a doctor then maybe a fair system will reward her properly instead of expecting me to pre-pay for the slim chance your child will avoid prison to become a doctor.

    Fairness to me means tax payers getting the same kind of scrutiny for their tax returns as the unemployed for their benefit claims. After all, tax fiddles cost us a lot more. And having been unemployed and self-employed I know which one is easier to fiddle.

  • Comment number 22.

    "Fairness" appears to have plateaued and it will only reverse under the ConDems with their "Big Society" and their "country needs you" leader.

    The Telegraph has hit the nail on the head when it talks about the coping classes - "Urgent action needed to help millions of “dutiful, middle-aged” couples hit by the demands of Britain’s ageing population".

    If these people (the ones who in the past ran and staffed the voluntary organisations)are not available because of family committments then who is going to take up the slack? Their loss will ultimately reduce fairness.

    The proposed wholesale cull of the professionals employed by the state will further increase unfairness. However, I suspect that the Condems and the Red Ed brigade will think it a price worth paying to reduce the debt.

  • Comment number 23.

    Compared to most Countries around the World Britain is fair.

    Compared to Britain 20 years ago (one generation) Britain is a much fairer society.

    Sadly it's not going to happen over night, but the report shows that in the under 30's group there is the least divide. As this age group works through the system over the next 20 years the divide will fall.

    However until men are able to give birth it's unlikely to be complete even as women will still be the ones carrying the baby and being the main carer for the early years.

    I'd also imagine that because men have more testotrone and so are more aggressive and competative as a result, that this will translate through to promotions and salary negotiations and this will relate to a pay divide to some extent.

  • Comment number 24.

    I have to agree with NewsStudent. Why are people worrying about equal pay when we are losing jobs fast each day because we aren't creating enough to pass it around. We need to bring back the industries and manufactures we had destroyed long time ago as well as create a culture of self-sufficiency. We were once a superpower, we are now inferior power just because we aren't interested in manufacturing, light and heavy industries, job/wealth building, innovation, creativity and education any more.

  • Comment number 25.

    Fair is a personal thing. Is it fair to penalise those who want to improve themselves with a university education? If you think is, then don't be surprised when your cannot get teachers for schools or nurses for hospitals. After all, they probably don't think it is fair to be saddled with debt and then receive poor pay for working for the public.

    Personnally, I didn't think it was fair for Bury Council to regrade nearly all their part time female workers and reduce their salaries by 10% or more. David Cameron thinks it is fair that we carry some of the burden for debts we didn't make and do not benefit from.

    I am sick of being told what fair is and isn't. It's now just a propaganda tool.

  • Comment number 26.

    Britain's never been a fair country. It's never been good at looking after its own people and putting its own people first. And with the Tories and their impending cuts it's going to get a whole lot worse.

  • Comment number 27.

    "The U.K. is not fair, never has been, never will be. The rich get all the pleasure, The poor get all the blame.

  • Comment number 28.

    The generality of people in this country are generous to a fault- we mainly see the aberrations in the press and media. Unfortunately we now have a government that reflects the mean and spiteful elements in society and has built its 'reputation' on knee-jerk responses to these aberrations. I expect inequality to expand exponentially under this government- after all, many of the 600,000 who will lose their jobs in planned cuts will be cleaners and office clerks- jobs where women tend to predominate.The mental attitude of the Tory dinosaurs on the front bench is that they are not breadwinners therefore more expendable though, in fact, most single parents supporting children tend to be women and the sole breadwinner. If these job destructions are counted in terms of family members without a breadwinner, the callousness of Osborne's cuts becomes more evident. Perhaps, to emphasise the unfairness the National Statisticians ought to add two new ways of recording ConDem cuts: Replace new 'unemployed' with 'children without income' and describe the savings in terms of 'bank/business bonus equivalents'. Perhaps these more emotive but more truthful measures will arouse the public's sense of outrage at what the spivs Cameron, Osborne and Clegg are doing to fairness and equality!

  • Comment number 29.

    Not at all,

    While we still have

    A = A monarchy - If the UK tax payer puts even 1 penny towards the royal family we do not have a fair Britain, these are un-elected relics of past times, who are for some reason revered as oppose to being despised as the oppressors they stem from in the past.

    B = House of lords - Undemocratically elected people having any power is 100% against the heart of freedom.

    Demolish these two things then we can talk about a fair Britain.

    People stating that "the Royal Family makes money!!!", is completly against the point, she does not pay taxes.

    On that note ex PM's should also be forced to pay taxes also.

  • Comment number 30.

    Yet more nonsense on the alleged gender pay gap.

    I will repeat the arguments I made on Baroness Kennedy's magazine piece for the BBC.

    The assumption that discrimination is involved in the gender pay gap assumes that men and women are equal in every respect in the workplace. Because of this, any 'gender pay gap' must involve sexism and underlying unfairness.

    Remember, our assumption is that men and women are equal.

    So why is 95% of the prison population male?

    Is it because our original assumption is incorrect? Are men more likely to commit crimes? If so, then men and women can't be equal, can they?

    *) If men and women aren't equal, then is it possible the gender pay gap is mostly due to this 'non-equalness' manifesting itself in other ways? ie, maybe men are actually better at certain kinds of work, and the competitiveness that naturally goes with a successful career.

    *) If however, we continue with our assumption that men and women ARE equal, then we obviously have massive discrimination in the penal system, with men being sent to prison at a vastly increased rate than women. Yet this is never mentioned anywhere. If the 'gender pay gap' was of such huge proportions, there would be a national outcry.

  • Comment number 31.

    It is totally unfair in UK, we bale out the banks and then the bankers get richer still.
    Graduates are told not only to pay for their own training and career development, but are also charged interested. If I was a recent graduate I would get out of this country as fast as my legs would carry me. Take this point a chemist graduate spends 3 years studying chemistry and the gets offered £13000 as a wage. what is the point of studying sceince in the UK it does not pay

  • Comment number 32.

