The Fawcett Society: lying scum as usual

So we\’ve this equal pay day. Opening line of their report on it:

The gender pay gap is described as the difference between men’s average pay in work
and women’s average pay in work.

They have been told, again and again, (not least by ONS and the Statistics Commission) that you should not be using \”average\” here meaning mean. You should be using median. For the mean, given that there is a lower bound of zero and no upper bound, is going to be misleading.

But, still, they carry on.

There\’s, if we were to be rude about it, something particularly feminine about continuing to ignore detailed technical advice, isn\’t there?

Look at one of the other things they complain about:

There are almost four times as many women in part-time work as men. Part-time
workers are likely to receive lower hourly rates of pay than full-time workers6

Now you and I would say this is wonderful. Our lovely flexible labour market allows those who wish to to split their working time between household activities and market activities. People do not face an all or nothing choice. In fact, given that the Fawcett Society advocates job sharing (yes! a form of part time work!) you\’d think they would like it too.

But, umm, no, they get to complain about what they advocate.

There\’s, if we were to be rude about it, something particularly feminine about this, isn\’t there?

Even though legislation on implementing equal pay has been in place for 40 years, the
gender pay gap in Britain remains among the highest in the European Union.

So, lessee what the EU says about the gender pay gap? (the numbers are not directly comparable as the EU figures mix full and part time work but they\’re still useful;)

Why are the gender pay gap figures so different across the Member States?

The latest Eurostat data (2008) show that there are still considerable differences between the Member States, with the pay gap ranging from less than 10% in Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Romania, Malta, Portugal and Poland to more than 20% in Slovakia, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Lithuania, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands and more than 25% in Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia.

The pay gap measures the earnings differences between men and women that are in paid employment. It should be looked at in conjunction with other indicators linked to the labour market which reflect the different working patterns of women and the extent to which women and men can reconcile their work, private and family life:

  • In most of the countries in which the female employment rate is low (e.g. Malta, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia), the pay gap is lower than average, which may reflect the small proportion of low-skilled or unskilled women in the workforce.
  • Highly segregated labour markets, meaning that women are more concentrated in a restricted number of sectors and/or professions, (for example, countries with the highest sector segregation: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden; countries with the highest occupational segregation: Estonia, Slovakia, Latvia, Finland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Cyprus) tend to result in higher pay gap statistics.
  • Countries in which a significant proportion of women work part-time (for example, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Luxembourg) tend to have a relative high gender pay gap.
  • Institutional mechanisms and systems on wage setting can also influence the pay gap.

Yup, the easiest way to close that gender pay gap is simply to throw all of the low earning women out of the labour market. That is, let\’s have a great deal more institutional (or societal) sexism. You know, work for a few years as an office dolly bird until you\’ve snagged yourself a huisband then stay home cookin\’n\’cleanin\’. Only if you\’re a professional, you know, an accountant, an architect, that sort of thing, do you carry on working after that nuptial night.

That is how those countries which have a low gender pay gap manage it so if you\’re worried about the gender pay gap that is what you should be suggesting, yes?

There\’s, if we were to be rude about it, something particularly feminine about this, isn\’t there? Ignoring the solution to the problem you are complaining about?

Women often pay a penalty in the workplace for taking on the lion’s share of caring work
at home. Carers get paid the equivalent of just £1.52 per hour.10 The pressures of
managing work and family life, poor prospects of promotion and progression in part-time
work, and the lack of flexibility in workplaces are often factors that serve to widen the
gender pay gap.
8

Well, actually, that\’s pretty much all of the gender pay gap. And given that is results from the choices that people make about who gets to stay home and look after the kiddies, well, there\’s something feminine about complaining about the results of other people doing as other people want really, isn\’t there?

Jobs traditionally done by women, such as cleaning, catering and caring, are
undervalued and paid less than jobs traditionally done by men, such as construction,
transportation and skilled trades.

