Comments for en-gb 30 Wed 29 Jul 2015 05:04:43 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at exeterperson I think the government is missing the point with the gender pay gap (which I'm against) and positive discrimination (which I'm also against) as a remedy. I'm an experienced, qualified, confident and successful person, previously well-paid but now I have a health problem I am forced to only look for part-time work - and guess what - almost every part-time job is comparitively low-paid and low-skilled. You can get flexible hours/job-share work from some employers but that means you are forced to stick with that same employer limiting pay rises and eventually marketability. Thus a big pool of talent is being wasted - often in menial admin or retail type work. While women do the majority of child-rearing they will seek part-time work. Older people seeking to continue working probably also prefer shorter hours. To allow the market to waste human resources on this scale is stupid and I'd like to see it change. Perhaps the Gov't making organisations publish their gender gap figures will help this, perhaps it needs a structural change in how National Insurance etc works. Fri 27 Jun 2008 12:51:34 GMT+1 Jenlewis So, men will be the losers - and didn't they know it, which is why historically they conspired to keep women out of the office, law, the arts, academia and anywhere else where they could prove themselves to be just as successful as men. Thankfully, those days are gone and there have been tremendous strides to improve the prospects of women. But why is it so hard to recognise that some men are strong, some are weak, some women are strong, some are weak and so on. A person should be rewarded for the work they produce and contribute, regardless of gender - but this begins not in the workplace but in our whole appreciation of gender, promoted by the media and reinforced by social expectation. Apart from the fact that a woman can physically have a child and a man cannot, everything else about both genders has been socially constructed - as soon as we realise that it doesn't have to be like that we may be able to find new solutions to these problems. Yes, I know of a few male nannies and school teachers but the most obvious obstacle to this type of recruitment is social attitudes towards men looking after our children. Women and men both get a raw deal because we can't quite make up our minds what we want from them or from ourselves. Fri 27 Jun 2008 11:37:12 GMT+1 smilingSueblue I really cannot understand why equality between the sexes (or any other groups for that matter) in the workplace has to be such an issue. A male bricklayer and a female bricklayer should be on equal pay. A part time male cleaner/shop worker/office clerk should be on the same pay as their female co workers. Likewise for any other job, skilled or non-skilled, full or part time. Grades of pay for experience levels and years worked should be the same. If a male achieves more experience or clocks up more working hours than a female or vica versa then so be it. Maternity leave should be the same for new fathers as well as new mothers. Likewise for sick pay, holiday pay, pension funds, retirement and other contributions. Training courses and opportunities should be available to everyone. The introduction of the equal pay act in 1970 should have sorted all this so why are we still dithering? When will we be recognised first and formost for our skills and ability to do the job, instead of all the male/female/black/white/single/married/gay/straight issues? Equality for all should mean exactly that. Fri 27 Jun 2008 11:17:20 GMT+1 eye360 Due to my position I have access to my company's salary details. It is an engineering company, so the majority of staff are engineering on various grades of seniority. A small proportion of the engineers are female, and so we can compare male and female average salaries at each grade. On average the women get around 5% higher salary then the men at each of the grades. In terms of performance there isn't much difference, plus many of them have had time out for maternity leave. So the women in my company are doing rather well in terms of pay.OK, this is only one example. But if you really check for gender pay differences for IDENTICAL jobs I expect they are minimal. The differences occur because there is a large gender difference in the types of job done. Fri 27 Jun 2008 10:34:38 GMT+1 ewmorri bellakim I was not being rewarded for my disloyalty I was paying attention to the changing pay scale in my profession and the first time I left a job it was because my consulting company that I was working for refused to giv me a pay raise based on my education level and not my performance even after the company I was consulting for told them on the phone in my presence t give me a raise and insure I stayed on the job they gave me excuses instead and when I finally turned in my notice they tried to give me a raise then and I did not accept it even though it was more than the company i was going to offered because I knew I would go through the same crap year after year. Every job after that I left because the market for my specialty was drastically changing the pay schale and anyone with any common sense could see the 2 to 4 % pay raises companies give annually just could not keep up. As far as I am concerned my first responsibilty is to my family as a provider and my responsibility to stay with a company that is not paying me my fair market value is way down the list. I have been in my current