    11. At 11:31am on 11 Oct 2010, Horse wrote:
    "Have you been discriminated against?

    As a white,straight male i'm discriminated against every day of my life.

    Actually I'm not, I just thought I'd join in with the usual bleatings from the Daily Mail posse.

    Sometimes its nice to belong."


    Sometimes it's nicer still to actually make a point and back up your arguments with evidence. Unless they themselves are just 'bleatings'.

    From someone who is not a fan of the Daily Mail.

  • Comment number 33.

    All these figures compare facts that are not comparable.
    On average women earn less than men but on average more women go into lower paid professions (compare e.g. nurses and stockbrokers), work part-time or simply stay at home to look after children (earnings = zero).
    The starting point for the discussion is invalid.

  • Comment number 34.

    Of course Britain isn`t fair, never has been never will be. All the time we have class distinction we will have unfairness. It`s not in the interest of those who wield the stick to encourage fairness. Fairness requires people to accept that all are equally valued in society. Fairness is what justice really is.

  • Comment number 35.

    Life isn't fair, full stop. This sort of thing is, amongst other things, turning us into a nation of moaners, claimants and misery guts.

    Keep calm and carry on.

  • Comment number 36.

    This has to be the none story of the day.
    If 1,000 people were given the wealth, shared out equally, of a society it is guaranteed that by the end of the day some people would have no money and others would be rich: it is called the survival of the fittest.
    We all have different values and different aspirations. Some are content to laze in the sun whilst others prefer to get off their backsides and work. Some are content to whinge and blame others for being born to achieving families.
    Our society is better than it was in Victorian times and will continue to improve and therefore become more fair.

  • Comment number 37.

    Have I been discriminated against? Yes - twice

    My job has equal pay for equal job - But positive discrimination abounds - I applied for two different jobs - I didn't get them BECAUSE I wasn't a black woman but a white male. (they wanted a "broader representation" nothing to do with ability)

    I'm all in favour of a meritocracy - but not positive discrimination on the grounds of colour or gender.

    In a few months it was proved that said black women were very poor at their jobs - In fact I took over both jobs immediately afterwards and did them better as was acknowledged later.

  • Comment number 38.

    This brings to mind the phrase "lies, damned lies and statistics".

    With the set of figures available the statistics can show what you want. As an example, is the pay gap affected by working hours? Do we find that men tend to have full-time jobs or work overtime where women may take part-time employment or balance their life differently? I don't know the answer, but the point is valid. With a guaranteed minimum wage we know that there cannot be any inequality of pay for hours worked at the bottom of the ladder, so the inequality is either in pay further up, in hours worked further up, or in the number of women employed at various higher levels. If it's pay, then publishing salaries would solve that immediately, however embarassing for some employers and employees. If it's hours worked then there is no problem and the commission should pack up and leave. If it's an employment issue then positive discrimination (sorry, action) has been tried - why did it fail?

  • Comment number 39.

    16. At 11:38am on 11 Oct 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    How many times do we have to listen to this rubbish ?

    Gender pay equality will never happen as women are more likely to be working part-time and the majority of them also take a year or two out of their careers each time they give birth while men are more likely to be in full time work and to have been in continuous employment.

    How about the EHRC investigate the inequality that men face ?
    Maybe the fact that men are many times more likely to be given a custodial sentence for a given crime than a women.

    Or that the family courts are biased in favour of women resulting in men being fleeced by former wives while being denied access to their children.

    Or that the NHS spends four times as much on Breast Cancer research that they spend on Prostate Cancer research and that while women enjoy a £72 million a year cancer screening program, men have to do without such a program and fend for themselves even though more men die of cancer each year than women.

    Or that men are far more likely to be employed in extremely dangerous professions and that even when women are employed in such professions that it is generally the men who end up with the most dangerous tasks and are therefore several times more likely to be killed at work than women.

    Or that there are hundreds of women’s refuges all over the country while there are fewer than five men’s refuges in the whole of the UK and that the domestic abuse support system virtually ignores the needs of vulnerable men who suffer at the hands of their violent partners.

    ---------

    That is exactly what i wanted to say and you said it better.

  • Comment number 40.

    16. At 11:38am on 11 Oct 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    How many times do we have to listen to this rubbish ?

    Gender pay equality will never happen as women are more likely to be working part-time and the majority of them also take a year or two out of their careers each time they give birth while men are more likely to be in full time work and to have been in continuous employment

    = = = = = = =

    Sorry wrong - My job has equal pay for equal jobs irrespective of gender - all due to the unions campaigning for equal pay for years in the 70s.

  • Comment number 41.

    The problem is, the comparison is not a fair one.

    Men and women doing the same hours in the same job get paid the same amount. That is the law, and has been for 35 years.

    What makes the comparison unfair is, there are more women doing low-paid jobs.

    The REAL inequality in this country is between the rich and the poor.

  • Comment number 42.

    16. At 11:38am on 11 Oct 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    "How many times do we have to listen to this rubbish ?"

    (and then lots of points I agree with wholeheartedly)

    SPOT ON! The attitude in the media in this country is: if it affects women negatively, it MUST BE REMEDIED. If it affects men negatively, then it MUST BE IGNORED.

    Men must always be the aggressor and the culprit. They can never be the victims. Women must always be the 'victims'. If women have problems, it is always men's fault. If it IS the woman's fault, she must have been 'forced' to make the mistake, by misogyny or reduced opportunities, or oppression.

    If we have a perceived 'gender pay gap' we have to immediately assume sexism against women and introduce ridiculous benchmarks, women-only shortlists, and other unfair methods which have no place in a meritocracy.