This is known as supply and demand dears. No economic system which ignores them has been found to work.

Women still do the bulk of caring in the UK. The lack of flexible working and a long
working hours culture mean that women pay a penalty at work for their caring role.

See, I told you they were going to complain both about lots of people being able to do the hours that suit them in part time work and that lots of people aren\’t able to do the hours that suit them in part time work.

There\’s, if we were to be rude about it, something particularly feminine about this, isn\’t there?

The Government must extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, as
committed to in its Coalition Programme published in May 2010.

See, they want more part time work to be made available!

So there we have it. Ignorant, illogical twaddle being peddled by hysterical women.

But don\’t forget the most important thing you can do about all this:

Fundraise for Fawcett
Holding a fundraiser is a great way to raise awareness of the issues while raising much
needed funds to help Fawcett keep campaigning.
Whether it’s an excuse to have a social with friends and colleagues or something you
can combine with a campaign event, with a little imagination your fundraising can make
all the difference to Fawcett.

Yes, send them money. For peddling more of this shit is really going to help, isn\’t it?

9 thoughts on “The Fawcett Society: lying scum as usual”

  1. So in effect if you want to be totally perverse, the Fawcett society (according to the way they work out the figures) would be totally happy if one woman worked and got £100K. Therefore the women’s average would be £100K, whilst men’s would be some other value.

    But then they want lots of women working. So to be totally perverse again, they would be happy if all women were working full time all their lives just like men. The fact that there would be no time left for families, and caring – ahh sorry I get this point, they want the men to do the looking after families and caring.

  2. “they want the men to do the looking after families and caring.”

    I rather doubt that either: we’re all paedophiles aren’t we?

  3. Two observations:

    I used to run a business selling training. Part-time workers cost more than full-time workers. The fixed stuff – management time, team meetings, their training etc is all necessary but non-productive. With a part-time worker the percentage of time for which they could be hired out was smaller than that of a full-time worker. That is basically why part-time employees earn less than full-time employees.

    On who stays home: I have three friends from way back when, all of whom now have children. Between the four of us:
    One couple – both work
    Two couples – man stays home, woman works
    One couple – woman stays home, man works

    What links all three stay-at-home parents is that in each case they earned less than their partner pre-children.

    As a woman I would love to have a highly paid and entertaining job which I could fit in between the nursery run. But I have enough of a grip on reality to accept that this is not a deal which I am likely to be able to strike. Trade offs, peeps.

    Tim adds: “Part-time workers cost more than full-time workers.”

    Quite: one of the things that grips my shit (yes, I am being grumpy this morning) is that the Women at Work Commission actually pointed to this years ago. Highlighted it. And yet everyone at Fawcett and the like sails serenely on ignoring it.

  4. Gender equality will become a reality only when people are dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new millenium.

  5. “Now you and I would say this is wonderful. Our lovely flexible labour market allows those who wish to to split their working time between household activities and market activities. People do not face an all or nothing choice. In fact, given that the Fawcett Society advocates job sharing (yes! a form of part time work!) you’d think they would like it too.”

    I think thay are not criticizing part-time work; they are criticizing the lower wage/hour of part-timers

  6. Sorry Tim, men lost their right to make jokes about women’s illogic when they came up with the rules to cricket. Normally I don’t believe in collective guilt, but in the case of cricket I make an exception.

    Tim adds: A resonable point except for one thing, which is my adamant insistence that the rules of cricket were made up by women as a joke on men: one which men haven’t quite got yet.

  7. According to Fawcett there are more women in prison, not because women commit more crime but because the courts are harsher on women. This is a REAL laugh. The UK Home Office have admitted that men get one third longer prison sentences than women for committing the SAME crime.
    Last year, for the first time ever in the history of British crime, VIOLENCE was the main crime amongst women. One-third of domestic abuse is now committed by women. Add to this the ever increasing numbers of female pedophiles now being prosecuted and we KNOW why more women are in prison.

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