position for almost 5 years because they do keep up with my value on the market when they are loyal to me I am loyal to them. There is no loyalty from a company that is knowingly cheating you out of 10's of thousands of dollars a year Fri 27 Jun 2008 01:20:16 GMT+1 sequyle I quit my last job when my employer declined to correct the anomaly in my being paid half of my male colleagues' wages for the same job. I was paid and graded according to my gender, not my skills, qualifications or performance.So yes, women do still get paid less for the same work. It's not always quite as glaring as that, but it still does happen. (Why did I not take them to tribunal and earn pots of money? Well, after reading up on it, I discovered that it's very hard to win an equal pay tribunal, that time was against me, and I also knew from my management training that my company won almost all their tribunals. And they'd succeeded in making me feel so incredibly bad about myself that I did not think I could cope with the idea of going through tribunal in order to lose on some technicality - I'd seen that happen to another woman, who had an absolutely iron-clad case - she brought in more sales than any of her male colleagues and had extra responsibilities on top, and her boss had explicitly said in front of a roomful of witnesses he wanted a girl to replace her when she left because they're cheaper, and many other comments besides. And still she lost, on a technicality.)Funnily enough, my former employers are on the government's list of Exemplar Employers - i.e. they claim to be amongst the best at tackling gender discrimination in pay. So all those worried men can relax - it's not as bad as you might think, you're still very much on top. I'll be using ewmorri's strategy from now on to try to catch up as best as I can - though it's not foolproof for a woman, as asking for more is not something that "nice" girls do: see this Washington Post article for how women get penalised for daring to negotiate:Salary, Gender, and the Social Cost of Haggling Fri 27 Jun 2008 00:17:57 GMT+1 bellakim in response to ewmorri.If what you are saying is true, Employers know that women are more loyal and less aggressive when claiming pay rises and take advantage of this when it comes to salaries. Meanwhile men are rewarded for manipulative behaviour which does not necessarily make them better or more productive in their jobs. Indeed they are being rewarded for their infidelity rather than their dedication.Wake up employers, next time a guy tries to put the screws on you, let him go then look to the nearest woman and promote her. Thu 26 Jun 2008 21:40:50 GMT+1 southterry All discrimination is wrong. it doesn't matter if you are male, female, gay, straight, bi, dark skinned, pale skinned, Christian Muslim, Buddist, Hindu, Pagan or anything else, you are a person. Thu 26 Jun 2008 17:41:37 GMT+1 ewmorri I am not sure how to word this but I will give an example and and the question it rises with me.I have been in my career for 15 years and I have moved from 40K a year to 110k a year i forced issues and changed companies several times to do that. My wife in the same career for the same ammount of time and while starting at the same salary she is only at 70k a yr now some might say see I told you so there is discrimination. I would like to point out though that she has never changed companies and is not agressive about her raises like I am. I have changed jobs 7 times during this time averaging between 5k and 10k per job change. When I tell her she should ask for more she says she doesnt want to jeopardize her job even though she could in my opinion with her experience find a job at my salary range veryy quickly but she is scared to take the risks. This is also the case with many women I have talked to that I have worked with over the years they have found someplace they are comfortable and will stay there no matter what. Iam not saying this is the case with everyone used to determine these statistics but I think it is something to keep in mind before we lay all this at the feet of our emloyers. Thu 26 Jun 2008 17:36:41 GMT+1 lovelykimmyB Of course men and women doing different value of work are not expected to get the same wages. My gripe is that jobs traditionally done by women are not valued the same as traditional "Mens jobs". Plumbers and Hairdressers both have to do apprenticeships and serve their time but a time served plumber will not get out of their bed for the same money as a hairdresser. On the other hand, I can probaly unblock the U tube in my toilet by myselb but a bad hair day can put me under house arrest. Thu 26 Jun 2008 17:04:03 GMT+1 s_slatt The Office of National Statistics say in their report;"Although median hourly pay provides a useful comparison between the earnings of men and women, it does not necessarily indicate differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs. Pay medians are affected by the different work patterns of men and women, such as the proportions in different occupations and their length of time in jobs."So what does provide a useful comparison then?What would the wage comparison look like between a male and female, both in the same job, with similar qualifications and experience? I think that would be a more useful comparison and if anyone has that info, I for one would be very interested in seeing it! Thu 26 Jun 2008 13:22:18 GMT+1 lizzy-bristol What hasn’t been mentioned above is that, yes, women choose to take career breaks to have a family – but the man who is still at work has