    If men die younger, we don't care.
    If men work longer hours and more dangerous jobs, we don't care.
    If men have their children ripped away from them in the family courts, we don't care.
    If men are homeless, we don't care.
    If men commit suicide, we don't care.
    If men get beaten by their spouse, we don't care (unless it's to mock or belittle them).
    If men die of cancer, we don't care.
    If vastly more men are in prison than women, we don't care (unless we are getting the Howard League of Penal reform to push for NO prison time for women)
    If men are routinely portrayed as ignorant, stupid, aggressive brutes on television, we don't care.
    If a BBC show asks the question "Do we really need men anymore anyway?", we don't care.
    If men suffer, we don't care.

  • Comment number 43.

    Everyone should be given an equal opportunity at a job and should be judged on their skills and merits.

    What would be unfair would be deliberately appointing someone who was less qualified than another BECAUSE they're a man or a woman.

  • Comment number 44.

    There is a world of difference between fairness and equality. In financial terms we can acheive equality by taking money from those who have money and giving it to those who don't. If those that have it earned it and those getting it did not that hardly qualifies as fairness.

    In Gender and race equality a similar principle applies. We must make it possible for people of both genders and all races to achieve the same. What we must not do is give certain groups jobs, positions, influence etc on a plate at the expense of those who have worked for it and are more suitable candidates.

    I think this a major area where society has gone wrong in the last few decades. We confused equality and fairness.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    I work with a woman who is brilliant at her job, suffers from low self esteem, is paid a good 20% less than her male colleagues doing identical jobs but won't do anything about it. If that attitude is mirrored across the U.K. they've only themselves to blame, legislation is in place to enable a person to claim their right of equal pay. One sector of the workforce, and indeed of society that is unfairly treated are the single people. Single people can be those not choosing to marry and live on their own (not those who say they don't but do shack up with a partner ), a divorcee, a widow or widower that are trying to survive on one income. This is a group who seem to be paying for everyone else. I don't have children but my taxes prop up a miriade of family groups from single mothers, immigrants children and all those imbetween. It doesn't matter what sort of house we (single people) live in we pay 75% of what a family of 2 or more pay, some families have an army of working children but only pay 25% more than a person on their own pays. We don't get any fair play because we're an easy group to mug, particularly the single elderley. A lot of attention is given to protecting children but those most at risk are the elderley. Many have given sweat and tears over many years for their country, they are the ones least likely or have the resources and interlect to complain, yet get the least help of any group of people in the U.K. that is grossly unfair.

  • Comment number 47.

    Britain was BUILT upon inequality, and the belief that a class structure was essential to a stable society. Nothing's changed since.

  • Comment number 48.

    Of course things aren't fair because there is diversity. Men and women are different so there can't be fairness unless you wipe the slate clean and have no ties to the past...
    Men / Women
    eg the terms gentlemen and associated actions ie holding a door open for a lady, giving up your seat for a lady, if all were equal / fair then these actions would have no place / consideration.
    from a legal perspective - when it comes to children women are favoured ie how often are women awarded custody of the children.
    Old / Young
    Respect your elders etc...


    The list goes on and on, sex, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity etc, whilst people are different and continue to celebrate these differences then they will enjoy benefits that accompany these and hence there will be inequality.


  • Comment number 49.

    Whilst I aspire to equality I actually don't believe its possible. I do believe in opportunity for all. My life chances should be about what I do and don't do.

    The problem with meritocracy is very few systems seem to run with it. Certainly not reflected in our political and class system. Access to credit, access to the right sort of school for the individual... all that stuff is about as much fiction as equality. Our system is run on *isms and gung-ho loud-mouths thinking they are so right-on when defending the *ism of the day and it paralyses any opportunities for all on merit. The worst were race quotas, and gender quotas which I cite as proof there is no opportunity and no equality because of those quota-quoting idiots and their bonkers yahoo-ing.

    Things could change, but we need to get passed political correctness which is another form of censorship.

  • Comment number 50.

    ill take less pay and less hours and be a house husband and look after the kids ( oh ill tajke the 6 months maternity leave too)my gf can go to work all the time earn more do more overtime etc
    oh and actually get to see my kids more than just 7- 10 at night
    with a few cheeky hours on my xbox!!

    i dont think i will be complaining one bit! bring on equality!!
    women seriously why do you want to work the same as men lol id gladly trade places!! but a man asking to stay home and look after the kids thats not allowed! so hows that fair!

  • Comment number 51.

    It all depends what is accepted as fair-if its the hoary old chestnut of race, that died a death a long time ago and is only kept alive by the numerous quangos with a vested interest to keep a useless job going.However there isnt fairness in wages between men and women.There isnt fairness between rich and poor.There isnt fairness in society where those who are asked to provide care virtually for free are treated worse than someone claiming JSA or people in prison.There isnt fairness where the old have to freeze to death because fuel is just unaffordable.There isnt fairness where immigrants are favoured over those born in the UK regards jobs,housing and in many cases benefits.
    I could go on and on picking examples but I think you can say I believe this country is far from fair.

  • Comment number 52.

    The problem with out fair country is that the more problems we define the more people expect to be given some financial assistance to "cope"

    I have been in my profession for 25 years, I have a bad back, neck pain, can I give it all up and have the fair society pay for me and my family to live as we do? Heck we might even have more time with the kids and more holidays.

    I sometimes get depressed at the state of the country, the yobs ruining my neighbourhood, the less deserving being given a lifestyle, my never ending bills, having to make sure that my car is legal, my house has insurance, any changes I make to my house fit with new legal requirements, my kids being bullied by "special needs" children at school.. the list is endless, maybe I should just kill myself? But no most of us persevere to work for our families.

    Just perhaps a real good shake up is what all those with palms outstretched need?

  • Comment number 53.

