While Farrar says it is "disappointing" that there is evidence female graduates are paid less than male graduates only a year after completing their degrees, he doesn't think it is due to discrimination. Assumedly it is just those mischevious magical elves again, just mysteriously playing with people's pay so that women are on average mysteriously paid less than men. Nothing to see here, move right along.
Anyway, despite his scepticism about gender being relevant to this problem, Farrar does endorse the next research project the Ministry of Women's Affairs is going to undertake in this area; a large longitudinal study over the next ten years. I agree that this seems like a pretty good idea. Shame this Government scrapped the Pay and Employment Equity Unit that wasn't just measuring the problem but was actually looking at the reasons and possible solutions.
Farrar doesn't posit any ways to resolve the gender pay gap, putting it down to women taking time out of the workforce to have children, and/or "different professions having different gender compositions". Such shallow analysis that doesn't ask why it is predominantly women who take that time out, when most children have two parents at least at the start of their lives, or why different professions have different gender compositions (and what effect that has).
But that's ok, because the Kiwiblog commenters, who some label the sewer, come to the riding to the rescue. They know precisely what to do. Here's a few ideas:
- Women are not agressive enough in their pay negotiations/accept lower pay/are less motivated by money/are less ambitious
- "men, as a group, simply prove themselves better in the fields of management and commerce than women and earn their larger salaries"
- Women dare to take leave to have/care for children, whereas men are much less likely to do so. And even if they haven't taken leave yet they might in the future, so why would you pay them as much as a man? Maybe we should get rid of maternity leave, that would solve that problem.
- Women don't want to have careers and men do
- The only way to address the issue is to pay women more than men, which would mean men are more likely to be hired over women (yeah I didn't understand that one either)
- Men are more loyal employees than women (because they don't take maternity leave)
- Men change jobs more often with the aim of getting higher salaries
- It's the jobs women are choosing, they just pay less (magically. For no reason)
- Male graduates are more likely to have had previous management jobs before studying (no evidence provided for this)
- Men are more likely to be in senior positions, therefore a few highly paid men drag the average up
- Pansy Wong should have been fired "years ago" (she's been in the job since Nov 2008)
- Women have lower self-esteem and higher voices than men
- Women need to work like men - "no chatty phone calls, no gossip with the girls, no slacking off, no shopping breaks, work an extra hour at the end of each day, don’t get coffee and NEVER clean up after an office shout, even if someone drops cake on the floor at your feet and expects you to pick it up. ...Finally, if you are working part time with children, you have to work extra hours at home, and be available for urgent work."
Danyl, oh thank goodness for Danyl, adds a jolt of sanity, suggesting that we could look at having "a government body that audits large employers and looks for gender discrimination and publicises results (ie this company has a 15% gender pay gap between comparable jobs)."
According to the Kiwiblog commenters, there is sexism in the way men and women are treated at work, but guess what, it's not quite what you or I might expect. Apparently:
- Unskilled men are paid less than unskilled women, so actually this gender pay gap stuff it's all just BS (no evidence provided for this out there claim)
- Men can't get hired in clerical jobs because women keep them out
- Making Pansy Wong Minister of Women's Affairs in the first place discriminated against non-Asian males
Discrimination in the workplace?: try being a middle-aged, educated, white male …