That tired old feminist chestnut that is the ‘gender wage gap’ lives on in the Australian media

It’s hard to believe, but white knight politicians, feminists and media commentators alike are still banging this drum. How many times does the existence of a ‘pay gap’ arising from gender discrimination, need to be debunked before it is finally put to rest?

It’s notable that the relevant Australian Wikipedia entry simply compares the average male and female rates of pay, which is clearly not ‘comparing apples with apples’. By that I mean that we need to compare pay rates for men and women doing the same job (incl. same hours worked), and with the same qualification and experience in order to tease out any meaningful gender-based differences.

While there are certainly differences in the average salary earned by men and women, such differences reflect personal career choices, rather than being an indicator of gender bias in the workplace as is routinely asserted or implied by the feminist lobby. Further, once you drill down into the data it becomes clear that the nature of the gap is  no means uniform ‘across the board’ – which you might expect if it was in fact a meaningful indication of ingrained gender bias across Australian society. (Refer statistical sources provided in this other blog post)

One of the things that feminists don’t mention is that, even when using the average pay rates they base their argument on, the gender gap actually favours women in certain age groups or in certain types of jobs. I would suggest, however, that we don’t all hold our breath waiting for Elizabeth Broderick to take “bold measures” to address those particular areas of ‘inequity’.

Back in March 2014  this article appeared, asserting the existence of gender-based wage  disparity. I emailed Westpac bank requesting supporting information and got a reply from their PR section wanting to know why I wanted the info. I was eventually pointed towards the media release section of their web site where I found this. As you can see no mention of male/female salary data at all, so I’m left wondering where Westpac CEO, Gail Kelly (who also features in this Youtube video), sourced those stats.

This week the ‘gender pay gap’ was mentioned here in an article on news.com.auherehere and here in segments on the Australian morning TV show ‘Sunrise’, and here in comments by Tracey Spicer. Tracey was quoted as saying:

“To be a working woman in Australia is to know that you are valued less than your male counterparts. Our (rising) double digit gender wage gap means you’re earning less than guys doing the same job, you have a reduced chance of making your way to a senior leadership position (particularly if you’re angling to be on the board) and no matter where you are in the business hierarchy you stand a 17 percent chance of sexual harassment on the job and a one in five chance of being discriminated against if you become pregnant.”

Why is it that when I see articles that purport to discuss gender differences, but only provide the relevant statistics for women, I immediately think *feminist author*? I wonder if this technique, i.e. don’t provide any context or basis for comparison, is something they are now teaching everyone in ‘gender studies 101’ because it really is so prevalent now.

The wage gap statistics that Tracey refers to were sourced from a government agency, the ‘Workplace Gender Equality Agency‘ (WGEA) which defines the gender pay gap as “the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings.”

As is explained in my previous blog post about the ‘pay gap’, comparing average male/female earnings is utterly unhelpful and inappropriate given the large number of variables involved (of which gender discrimination by employers is only one, and only a minor one at that).

I see in this article that the WGEA has previously been subject to criticism for their interpretation of source statistics.

You might be interested to know that only two out of twenty-nine staff in the WGEA are men. And how many of them would identify as feminists? I’m guessing, almost all. Just putting this thought out there, but could it be that perhaps this situation is introducing some teensy, weensy measure of bias into the Agency’s priorities and findings?

In terms of addressing the agency’s staffing imbalance, dare I suggest that they could probably speed things along via the introduction of an enforced gender quota? I mean to say, feminists are proposing gender quotas right left and centre, and what’s ‘good for the goose is good for the gander’ as they say.

But in the meantime the suits at the big end of town clearly think that pandering to feminists makes business sense, as many are falling all over themselves to support the WGEA’s latest ‘pay gap’ initiative.

Postscript … and on and on it goes:

Workplace gender equality score reveals massive blind spot letting Australian businesses down (17 November 2017)

Andrew Bolt: Let’s ask Waleed Aly the truth about a pay gap (18 October 2017)

Cafe of Confusion (7 August 2017) Video

What we miss when we focus on the gender wage gap (10 July 2017) Why is it so very difficult for pro-feminist researchers to provide like-for-like statistics and an objective unbiased presentation of the facts of the matter. This articles excludes consideration, for example, of the reality that men are more likely to support others and women more likely to be supported. Therefore now, and in the absence of wide-ranging structural reform, unemployment or underemployment of men has a far more serious impact on welfare of affected persons.