    We could save an awful lot of money by getting rid of dotty so called advisory bodies like the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Listening to the Today programme this morning with Trevor Phillips, I have never heard such claptrap in my life and I have heard some over the years.

  • Comment number 54.

    Not a rigorous statistical analysis but during my 50 some years, I have noticed a difference between poorer and more wealthy, namely that - as most would expect - the more intelligent you are the better your chances of being well-off. No, it isn't a hard and fast rule but an acceptable general rule of thumb. Of course there are those who get their wealth from mommy and daddy or the lottery but they are a minority. If you have brains you tend to be adaptable - consequently a better earner, and more health conscious. That explains much of the health inequality as far as I'm concerned. There is a larger proportion of the poor who smoke and eat fry-ups than the well off. Do you see many transport cafes selling muesli?

    Society doesn't say the poor and relatively lower intelligent should die earlier and health services don't neglect them. They make the choices they do for exactly the same reasons that they tend not to be well-off.

    People need to take responsibility for their own choices. If you smoke, drink and eat BigMacs too frequently then you're likely to die earlier.

  • Comment number 55.

    Live long enough and you will know how unfair a system we live under. The illusion of fairness is demanded of the pleb whilst the privileged lie, cheat, con and destroy lives. I have yet to meet a successful person that is of a fair nature towards mankind.

  • Comment number 56.

    What a pack of lies. And you, the BBC, fruthering these lies. THERE IS NO GENDER PAY GAP. There is not. There is not. There is a PARENT pay gap. If women, on average, are paid less, it is because women, on average, have fewer years in the workplace - that is all this is. I'm sick of hearing about this - and equality? Stuff that. I've had it with "equality" - imposed and smashed down on us from above. All anyone shoudl expect is equality of opportunity - and we have that. If Bangladeshi girls can achieve, then why can't Pakistani boys? Is this MY fault? Is this white English males' fault? No.

    Take my taxes to subsidise marxists like Trevor Phillips and this "equalities" crusade? I'm fed up with this. Is there *anyone* we can vote for who will give this garbage the elbow?

  • Comment number 57.

    Fair? How is it fair that people who got free degrees are now choosing whether or not the new generation should be lumped with a lifetime of huge debt?

    How fair is it that this country is supposed to be a democracy, yet if the majority don't agree with the laws being proposed, there is nothing we can do about it?

    There are a lot of things that aren't fair in this country, but there seems to be no way of doing anything about it.

  • Comment number 58.

    "Have you been discriminated against?"

    I was once actually told I didn't get a job because I was a man and the (male) manager found women 'easier to control'!!! I didn't bother to protest as I certainly didn't want to work in such an environment.

  • Comment number 59.

    Oh and I asnwered this question two years ago - nice to see the rest of the media have finally grasped that "fair" has multiple, conflicting, definitions and meanings.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/may/03/fairenough

    You only need to consider two - "fair shares", ie, equal slices of the cake. "Fair reward", ie, proportionate rewards given for efforts made.

    In a welfare state, both meanings cannot coexist. Hence, our doomed nation.

  • Comment number 60.

    Here we go again .. someone always wants something without working for it , "its my colour " "its because im from somewhere" "its because im a woman / man " this is what the Brits do best moan and complain but at the wrong things . not much in this life is fair ..you are born in the wrong section of society ie rich or poor ..not that you hear the rich complaining much unless its about their expenses , no im sorry but it is not a fair world , but i can do without Mr Phillips telling me about it thanks .

  • Comment number 61.

    Do you think Britain is a fair country? I would like to hope so.

    Have you been discriminated against? Yes. I'm a single middle-aged indigenous disabled heterosexual white male.

    How can the gap in inequality be closed? That's for the politician's and employers to figure out.

    Can equality be ever achieved? Alas, not during my lifetime.

  • Comment number 62.

    Unfortunately, historically the world of work was dominated by men, as women stayed at home. Much as we'd all like to see equality, it's going to take a long time to change. You can't change this overnight.

  • Comment number 63.

    27. At 11:52am on 11 Oct 2010, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:
    "The U.K. is not fair, never has been, never will be. The rich get all the pleasure, The poor get all the blame."

    That's a great soundbite, isn't it? The rich get all the pleasure, The poor get all the blame. Awesome!

    Doesn't work though, does it? Which poor people get the blame? The bankers? The politicians? The public sector directors?

  • Comment number 64.

    This is not as simple as some people seem to think
    For example access to high profile posts such as judges often comes with age and experience. E.g. how many high court judges are in their 20s? So if most of the judges are in their late 50s and 60s and there was exclusion up to say 20 years ago how can you expect any of the excluded groups have gained the same experience as WASP males in the same age group. It will take a few more years yet for that discrimination to work itself out of the system.
    If you try to quickly rebalance this by so called positive discrimiation and insist on a certain mix within any group that just makes the situation worse. It is not positive discrimination if someone is excluded from joining that group because they belong to the majority and the position goes to a less able or qualified person on the basis they belong to a minority. Everyone should be treated as an individual but too often the unscupulous use the minority card as an excuse for their lack of ability and experience.
    Monitor and ensure selection to positions, pay for the job, treatment etc is on the basis of ability and suitability but avoid quotas as that is just as discriminatory, so called positive discrimination is still discrimination and can mean the best person for a post does not get the job.
    Even then there will continue to be some form of discrimination on the basis of intelligence, education, ability, who you know, how you interview and possibly even areas not yet covered like height, weight, accent, how you dress etc.
    Treating everyone equally for everythinga total impossibility but ensuring everyone is treated fairly is something different

  • Comment number 65.

    The Gender pay gap will cease to exist when men and women become equal and that will never happen.

    Women give birth, have maternity pay/time off with kids etc... something men generally don't do, therefore, If I was employing a woman of child bearing age, I'd pay her less than a man doing the same job, as she will (on average) be less productive, due to the reasons listed above.