decided to have a family too, and in general it is still the woman’s responsibility to take blocks of time off work to look after children – lowering her private pension contributions and income, which will disadvantage her if she becomes single in later life. Also, women who choose to do lower paid jobs so that they can keep other family commitments may do so because these are the only jobs available to them, and employers can take advantage of this fact.I can also see it from the employer’s point of view - there is no incentive for them to pay wages to an employee on maternity leave, or give a bonus/performance related pay rise to an employee who has been absent for 9 months raising a child. And I also admit that if I were a company boss, I would be tempted to take advantage of cheap labour working part time hours, because I had the power to do so and it would increase my profits. The question is, would we rather see more money going to families, or to company fat cats? Thu 26 Jun 2008 13:14:52 GMT+1 russellscot I agree with (23)Hearing all these news stories, i often wonder what the point is me trying to work hard and progress professionally, being a young white middle class man, i really dont have anything on my side with all the "positive discrimination" being placed on everyone else.Its not my fault i was born a man, its not my fault i dont go on sick leave all the time because i stay healthy, its not my fault i can handle pressure and do go on the sick, and its not my fault im young trying to make an honest living. When i get old i expect to pay more for insurance etc. When i have a family i expect to have to be a contributor to my family more than my wife may be, because she has taken the time to have and/or care for our children.Its all swings and roundabouts, stop messing with the order of things!! Thu 26 Jun 2008 13:12:37 GMT+1 rockyhippo White male, 25-49 who speaks for me? Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:47:48 GMT+1 mcmarvelous 1. there is no such thing as "positive discrimination" only discrimination - which means the whole idea is a dangerous road to travel.I completely agree with this. Another Law is not the answer. it is also noticeable that Harriet is on the telly and radio talking about ageism, not this argument that has got us all going.As the population gets older, the labour market will have to change, but for anyone over 40 and out of work, getting a new job is a challenge to say the least!All discrimination is wrong, but in order to get everyone working, we will need to accept a different society, and that is not happening.With loads of parents forced to both go to work, child care is a big issue. Ever seen a Male nanny?A male primary teacher would be nice now and then?Isn't the goverment just flying a kite with this? Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:30:59 GMT+1 MartinW_1 RE: 11> Why does this Government do everything> it can to discriminate agaisnt men. Why> do they dislike us so much? ...> Why do they hate men?Because they can.There is no political or electoral penalty for discriminating against men. Domestic violence aimed at men isn't a crime, it's _funny_. When women see another woman hit a man, they _laugh_.The sexist practice of women-only shortlists could have been rejected by voters - but they weren't. Men and women alike were happy to support the Labour party's sexist agenda.If a woman loses custody of her children through, say, drug addiction making her unable to care for herself never mind a child, then she is a _victim_ and appears on Woman's Hour where everyone sympathises and says how awful it is that she has been so cruelly abused. Yet countless responsible fathers are robbed of their children daily by vindictive ex-partners and the best the BBC can manage is an occasional half-hearted observation that there is a public "perception" that family courts "may not" be quite fair.Breast cancer is a high profile issue, pushed by numerous celebrities, not least during Breast Cancer Awareness _Month_. The government responds with lavish funding. By comparison prostate cancer is viewed as rather embarrassing, has _no_ celebrity endorsement and is marginalised by, for example, the BBC. Inevitably, the government leaps at the chance to save money.And so on.If you have a Labour MP (the odds are better than even that you do) try writing to them, stating your concerns about the Labour party's sexism and asking what they are going to do about it. My guess is that if you are lucky you will be ignored, if you aren't, you will receive an abusive reply arrogantly asserting that they are right and you are wrong.You might like to vote accordingly. Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:30:22 GMT+1 D Dortman "However, perhaps it is time for women to become the more dominant gender, let say, for the next few thousands years.At 09:59am on 26 Jun 2008, H1-H1-H1 wrote:"Women have always been the dominant gender, they are just far too smart to draw attention to it (which is, of course, one of the reasons they are). Even right back to hunter gatherer and even pre-human social order - in chimps it's not the alpha male that decides he's the alpha male, it's the senior females in the troop that decide *if* he is the alpha male.Of course the serious and relevant issue there, is that "equality" doesn't always equate well with "exactly the same". Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:26:32 GMT+1 James_Morgan Wimbledon provides us with an interesting contribution to the debate. There, as at other tennis tournaments, the females win exactly the same money as the males, while playing tennis matches that last a maximum of 60% of the length of the mens' matches.It's about time that this common-sense policy was enforced in workplaces across the UK. Why should women be paid less for doing less work? Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:23:37 GMT+1 kamekathee When my sons and daughter reach retirement age there will be no state pension, no free health care, no free dental care. Everyone will pay at point of delivery.Men earn more than women. They always will as the world of work is tailored to the male.Equal quality of life? Do the sums. Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:23:08 GMT+1 Dunky_R This article must have been written just after the interview with Harriet Harman on the Today programme where the term "positive" discrimination was accepted as the best descriptor of the legislation. It would have been good if Mr Easton had expanded on the 17.1% stat. How is that average reached? Given that for over the last 10 years at least girls have been outstripping boys in exam results (such as highers, A-levels and GCSE's) this would suggest that positive discrimination will not be needed as women are probably better qualified. If the concern is about FTSE boards generally these are made up of older people. Wait until the current 20 to 35 year olds are further in their carrier and you will see that there will be probably be a larger proportion of women in charge. Not a bad thing depending how you judge equality. If you look within biological sciences, women don't seem to do so badly. Women will probably make up the greater proportion of biological researchers. The best way to avoid discrimination of all kinds would probably be to stop pigeon-holing people on application forms to make sure it is just down to qualification and personality. Thu 26 Jun 2008 12:14:35 GMT+1 D Dortman The problems with "positive" discrimination are two fold:1. there is no such thing as "positive discrimination" only discrimination - which means the whole idea is a dangerous road to travel.For example, should men get preferential health care (all other things being equal) because women on average live longer?2. at what point does "positive" discrimination become "negative" discrimination? And what do you do then? Swap the "positive" and "negative" discrimination continually to balance things? Thu 26 Jun 2008 11:32:22 GMT+1 Thesparkster I would concur with the previous comments suggesting equality legislation and policies are actually contributing to unfairness. 15 years ago, as a student, I worked for a supermarket, unloading lorries and doing other hard, physical work. As such, I was paid a slightly higher amount than those with less strenuous work such as cashiers. I've recently gone back to the company as a part-time worker, and found that all employees at that level are paid the same, but only men are asked to do the hard work. Of course they could refuse, but if you have an ability (e.g. strength) you WANT to use it, it's just unfair that they receive no premium for it. Thu 26 Jun 2008 11:30:43 GMT+1 farview I read of a local council which tried to encourage women and ethnic minorities to take jobs as firemen. I couldn't help noticing though that they were not also encouraging them to apply to be dustmen. Thu 26 Jun 2008 11:30:21 GMT+1 mcmarvelous A good article, with some good comments all round. My view is that society (remmber that pre-thatcher) has just not adjusted to the change in the labour markets. More women work now than ever before, with unskilled males not having 'traditional' industry jobs to go into so they end up on the dole. Kids are brought up in single parent or by nannies/carers or whoever and the result is a moral decline, morale must be suffering- look at the suicide rates in young males and the media is flooded with talentless numpties earning fortunes, often coming from very 'dis-advantaged' backgrounds (footballers, wags, 'presenters' and the rest). IA work colleague, who works hard, has calculated he would be better off being made redundant- this is a disaster for U>K plc.Something has to give, as the real problem is the the gap between rich and poor which has grown recently, and with no prospects for young adults, of whatever gender if they are not University material, we are all going down the gurgler!I have a teenage son, not academic and the only thing around is poorly paid shopwork. He is not going to raise a family, pay for our pensions and healthcare, buy a house or afford private rented housing without some sort of assistance. Help everyone, then everyone will benefit.Sorry had to get that off my chest! Thu 26 Jun 2008 11:21:36 GMT+1 The Fickle Finger Let's just cut to the chase and allow sex selection of embryos too. After all, who in their right mind would want to bring a wee white boy into the world now for a life of discrimination and misery?We can produce all girls - thus restoring the balance being changed by China and India's one-child policies.The sociologists say that in a thousand years time we'll all be coffee coloured anyway. Now you know why. Thu 26 Jun 2008 11:13:32 GMT+1 davidstrauss1 Why does this Government do everything it can to discriminate agaisnt men. Why do they dislike us so much?The bring in All women-shortlists banning men from standing for Parliament for them; they fail to do much on the educational underacheievement of boys;they do nothing about the suicide rate amongst men being three times higher than that of women;they