Mothers earn less than non-mothers, fathers more than non-

There is a gender earnings gap in British – as with all others – society. The interesting question is what is causing it, the important one what we do about it. The answers being, in turn, children and nothing.

This is not, you will note, the general direction of the political conversation. It does have the merit of being true on both counts.

Take this finding that there are lots more highly paid men out there:

There are almost four times more men than women in Britain’s highest-paid posts, according to “scandalous” figures that show the extent of the glass ceiling blocking women from top jobs.

Government data reveals the huge disparity in the number of men and women with a six-figure income, fuelling concerns over the gender pay gap in the City and other professions.

There were 681,000 men earning £100,000 or more in 2015-16, according to new HMRC data. It compares with only 179,000 women. The latest figures show that 17,000 men earned £1m in 2015-16, while only 2,000 women did so.

Those numbers are true. There are more men earning higher incomes than there are women. This is the entire and whole driver of that gender pay gap – or what it actually is, a gender earnings gap. And what is the cause of this? As the TUC has pointed out:

There is an overall gender pay gap of 34 per cent for this cohort of full-time
workers who were born in 1970. This gap is largely due to the impact of
parenthood on earnings – the women earning less and the men earning more
after having children.

That really is just about all there is to it. It’s illegal, and has been for decades, to pay people differently based solely upon their gender. People doing the same job get the same pay by gender – there’re fortunes to be made dobbing in employers where this isn’t the case and we don’t see such dobbing in happening.

Our truth being that, on average and across the population this is not about the actions of any individual, men and women tend to react differently to the arrival of the darlin’ snotdribblers. We’re a sexually dimorphic species which has discovered that division of labour secret. As it happens we tend to divide the labour a little differently over the results of sex.

Ho hum.

Men tend – tend note, tend – to go out and do a little more hunting in the marketplace to provide for their children when they arrive, women to do a bit more of that gathering closer to home. And?

Well, and this:

Following the release of the figures, Greening said: “These stark figures show how far our country still has to go on closing our gender pay gap. It represents not only a loss of career earnings for women, it also represents a loss of talent for employers.

“What counts now is companies taking action to close this gap. That means making flexible working laws actually work on the ground, enabling women to get on with their careers after, as well as before, starting a family, and it means more girls aiming for the high-paying careers in areas like engineering that have been male-dominated.”

No, that’s wibble, but then it’s also Greening so who expected anything else?

Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality party, said: “These figures show inequality runs through every level of the economy. It is scandalous that women still make up barely a fifth of top earners, and this discrepancy is not confined to those in well-paid jobs.

“Gender inequality is a feature, not a coincidence or side-effect, of our economic, political and social system. The foundation of that model is the unpaid childcare and social care work that is predominately done by women – and which is not recognised in official economic data or factored into political calculations. That has obvious knock-on effects on women’s earnings and their chances of climbing to the top of the career ladder.”

That has the merit of being entirely correct and true. Women do more of the caring for the brats, men less. And until and unless that changes then there will be an inequality in the part of life which is not about wiping bottoms. At which point again, our important question, and?

For this is just how humans turn out and why would we want to change that? What could we do to change that more importantly? Well, we could offer lots of choice and lots of choice is a good thing in and of itself, it’s an increase in freedom and liberty. But when we, for example, offer paternity leave we find not many men desiring to take it. Men can – and some do of course – become primary child carer. The point being that not many do.

The answer therefore becomes what it always should be anyway. Sure, let’s set up society so that all have that maximal freedom and liberty the universe allows. Something that this capitalist free marketry has done rather well with over the centuries. Then we simply stand back and che sera, che sera. For the aim and purpose here is not to make all people equal in outcome, it’s to offer equality of opportunity and see how much of whatever it is that humans, living their lives, actually want. And if it’s not all that much, or doesn’t accord with current theory then so be it.

We can also point out that the true answer here is entirely in womens’ hands. Granny knew how to manage G-Pops, Lysistrata shows the Ancient Greeks got the point. If the only way men got nookie and or children was by being house husbands then there wouldn’t be a gender earnings gap, or it would run the other way. That women don’t strike for this – perhaps that not enough do – shows that this might well not be what women actually want.

OK, maybe not in womens’ hands but certainly in their control….