    Just don't advertise it and you won't get sued.

  • Comment number 66.

    45. At 12:15pm on 11 Oct 2010, Christine wrote:
    Britain is incredibly unfair and worst of all if you're a middle class woman. As a middle class woman you've probably spent a large chunk of your life working hard for good grades and a good degree. You've probably also married a man with a similar background. When you're finally established enough in your job and have paid off your student debts you may consider having children. But as you've worked hard for it, and you enjoy it, you don't want to give up work. It then comes as a huge shock to find out that if you have 2 children in full time nursery, you might as well be working for free as your entire salary after tax goes to pay the nursery, with maybe a little bit left over to pay for your petrol to travel to and from work, your stale sandwiches and maybe an outfit or two every year so that you can look decent at work.



    --------------------------------

    Are you suggesting that it's unfair because women are the ones who have babies?

  • Comment number 67.

    I am sick to death of being told by Trevor Philips what is fair for us. What would be fair, would be to have a White head of the EHRC. When are we going to get a White head of the EHRC, who will represent White Interests. The EHRC seems to act only for ethnics; in my opinion they are a total waste of space. Trevor Philips should resign.

  • Comment number 68.

    Anything but fair...
    I work all hours so I can pay taxes which are given away to people who can't be bothered
    My chances of getting many jobs are reduced because I am white, middle aged, male, able bodied - this is because of 'positive' descrimination in many places for women, ethnic minorities, the poor, the disabled etc. etc. etc. (positive for one is certainly negative for another).
    I have a house so I will lose out on benefits designed to help the poor but actually just get abused by those who could save but would rather have 15 children, holidays to exotic locations and a lot to drink and smoke.
    And worst of all of course, those with rich parents or who happen to play golf with the right people get given extraordinarily over paid 'jobs' usually doing nothing useful, paying no tax and avoiding taking responsibility for anything.

    Still, I guess at least I am still breathing - although I'm sure as a 'middle classed' (what ever thats suppsoed to mean) I will soon be taxed for that as well.

  • Comment number 69.

    There will always be inequality of one kind or another. Someone said that it will be more of a travesty of justice to try to make everyone equal.

  • Comment number 70.

    I think 16 said it best. When a couple break up, why is it always the woman who gets custody of the child, when the father can quite easily raise children just as well as the mother.
    Ladies, if you want equality, then it goes both ways!

  • Comment number 71.

    Forty years ago, a bright boy or girl from a working-class home in South Wales, Tyneside or Lancashire could attend a grammar school, then a good university, without having to worry about fees, and could rely upon their local education authority to provide an adequate maintenance grant.
    Thanks to meddlesome social engineering by successive governments, equality of opportunity in higher education is now heavily weighted in favour of stupid children from well-off homes.
    Despite great Matriculation (O Level) results, my Dad had to leave school in 1934, because his parents needed his wage and couldn't afford to support him in further and higher education. That was unjust and unfair then, and it's unjust and unfair now.

  • Comment number 72.

    The world is a competitive place. People who point to the Continent as being a model society? Well they are certainly paying for their costly ventures just like the rest of the world. As for the rich/poor debate, I am in a position of being neither rich nor poor but I want for nothing. I have and will continue to average a 60hr week. Should I be penalised with taxes for working harder, longer. I still maintain a family life, with wife and daughter. We still have quality time together and are comfortably off. I know quite a lot of 'rich' people. I do not think they do less than 60 -70 hours a week even when they are on holiday. Most people who complain could not keep up with the working day of these rich people. To complain all the time of bankers and this and that. In the end of the day, you borrorw what you can afford to pay back, never live beyond your means and generally you will be okay. Most people who were caught out have credit card bills in their thousands, cars which are new. I drive a 1998 car with 130000 miles on the clock. Buying houses which they could not afford. And now they want to blame everyone except themselves. During the time of Blair and Brown the government squandered everything on public services. At the end of the day who puts the money in the coffers to start the ball rolling? Society is fair, free health, education - the rest is up to people to get off their backsides and travel to find work, travel to find houses. My daily travel to work is nearly 5 hours. Anyone out there want to join me day in day out sometimes on Saturday too? This means no pub , no alcohol etc..just enough time to spend some time with family and then bed...oh and then you have to study to keep up with latest developments too....Those who are moaning...GET A LIFE and DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES!

  • Comment number 73.

    40. At 12:07pm on 11 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    16. At 11:38am on 11 Oct 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    "How many times do we have to listen to this rubbish ?

    Gender pay equality will never happen as women are more likely to be working part-time and the majority of them also take a year or two out of their careers each time they give birth while men are more likely to be in full time work and to have been in continuous employment

    = = = = = = =

    Sorry wrong - My job has equal pay for equal jobs irrespective of gender - all due to the unions campaigning for equal pay for years in the 70s."

    Sigh. Sorry but you are wrong.

    An 'equal job' cannot be performed by an employee with less experience.
    Men generally have more experience due to not taking career breaks.
    Therefore they generally do a better job.
    Therefore they generally get paid more for doing a better job.

    Every year I have a performance review. Based on my performance I get a pay increase (or not). If I do a good job and am demonstrably better than my peers (male and female), I get a bigger salary increase. This system is fair and equitable and demolishes the 'gender pay gap argument'. Hope that makes more sense now.

  • Comment number 74.

    There are some things that aren't fair in Britain - such as those who work actually being worse off than some of the unemployed. No, not all of course, and I'm not saying all the unemployed are scroungers by any means. It's also unfair to penalise the genuinely unemployed simply because there aren't the jobs for them to take up.

