Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Backbenches focuses on pay equity tonight

If you have Freeview you can watch it from 9pm to 10pm on TVNZ 7.

Here's the blurb from the TVNZ7 site:
On the panel: ACT MP and Leader Rodney Hide, Green MP and Co-Leader Metiria Turei, Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, Maori MP and Maori Party Whip Te Ururoa Flavell, and National MP and Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee.

Under discussion:

Pay equality: Tuesday's Pay Equality at Parliament highlights that on average women are paid around 12% less than men.

In solidarity several Wellington businesses are offering a 12% discount to women only - including The Backbencher Pub.

Why are women still facing this inequality in 2009, especially considering New Zealand was the first country to give women a vote?

What are the ways that we can ensure equal pay for equal work? It's been 36 years since equal pay legislation, but still the earning gap exists. With many people not knowing what their co-workers earn, many women may not know they are paid less. So how do we create transparency? Is it time to punish the offenders?
They'll also be talking about crime, tourism and Michael Jackson.

It's repeated on Friday night at 9.10pm, and also on Thursday and Saturday nights at 12.10pm for you night owls. Once it's gone up on TVNZ On Demand I'll post about it.


enzer said...

TVNZ 7 is also, from today, on Sky at channel 097.

TVNZ 6 is on 016.

Lew said...

Four blokes. Why?


Lew said...

Woah, I read it again and there's Metiria. Disregard the previous!


Annie Fox! said...

Why are women still facing this inequality in 2009?

Talking to my HR sources the main reason is that females undervalue their work and don't ask for more money.

Men on the otherhand over value their work and ask for more.

Solution: ladies, harden up and negotiate more.

katy said...

"Solution: ladies, harden up and negotiate more."

This might be helpful advice but in such a narrow range of circumstances it is almost irrelevant. For a start, HR hacks aren't the ones making the real decisions, they just deliver the message.

The Silent Majority said...

There is alot of truth in what Annie Fox says, in my experience. I have been known to have to convince female staff members to accept more money, either by way of a higher salary, a pay rise as a result of a promotion or a bonus for going above and beyond. I wanted to pay them what they were worth, they somehow didn't feel they were worthy.

I have never had to do the same with a male!

Boganette said...

So "ladies" who are being paid less than men for the same jobs are just soft?

Well that's a convenient argument. Especially for the boss who gets to pay them less. *rolls eyes*

Psycho Milt said...

So "ladies" who are being paid less than men for the same jobs are just soft?

Who says they are paid less for the same jobs? All the figures being bandied about relate to averages, ie are essentially meaningless. And if we do eventually establish that they are paid less for the same jobs, that still leaves a requirement to account for why. A firm belief that it's due to sexist bosses doesn't meet that requirement.

Always Ask said...

I can actually say as someone who has worked in HR doing recruitment that it is true that woman do not negotiate as much as men.

Women tend to take the contract they are given and sign it without ever negotiating. There are a few exceptions of course, however the majority of men always ask for more.

This was in the health industry, where the majority of staff are on collective agreements - yet men still get paid slightly more because of this reason.

Men either negotiate for relocation, or maybe a higher starting grade, and other perks.

Women need to realise that by the time you are offered a contract the organisation has decided that they want you over all the others.

If you ask for more, the worst they are going to say is no - sorry we can't. They will not retract the job offer.

Also and I have seen this happen many times - sometimes managers are so busy, they simply overlook things. For example if someone asks for relocation often the manager would say - oh yes, that's right, and then would give them relocation without question.

So the moral women need to remember is to always ask - if you don't ask, you won't get.

hungrymama said...

So women should drop generations of social conditioning just like that in order to get what should be theirs by right?

Brenda said...

The moment i realised I could negotiate, that i could demand more (and I always could) was a turning point in my life.

I had been too shy in some kind of perverted idea that it was impolite to ask for money.

what really drove it home was one day while overseas for a conference with some colleagues we had a few (too many) beers and then compared salaries.

If you're not comfortable asking for more - then you could start by asking others what they are paid for similar work. you may also find this is good motivation to get past your discomfort.

And when I finally tried it, i really enjoyed it - watching my boss squirm as I demanded more. He needed me, and I want my true value.

stargazer said...

brenda, i'm guessing you don't work as support staff in a school? and i bet you're not a cleaner on a contract either? probably you're not a social worker? my guess is that you don't work as a carer in a retirement home? in fact, is your profession a female-dominated one? if not, how about you go work in a female-dominated profession & try the same tactic. you might find that things are a little different.

Brenda said...

Stargazer: there appear to be 2 issues here
1. Unequal pay for the same job
2. Traditional female occupations paid less.

As you guessed I do work in a field with 95% males. I stand by my advice for woman earning less than males in the same role. Start by asking for more. I've spent time coaching many Wellington women to ask for their worth. It's a shock how underpaid they were compared to their colleagues.
As for those in traditional female roles, I don't know your position and wouldn't presume to give advice there.

I do believe really must drop generations of social conditioning that drove us to accept less.

stargazer said...

yup brenda, and pay equity is about the second issue you've listed. and you'd be wrong to think that women in these fields haven't been highlighting and agitating for better pay and conditions. they've been doing so for at least a couple of decades now. so i'd say it's not social conditioning, it's the way our society is structured and the value placed on the type of work that women do. which requires a societal & collective response, not individual bargaining.