Instead of tweeting his ‘support’ for Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher should have coughed up the cash, by Clementine Ford (31 January 2017)

She’s Price(d)less: The economics of the gender pay gap (October 2016) KPMG study for Diversity Council Australia. Exaggerates the significance of gender discrimination – hardly surprising given the agenda of the commissioning organisation. KPMG in turn clearly have their eye on the ball with regards to winning further lucrative ‘women as victims’ consultancies from pro-feminist agencies.

8 September 2016 was ‘Equal Pay Day’. This triggered a flurry of pay gap articles, only one of which challenged the feminist narrative. And oddly that was an article published in news.com.au, entitled ‘How common sense shows gender pay gap is a myth‘.

The others were ‘Closing the gender pay gap won’t just help women. It’ll help men too‘, ‘Will the real gender pay gap please stand up?‘ & ‘It’s time to dispel the myth that women’s choices cause the gender pay gap’ (8 September 2016) None of the pro-feminist articles found it relevant to note that the pay gap favours women in many instances – and in an increasing number of instances – depending on sector, seniority, etc. From the readers comments, many people are far from convinced by the feminist position. This comment from ‘mythbuster’ was a classic:

“Men earn an average total of $27,000 a year more than women”. Yes, EARN, not, “are paid”. That calculation is based on averaging the incomes of all male and all female full time workers. It doesn’t take into account overtime, differences in jobs, female choices. In lower paid, similar jobs they earn more because they do more overtime. There are 12.2 million workers here, split 55/45 men to women. To get equality, you need to conscript 600,000 women out of their homes and into work. You also need to sack 600,000 and put them in front of the afternoon soaps, and then have women support them. There are 1.2 million workers in construction, forestry and mining, 85% male. This pays higher than the 1.1 in health services, 80% women. So lets take about 360,000 women out of counselling or aroma therapy and get them down the mines or out building us houses. That’s where the pay is better, in back breaking, dangerous work. We should also swap some teachers with long distance truckies and oil rig workers, since that will help close the pay gap and the death gap since 93% of workplace deaths happen to men. More dead female workers will be a sign of equality. Its illegal to pay a man or woman a different wage based on gender, if you know of an example of this, please give us the EBA or Award name, otherwise, if you want to be paid like a man, work the jobs women tend not to want to and do the hours men do at it. That’s equality.”

Women catching up to men on wages: ABS (23 August 2016)

“Women’s wages have grown at almost three times the rate of men’s over the past year”

Young men blamed for not believing the feminist misrepresentation of the gender pay gap (Australian Financial Review, 17 July 2016)

Radical proposal to force bosses to fork out extra super for women (3 June 2016)

Opinion: Gap in logic over gender pay discrepancies (8 May 2016)

University of Queensland to host Bake Sale that charges based on gender (3 April 2016) and then ‘The feminist cupcake sale that led to death and rape threats‘ (6 April 2016)

Just thinking out loud now, but I’d love the opportunity to look at these threat messages. Of those that actually exist IRL, I’d like to see how many were sent from newly created accounts with IP addresses that matched those of the recipients.

Higher proportion of gender pay gap ‘unexplained’ in Australia than in US, UK, research shows (24 March 2016) Laughably inane. Headline should be ‘Wage gap found to be insignificant’ … 39% of 3.9% (= 1.5%), only some of which actually results from discrimination

How the work gap affects women, by Jasmin Newman (14 March 2016)

Gender parity still lacking in Australia’s workforce, by Roy Morgan Research (8 March 2016) See chart below – would be interesting to see these results cross-referenced by years of experience in role.

annual_incomes

Gender equality in the workplace can prevent violence against women (1 March 2016) In this article the feminist authors vainly attempt to create a causal link between the pay gap and domestic violence against women. Talk about a reach. And needless to say there is zero acknowledgment of workplace harassment or discrimination against men.

Why women graduates don’t get paid as much as men (14 February 2016) OK, so women freely choose to take courses that lead to lower paying job. It’s not men’s fault, and the only problem seems to be in the minds of feminists. WTF?

Workplace gender equality scorecard puts Australia to shame (26 November 2015)

ANZ bank launches a Super deal for female employees (29 July 2015) And now dodgy interpretation of statistics is used to justify gender discrimination

The Only 2(3) Cents I’m Giving Up Because of the Pay Gap (16 April 2015)

Gender pay gap misinterpreted again (16 October 2014)

Get Fact: do men make much more than women for the same job? (7 March 2014)

Pay gap due to women’s choices, not gender bias (9 March 2015) International Women’s Day 2015 saw a flood of pro-feminist articles about the gender pay gap. I won’t even bother including links here as none of them contributed anything new or useful to the discussion – just the same old debunked nonsense. This article (linked above) was the only one I saw that said anything sensible on the matter.

 

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