    But it's also true that some things that look initially unfair MAY not be so. For example, a recent report by the company "Robert Half", on pay in Accountancy found that, on average a male accountant over 45 earns 98K, while the average female over 45 earns 60K. On the face of it that seems discriminatory until you consider that, again on average, the men work more hours, have been in permanent work longer and qualified earlier. But, on the other hand, the encumbant male managers tend to prefer masculine methods of working - and so reward male workers with higher bonuses - plus men are more likely to be more forceful in negotiating their salaries. It could be argued that the former of these is discriminatory but the latter is down to the women. If you don't argue well for your increased salary then why should a company give you more if you are prepared to work for less? They are trying to reduce their costs, after all.

    A couple of people here have commented that life isn't fair, so just get over it. That is a ridiculous, lazy view-point. Life is as fair as WE care to make it, in many ways. We, as a society, should ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity. After that it is down to application by the individual.

  • Comment number 75.

    Life isn't fair! Get used to it.

  • Comment number 76.

    For goodness sake; life is not fair.
    Get used to it, no amount of social tinkering and stupid laws will change that. Women are paid less because many women take time off to have kids. Those that don't aren't paid any less than male equivalents.
    Some ethnic minorities (and indigenous Brits) live in deprived areas and go to rough schools with demoralised teachers who are subjected to violence but the students. No surprise that these kids grow up not to be Nobel prize winners.
    We have enough liberal laws in this country to ensure everyone has a shot at making something of themselves. No more, if people can't or won't make the most of their opportunities tough. They deserve less pay and having to do a crummy job for rubbish pay.

  • Comment number 77.

    I read just under half way down the page and i didnt have to read anymore. Everyone (not meaning everyone on here, just in general) is so busy pointing the finger and pointing out why they or certain people have it worse instead of anyone actually figuring out a way of fixing the problems we have.

  • Comment number 78.

    I did an essay about this a few years back. When doing my research, I read an article (I forget who it was by, or I would cite it, obv!)

    It said there is not such much a glass celiing, more a labyrinth of management- some people might have an easy ride, always making the right choices, other could just be unfortunate and make the wrong choice each time. But knowing the system will help you get there quicker.So will having a map laid made by someone who has already got to the end!

    Bascially, if you want it enough, and don't get disheartened by deadends, you will make it to the middle!

  • Comment number 79.

    I think the government should abolish this quango (Equality and Human Rights Commission) too.
    Women earned less on average then men because on average they have less pressure on them to make a career. Simples.

  • Comment number 80.

    · 17. At 11:41am on 11 Oct 2010, AndyC555 wrote:
    "5. At 11:25am on 11 Oct 2010, David Cunningham wrote:
    How fair has the UK ever been? The rich still continue to get richer while the poor get poorer."

    Really? The poor are getting poorer? Than what? Say, the 19th century? The 1950s? The real truth is that standards of living are much much better for all than they were 50 or a 100 years ago. To say otherwise is absurd. Would you rather we went back to houses with no hot water and an outside loo? Rather we returned to 60 hour working weeks and no more than a week's holiday a year? Before the NHS and free state education?

    What you might mean is that the rich and the poor are both getting richer but maybe the poor aren't getting richer at the same rate as the rich.

    ####################

    How about the rich get richer at the expense of the poor.

    Or

    The rich get richer, paid for by the poor.

    Or

    The rich get richer by the exploitation of the poor


  • Comment number 81.

    As usual, it's women at the top telling the rest of us how bad women have it...

    Women are being given massive educational advantages, they have the best grades at school and university - and statistics, as highlighted by the BBC, show women under 30 to be consistently getting the best jobs, yet we compare the young (pay gap less than 5%) with the older generations, where there is no chance of fixing the balance

    So this is probably to the detriment of young men, as it once was to women, solely so we can 'balance the books' now, rather than wait for long term effects

  • Comment number 82.

    42. At 12:11pm on 11 Oct 2010, entreri100404 wrote:
    16. At 11:38am on 11 Oct 2010, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:
    "How many times do we have to listen to this rubbish ?"

    (and then lots of points I agree with wholeheartedly)

    SPOT ON! The attitude in the media in this country is: if it affects women negatively, it MUST BE REMEDIED. If it affects men negatively, then it MUST BE IGNORED.

    Men must always be the aggressor and the culprit. They can never be the victims. Women must always be the 'victims'. If women have problems, it is always men's fault. If it IS the woman's fault, she must have been 'forced' to make the mistake, by misogyny or reduced opportunities, or oppression.

    If we have a perceived 'gender pay gap' we have to immediately assume sexism against women and introduce ridiculous benchmarks, women-only shortlists, and other unfair methods which have no place in a meritocracy.

    If men die younger, we don't care.
    If men work longer hours and more dangerous jobs, we don't care.
    If men have their children ripped away from them in the family courts, we don't care.
    If men are homeless, we don't care.
    If men commit suicide, we don't care.
    If men get beaten by their spouse, we don't care (unless it's to mock or belittle them).
    If men die of cancer, we don't care.
    If vastly more men are in prison than women, we don't care (unless we are getting the Howard League of Penal reform to push for NO prison time for women)
    If men are routinely portrayed as ignorant, stupid, aggressive brutes on television, we don't care.
    If a BBC show asks the question "Do we really need men anymore anyway?", we don't care.
    If men suffer, we don't care.
    ......................................................................
    Sorry, but your description does not match the thinking of anybody I know. I am a woman but care deeply when anybody is abused or used, male or female. The poor me because I'm a man fails to move me as much as the poor me because I'm a woman.

    As a woman, if I want something I work for it and do not expect it to be handed to me on a plate. Neither do I need some idiot telling me that life's not fair. Anybody over the age of 16 already knows this.

    Get used to it, get over it and get on with it.

  • Comment number 83.

    We still have a gender pay gap because more women than men are in part-time, lower-paid work- it's generally not because women are getting paid less for the equivalent job, although I'm sure there are places where that does happen.

