Women Are Doing The Wrong Jobs so Therefore No ‘Equal’ Pay Issue?

I wonder what you make of this below. It’s a riposte to the CMI who estimate that women will have to work longer than men by 14 years to achieve same pay levels. This entire article appeared in the HR Grapevine in August 2014

In response to the figures from the Chartered Management Institute – which revealed that female managers would have to work 14 years longer than their male counterparts to achieve the same career earnings – the CEO of De Poel, who place 40,000 workers a week at blue-chip companies, has claimed the figures paint a false picture of discrimination, not backed by evidence.

The major finding of the CMI and Xpert HR’s analysis of the National Management Salary Survey, concluded that female executives suffer a “mid-life pay crisis”.

The analysis of 68,000 professional workers found that women aged 46 to 60 earned on average £16,680 a year less than men in the same age range – meaning that to earn as much in their working life, they would have to work until they were almost 80.

The report also stated that women aged 40 and above in senior positions were being paid 35% less than men.

Matthew Sanders, CEO at De Poel has argued, however, that the pay gap “is less to do with gender, and more to do with the fact that the survey respondents work in different industries and companies.”

“You cannot simply compare wages for similar job titles in other sectors, without taking into account what type of companies and industries they work in,” Sanders said.

Speaking exclusively to HR Grapevine, he responded to both the CMI and Fawcett Society reports, saying: “The stream of reports purporting to show a “gender pay gap” and the alarming headlines they generate, could unfairly harm the reputation of British employers and recruiters.

“They risk giving the misleading impression that any salary gap between men and women is caused by recruiters and employers discriminating against women, leading to calls for increased regulation or positive discrimination.”

Sanders explained that, in actual fact, there could be an array of complex factors causing the survey results to appear this way.

“Additionally we have some reports comparing mean hourly earnings between men and women to arrive at the figure of a gender pay gap. This can be equally misleading, as it does not account for the fact that women and men are largely concentrated in different sectors of the economy.

“Disparities in average salaries between men and women may reflect the fact that men and women predominate in different industries and different job roles. For example, the most common occupation for men who class themselves as professional is software development or programming, where the average salary is £20 an hour, while the most common occupation for professional women is nursing, where the average salary is £16.61 an hour.”

Sanders added that companies that do not employ the best people for each position and ensure they receive equal pay regardless of gender are ‘potentially damaging their own business’.

“If true, it is outrageous that such discrimination exists in today’s working world. It would be commercially negligent to operate in such a discriminatory way and as a business owner with 20 years’ experience in recruitment I find it difficult to fathom that anyone could behave in this way and run a successful business,” he said.

Now I read that and think: why are jobs that women do so massively underpaid compared with the jobs that men traditionally do…? Look at the post preceding this for more evidence on that. And as to gender neutral employment practices, well, let’s just say I remain to be convinced.

RenewYou is my one day programme for women, licensed to excellent trainers across the world and available somewhere near you soon!


Posted on September 4th, 2014 by

One Response to “Women Are Doing The Wrong Jobs so Therefore No ‘Equal’ Pay Issue?”

  1. I completely agree with the comment about why are the jobs that men do better paid? I have always wondered if more HR Directors were men whether there would be more HR Directors on plc boards. Why is it that being in charge of Talent isn’t seen as important enough to warrant a full board position. It would certainly help companies to achieve higher female representation on boards if the HR Director job was recognised on the board. Makes me smile when I see HR Directors reporting into Finance Directors -what’s that about?

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