Yvonne Roberts


Women working full time earn 17% less than the full-time male salary. While this is down to a variety of factors, discrimination is at the root.

Whether discrimination is at the root or not is what we want to find out, not our starting assumption. When we do look in more detail and we find that there is no pay gap for lesbians, that never married no children women earn more than their male counterparts, that the pay gap is very small indeed, widens considerably in the prime child bearing years and then shrinks again we might in fact come to the conclusion that the gender pay gap has something to do with…..children!

Just like the exorbitant scale applied to the talent of superstars, the value given to a particular job at times appears arbitrary. Why, for instance, in 2006, did a car mechanic earn £9.72 an hour while a childminder earned £2 less? Don\’t say it\’s down to the difference in skill, since childminding now requires its own set of qualifications and standards. To "care" is no longer enough.

Err, lemme think. Could it be supply and demand?

Why not make it a legal obligation for all companies, large and small, as well as the self-employed to publish salary details and tax obligations of all employees (not just those on the board) in a manner accessible to all?

Err, because they\’re private contracts perhaps? You know, something personal like, something that people may keep hidden if they so wish? If such contracts are to be revealed then there\’s no reason that all contracts should not be published, is there?

That\’s a Thatcherite view of society in which unions are redundant and what the individual wants counts for more than a collective consensus of what is right, fair and just.

Ah, that\’s the real reason. You shouldn\’t do what you want as individuals, you should subject yourself to the tyranny of the majority.


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