    That doesn't mean the situation isn't sexist though- if it wasn't for the fact that everyone assumes dads will work full-time and mums will stay at home/only work part-time in order to care for their children, more women might work full-time and the gender pay gap would close a bit more. There isn't much provision for paternity leave and in some workplaces it wouldn't be seen as acceptable for a man to take that leave, which isn't very fair. It's stuff like that- unequal provision for those who want to do things differently to the old norms- that perpetuates things like a pay gap, not the amount that employers are willing to pay people.

  • Comment number 84.

    55. At 12:23pm on 11 Oct 2010, no-thing wrote:

    Live long enough and you will know how unfair a system we live under. The illusion of fairness is demanded of the pleb whilst the privileged lie, cheat, con and destroy lives. I have yet to meet a successful person that is of a fair nature towards mankind.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Absolutely. Successful people do not become so due to them being caring humanitarians, but by cheating the the system, society and individuals. If that means the weaker fall by the wayside...so what? Capitalism is the greatest of sins.

  • Comment number 85.

    Britain is no longer a fair country to live in - and to be borne into !

    There was a time when to have a job, in a respected industry was something to be proud of and gave us respect - This has now all gone in the quest for profit. We import far more than we export even down to food and drink !!

    Our assets of industrial strength have been taken over - sold - gone into liquidation etc., all in the satisfying of greed.

    Thus of course - We have debt - We have rising unemployment - We have a deteriorating economy - We have developed a benefit culture etc., but within this we have those who govern and represent our interest Claiming unwarrented and Unjustified Expenses - Claiming relief on non existant mortgages - receiving obscene salaries and pensions etc., etc.

    Of course Britain is no longer a fair environment - We can no longer afford our Education - Health - Security and Welfare.

    We are not being Led and Represented by a dedicated Government !

    The Rich continually get richer whilst the Poorer are continually becomingg poorer !

    We are as a country - The Laughing Stock - The Servants of others - Really we should be Ashamed of what we are becoming and have become !!

  • Comment number 86.

    This looks like a pointless report (paid for by the taxpayer!) with a meaningless statistic given just to gain the headlines by a media which doesn't bother investigating itself.

    So what if 'women on average earn less than men' - that doesn't tell us anything. Women (on average) often take lower paid jobs for flexibility, or take time out for looking after children etc. Men (on average) don't have that choice, and have to earn as much as they can to feed their family, even if it means longer hours, more travelling etc.

    The only way to get a sensible statistic on this would be to look at two people (one woman, one man) doing identical jobs, for the same company, with the same amount of effort and ability, and see if they get paid the same hourly rate. I'd expect that in most places they would be. Unfortunately, the number of places you could get this level of similarity in job description/performance would be quite small - especially in higher paid jobs.

    Making salaries public within a company MAY help, but also could lead to misplaced resentment because people don't understand other peoples' jobs, or don't realise their different abilities at the job.

  • Comment number 87.

    Also - 70 million quid for the EHRC, 400 employees

    That's the operational budget of a decent sized company, to do what - fiddle around with statistics?

    Scrap it - I just saved 70 million more than the government, and more fairly!

  • Comment number 88.

    We are not all equal and therefore should not be rewarded equally. Its a fact of life.

    Surely we waste so much time trying to be fair we end up with beaurcratic mess that is less fair.


    We shouldnt be asking whats fair we should be asking as per JFK 1962.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."

  • Comment number 89.

    Former eton boy "Dave middle class" Cameron feeling he can talk about fairness is society is not fair!!

  • Comment number 90.

    Oh not this drivel again.

    I have never worked anywhere where women have been paid or promoted less than EQUALLY ABLE male colleagues. I have worked in many places where women have spent half their lives off, pursuing their choice of family life, expect their colleagues to cover for them and then turn up come 'pay and promotions' time demanding statistically ‘equal’ rewards.

    Outside play jobs, like working for the CRE, turning up and contributing something actually matters. In my experience individuals who turn up and contribute get rewarded better than those that don’t.

  • Comment number 91.

    59. At 12:27pm on 11 Oct 2010, FrankFisher wrote:

    You only need to consider two - "fair shares", ie, equal slices of the cake. "Fair reward", ie, proportionate rewards given for efforts made.

    In a welfare state, both meanings cannot coexist. Hence, our doomed nation.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another thing to consider is value. Let`s take a nurse and a banker. Banks say they need to pay these vast wages to keep talent. Now, considering what`s happened is this value, or is it perceived value? The nurse on far less money does an incredibly important job, saving lives. Is this value? People put value on those things that are important to them at any one time. If i need medical treatment i would rather a nurse look after me than a banker, so a nurse is far more valuable. As for a banker i cannot think of one solitary thing that makes him worth his salary. Every job has an intrinsic value. What that value is depends on how that job is perceived and not necessarily it`s true value.

  • Comment number 92.

    Fair? Equal?

    No two human are the same, it is the nature of things, stop trying to say that they are. Clever people excel, talented people excel; in the wild, these qualities are replaced my strength.

  • Comment number 93.

    Of course this inequality still exists, it isn’t impossible to prove your merit and prove yourself in the workplace, but being a woman and asian woman means I have to work 10 times harder, than my white male colleague. I’m fed up of seeing women, work as hard as men if not harder - and get 0 recognition

  • Comment number 94.

    'ill take less pay and less hours and be a house husband and look after the kids ( oh ill tajke the 6 months maternity leave too)my gf can go to work all the time earn more do more overtime etc
    oh and actually get to see my kids more than just 7- 10 at night
    with a few cheeky hours on my xbox!!'