spend little money on dealing with male cancers; they do nothing to help male domestic abuse victims;they do nothing to create a family court system that treats men and women alike;and now this. Why do they hate men? Thu 26 Jun 2008 11:02:28 GMT+1 Soddball This post has been Removed Thu 26 Jun 2008 10:59:21 GMT+1 twentyferret This post has been Removed Thu 26 Jun 2008 10:45:56 GMT+1 j_e_isacon In seeking to close the gender pay gap in Local Government, Unison seems to have adopted an 'equal pay at ANY cost' mantra. This is resulting in council workers of both sexes suffering swingeing pay cuts in the pay and grading reviews that are required by Single Status. The victims are often left struggling to pay essential bills like mortgages, causing stress-related illness. Council services suffer because of the damage to morale, goodwill and employment relations and increased sickness levels. Links to media reports on these pay cuts and their impact may be found on the labouruniondigest website.In 1997, members voted for the Single Status Agreement on the basis of, among other things, the unions' promise that "nobody should lose" in the pay and grading reviews. However, perhaps because there was no central funding and councils wouldn't carry out the reviews without it, Unison soon reneged on its promise and began agreeing pay cuts, sometimes of £10Ks, for losers whose jobs were deemed by an unscientific and fallible job evaluation process to have been graded too high.The Equal Pay Act has never required a comparator's pay to be levelled down. Neither does it seem to require the pay of job evaluation losers to be cut at all if, as is the case in Local Government, the losers are neither predominantly male nor female. Yet Unison, on the basis of just one QC's Opinion apparently based on limited evidence, is prepared to allow its members to be penalised when it is councils that have failed to deliver equal pay for thirty years. Why hasn't the union obtained a second broader-based Opinion? Why hasn't it supported rather than hindered members (like Griffiths in Griffiths v Salisbury District Council) in legal challenges to pay cuts to obtain a legal precedent?. Thu 26 Jun 2008 10:12:27 GMT+1 jrah10 An intelligent piece which takes account of the huge changes in the workplace since the 1970s. There seems to be little broader recognition of the major advances that have been made towards diminishing gender inequalities at work and within the education system. Female students are now out-performing male students at many educational levels. Should we address this through initiatives that advantage male students?Harman's 'numbers game' is a slippery slope towards 'positive' discrimination. Who would actually want to be selected for a job on the grounds of their gender or race? What kinds of resentments might this foster? These new policies, blinkered by tokenism of the worst kind, and a woefully simplistic model of 'equality', will ultimately lead to the replacement of one form of discrimination with another. The problem does not go away, it simply changes in form. Thu 26 Jun 2008 09:50:45 GMT+1 cadnoess Hey we're talking about improving equality of opportunity, not about creating winners and losers. Too many people in this country have a persecution complex already. How did we get from equality to suddenly "women are outstripping men"?? Take a deep breath and calm down. Thu 26 Jun 2008 09:40:26 GMT+1 CoraxDomCorvus About 20-25 years ago I was a member of a Scottish government craft organisation that produced a report on earnings among self-employed workers. Men were paying themselves 25% more than women! Men made bigger and fewer items than women, aimed at different ends of the markets. As the man says above, it's a matter of choice. If you look at the differential within a gender it will be a lot more than 17.1%. Generally there is no case for further legislation. Thu 26 Jun 2008 09:27:43 GMT+1 Dan_WSch This post has been Removed Thu 26 Jun 2008 09:10:51 GMT+1 Peter_Sym This 'women earn 17.1% less than men' stat REALLY annoys me. Its presented as if men and women in the same job are being paid different amounts which is totally untrue. Given the far larger proportion of women who CHOOSE to work in jobs such a retail because it fits in nicely with their other family commitments I'm suprised the figure isn't higher. My pay rises are based on performance (within a set scale which is handed out to all apllicants). Three years ago I was earning the same as a female colleague. She's had two 9 month maternity leaves so my pay is now £1000 higher. Is that 'discrimination' or should people who aren't at work be given the same performance ratings as those who do the job?The idea that 'equality' means the women at the tills Tesco's should be paid the same as the male manager is ridiculous, but if male and female 'average hourly earnings' are to be the same this is effectively what is required. Thu 26 Jun 2008 09:09:26 GMT+1 newselaine Is this article suggesting that the fact that there are women in the boardrooms of 78 out of 100 companies is some sort of equality? It would be interesting perhaps to know how many quoted companies have more women than men on their boards. Very few, if any, I suspect. Thu 26 Jun 2008 09:05:46 GMT+1 H1-H1-H1 An interesting factual read.However, perhaps it is time for women to become the more dominant gender, let say, for the next few thousands years.Then we can start serioulsy talking about which gender will or has been the 'real losers' in equality. Thu 26 Jun 2008 08:59:55 GMT+1