Women should be paid the same as blokes despite not having a penis!

equalpayI work hard in my job. I always have. My work ethic is incredibly high and I strive to always do the best job I can and produce great results for my employer. Yet despite all of this I am still paid, on average, 13% less than a bloke for the same job. Women have been battling against gender discrimination in the workplace for decades with little improvement. Is this a fair deal? This modern feminist does not think so!

When discussing the Pay Equity  issue with blokes their responses seem to follow fairly similar themes of “We work harder”, ‘Women are always taking time off to care for sick children” and my personal favourite “Women get to take maternity leave’! Hmmmph. Lets break this down shall we?

Blokes just because you have a penis does not mean that you work harder than women. In fact in my own experience I have seen many many many women working twice as hard as blokes in the same jobs just to prove the ‘Blokes work harder” statement false. I’m not saying that blokes don’t work hard, I’m just saying that it would be fairly impossible to prove that blokes work harder than women because they have blokey body bits.

Yes women do take more time off to look after sick children because typically blokes don’t seem to see this as their primary  responsibility. The role of childcare, even in 2014, still falls into the gendered domestic division of labour relegated to women.

Now lets address the “Women get Maternity Leave” which seems to imply that blokes think that taking time off to have children is like a paid holiday! Don’t even get me started on how horribly hard it is to carry a small child in your stomach for nine months, give birth to it and then endure the months of sleep deprivation and exhaustion to care for an infant during its first months in life. Hardly a holiday right? Lets focus instead on how taking these “holidays” impact a woman’s earnings over the course of her career.

Martin King is the General Manager of Human Resources at Coca-Cola Amatil NZ Ltd (CCANZ), and has been instrumental in achieving a proud record of 100% equal pay within the organisation. Martin wrote this as part of the YWCA Auckland Pay Equity Campaign;

“Even if women are receiving equal pay when they go on maternity leave, gaps start to form when they return.  They have missed out on annual salary reviews, usually structured to meet the rate of inflation. Subsidies, such as medical insurance are often cut and most women are not eligible for holiday pay until they have again accrued time working.

Consider, for example, a woman who has three children over a nine-year period.  She has culminated up to three years maternity leave, adding up to three salary reviews she may potentially miss out on.  As a result, she is likely to be making approximately 10 – 12% less than her co-workers over this time period.  It’s these women who are responsible for New Zealand’s future generation – surely they shouldn’t be disadvantaged for their efforts?”

I don’t’ think so!! And neither does the YWCA Auckland who are continuing to fight the Pay Equity battle for women. In 2012 the YWCA Auckland ran a campaign to raise awareness of the gross gender pay gap the highlights of which are on the media clip below. In 2014 they are running a corporate and SME friendly campaign to champion Equal Pay in businesses. Through the YWCA Equal Pay Awards businesses get to demonstrate their valuing of women in the workplace by showcasing how they are addressing the pay gap issue and even obliterating it all together. Now as a modern feminist I would like to know which organisations respect women by paying them fairly as these would be organisations that I would support and see as the most desirable workplaces.

Simply, if women are doing the same work as a bloke they should be paid equally. If the pay gap is not 0% then it’s not right! I’m raising awareness of the issue and supporting the YWCA Auckland Pay Equity campaign because as a woman I deserve to be paid equally, not on average $3.90/hour less;  and for my daughters because I don’t want them to be fighting this battle 20 years down the track.

Or perhaps we should start charging blokes 10% more on goods and services because they have a penis?


2 thoughts on “Women should be paid the same as blokes despite not having a penis!

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