    Why can't you do it? My partner does. I went back to work at 4 months (when full pay stopped) and he looks after our daughter. For the record we both agree the other sex has had a rough time of it all these years. I hardly get to see her and he is knackered and feeling like all his education and training is going to waste and it'll be harder to get back on the career ladder. Still we love it, we'd love it more if we had more money (i'm below avg earner) but hey.
    And no, all you childless/single taxpayers, you are not funding my child anymore than I'm funding your roads/police/firemen etc... I like that we live in a welfare state - we should help each other out and generally be more tolerant of other's lifestyle choices - obviously cons and slackers are not included here, you have to put something into the system to take something out I believe. Although the way some of the dismissive singles/childless folk talk on this board you'd think they were selfless saints paying for everyone else whilst never having seeing any benefit themselves...riiiiiiiiggghhhtttt...we'll ignore the NHS, free education and opportunities that exist in this country will we?
    oh and don't complain about being discriminated against based on sex (bloke who was turned down for not being a woman) unless you actively went and complained about it - women started doing that years ago, men didn't do it for us so why would anyone else do it for you? I worked in local govt recruitment and in order to meet targets on diversity the plans were to advertise in places that allowed different sections of society to see the job and ensure it was available to all - there was never ever any talk of hiring a woman / bme because we were down on targets. not to mention all the personal details sections of the forms were never shown to the shortlisters.

  • Comment number 95.

    82. At 1:04pm on 11 Oct 2010, suzie127 wrote:

    "Sorry, but your description does not match the thinking of anybody I know."

    Maybe you need to expand your circle of friends.

    "I am a woman but care deeply when anybody is abused or used, male or female. The poor me because I'm a man fails to move me as much as the poor me because I'm a woman."

    I'm not saying 'poor me', though. What I am saying is that it is fundamentally hypocritical and unfair to continually go on about how hard women have it while totally ignoring the problems and sexism that exists AGAINST males.

    "As a woman, if I want something I work for it and do not expect it to be handed to me on a plate."

    Then please publicise your attitude to people like Harriet Harman, the Guardian, the BBC... tell them they are speaking nonsense when they perpetuate the 'woman as victim' myth.

    "Neither do I need some idiot telling me that life's not fair. Anybody over the age of 16 already knows this."

    So you don't actually have an argument, then? That's cool.

    "Get used to it, get over it and get on with it."

    How about, er... NO!
    If women had done that they never would have got the vote.
    So no, I won't shut up and stop complaining.
    Neither should you expect me to.
    Pfft.

  • Comment number 96.

    Fairness is a myth that can never be truely achieved.

    A simple test. If I write:

    1. Women are terrible drivers (This will spark endless claims sexist)
    2. Men are terrible drivers (Little if no response)


    The same is true with certain groups of people which if Identify the BBC will remove and others which it wont.

    I.e. critise Christians, Ok but other religions and I will have my comment removed.

    Male, White, young, Christian, British, Car Drivers, Smokers, Fat, English is okay to discriminate against anything else its not.


  • Comment number 97.

    ill treat women equal when they and the system do the same for men
    i think thats FAIR!

    the state sides with the mother.
    sexual harrasment favours the women no matter how silly the crime ive seen people found guilty for grabing somebodys bum! seriously its a bum grab not sexual assault.
    women are favoured in rape men do not get annonimty women do false claims are usual not punished either.
    women get the children in a divorce etc why? the man can do just as good a job? or sureley your admiting 2 gay men cant be parents?
    women can clain 50% of a mans fortue even though its was 100% his before they met and she can claim 50% of his future earnings? and ontop of that money for the kids. i dont see many men getting that deal

    look into these and then we can talk

  • Comment number 98.

    Do you think Britain is a fair country? Yes and No. Yes I think their are companies and people who don't care what Gender / Colour you are, and other who inversely discriminate to fit in with goverment targets. How you achieve at work should be down to how good you are at your job. Nothing else.
    Have you been discriminated against? Yes, was asked to leave a library in North London for asking if there were any clubs / societies for Single Straight White Men, as they had one for virtually every other possible mix advertised. Was called sexist and racists... I thought it was a fair question (I was even smiling when I asked it).
    How can the gap in inequality be closed? Gender / Colour should have no bearinfg on pay / conditions in the work place. The only things which should matter are performance / professionalism / attendance / personality / ability to work with others etc. i.e. How good you are at you job...
    Can equality be ever achieved? Yes, but not whilst the PC brigade want different groups of people treated differently. Otherwise you just end up with different groups being disaffected at different times.

  • Comment number 99.

    Space Dust wrote:
    I'm constantly penalised for trying to give my family the best that life has to offer. I pay more tax, I work crazy hours, and yet the politicians are constantly trying to engineer things against me.
    ==========================================================================

    I totally agree with you, we pay more in tax, national Insurance etc and get stuffed for trying to help ourselves rather than claiming anything. I switched on 'This Morning' on tv to see a couple who have been claiming for 7 children, I had to switch off again as I was furious, we are keeping these scroungers! I don't suppose Mr Osbourne was watching.

    Why the hell should we tax payers get something back (namely CB) from this government? We budgeted for our 3, one of whom is 20 and at Uni so obviously he doesn't get CB any more but he will have to pay more for his tuition fees in his student debt. I have a daughter doing A levels and trying to find work to help pay for her clothes as £20 per week goes to paying for her clothes, shoes and bus fare. We also have an 8 year old but CB will go when he needs it most, when he starts the local state senior school.

    This government is a joke - I know things need to be cut but at least give us 'middle income' earners a break for once and target the benefit scroungers who were on the This Morning programme. Give Jeremy Kyle a call as he probably knows them too.

  • Comment number 100.

    91. At 1:17pm on 11 Oct 2010, corncobuk wrote:
    "Another thing to consider is value. Let`s take a nurse and a banker. Banks say they need to pay these vast wages to keep talent. Now, considering what`s happened is this value, or is it perceived value?"

    They are precisely the same thing. "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it"

 

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