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15 COMMENTS

  1. What they do in Spain about womens issues is get 8 million women to turn out and demonstrate, like they did on wednesday this week

    Anyway a good contribution to Womens issues is:

    The Tax Justice Network is supporting global partners in highlighting the impact of regressive tax policies and financial secrecy on women’s fundamental human rights, something we campaign on and write about. Here’s some information about the #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights Global Days of Action. The dates for your diary are 8-24 March 2017.Women

    You and your organisation are invited to join the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, our members and partners including international women’s rights groups and global trade unions in taking action to advance tax justice for women’s rights. See the Campaign page here

    WHAT CAN YOU DO?
    Start planning your creative actions to promote #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights in the Global Days of Action, 8-24 March 2017.
    Join with women’s rights, trade union and tax justice groups in your country to understand the issues and plan joint work together.
    Send letters and ask to meet with your national government and UN representatives to explain why we need tax justice to ensure gender justice. See these suggested ADVOCACY MESSAGES
    Begin contacting your government representatives who are attending the annual UN Commission on Status of Women, 13-24 March in New York. Explain why tax justice is needed to deliver on the UNCSW theme of “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.”
    Share the word through social media: #IWD2017 / #taxjustice / #womensrights / #UNCSW17
    Let us know what you’re doing! Please fill out the SUBMIT EVENT form.
    We’ll promote your activities and suggest connections to build impact. Please also send your event details, news, photos, videos, and social media links to marie@globaltaxjustice.org | teresa@globaltaxjustice.org | bridget.burrows@actionaid.org
    KEY DATES
    International Women’s Rights Day, Wed. 8 March 2017 – Join people around the world as we launch the Global Days of Action for #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights, and call on our governments to stop the global scandal of corporate tax dodging, end illicit financial flows, and transform inequitable fiscal policies in order to fund and fulfill women’s rights.
    Follow up with your government representatives who are attending the annual UN Commission on Status of Women, 13-24 March in New York. Explain why tax justice is needed to deliver on the UNCSW theme of “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.”
    Wed. 15 March – ActionAid International will release a new report on macroeconomics and violence against women. Watch for and share the report. Attend the UNCSW parallel event 15 March @ 8.30am, Church Center of the United Nations, New York.
    Thurs. 16 March @ 6.15pm – participate in the #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights’ forum, Hardin Room, Church Center of the United Nations, New York. *This UNCSW parallel event is jointly hosted by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Global Unions, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Oxfam, ActionAid, Tax Justice Network, Christian Aid, National Taxpayers Association Kenya.
    World Water Day, Wed. 22 March 2017 – stand in solidarity with Public Services International members. Tell our governments to ensure the Human Right to Water is realised through universal access to public water services that boost women’s health and economic independence.
    WHAT’S AT STAKE? click here for more background
    ORGANISING TEAM

    The #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights Global Days of Action campaign is an initiative of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, GATJ Tax & Gender and Global Action Working groups, and committed partners including Public Services International, the International Trade Union Confederation, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, Center for Economic and Social Rights, ActionAid, Christian Aid, Oxfam and Tax Justice Network.

    For more information, please contact:

    GATJ Campaign & Communications team: teresa@globaltaxjustice.org | marie@globaltaxjustice.org

    GATJ Tax & Gender working group co-facilitators: bridget.burrows@actionaid.org | cothim12@gmail.com

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk

  2. There were 681,000 men earning £100,000 or more in 2015-16, according to new HMRC data. It compares with only 179,000 women. The latest figures show that 17,000 men earned £1m in 2015-16, while only 2,000 women did so.

    Yeah? How many of those women work for the government? How many of them are in jobs where they ignore people like Baby P? How many of the men?

    Looking at how makes the money is irrelevant. What matters is who spends the money. And something like 80% of all spending decisions are made by women in British households. Just go into any house in Britain – it is entirely dominated by whatever tat the wife wants. Men, if they are lucky, have a corner of the shed.

    The reality is that Western men are insane. They work themselves into an early grave so their wives can sit around doing nothing but disrespecting them.

    • I think Scott Adams made a similar point.
      Go to any shop and you see huge women’s section. Tiny men’s section.
      The only suggestion that women are less powerful would be heeled shoes which he suggests they wear to attract men

      • Nah, heeled shoes are a patriarchal imposition to hobble ’em to stop ’em running away from their rapists, and skirts are similarly imposed to facilitate ease of access, innit. Can’t be any other reason for wearing such cripplingly innappropriate attair.

  3. ‘There is a gender earnings gap in British – as with all others – society.’

    The “problem” is that the government isn’t socialist enough. The CM pricks stir up the people over anything they can. Even something as mundane as differences in the sexes.

    Note the use of ‘gender,’ as well. A CM contrivance.

    ‘So We Do Nothing About It’

    I think it important to do more, to call out the scum debasing public discourse with their inciting rhetoric. As an example, concern for the environment has been completely pushed aside by the Scary Climate Change™ schtick. Real damage is being done to the environment. And accepted by the public.

  4. The only input I have on this subject is from the younger echelon. In their 20s and 30s, (at least compared to my time) all appeared to earn very attractive salaries from the outset – arguably the women more than men. Starting salaries straight out of university were eye-watering (but then Mrs G’s father said the same about his daughter back in ’73). While I could never have made a living as a professional sportsman, it didn’t mean an absence of competitive instinct, and I suspect that for many women there comes a point when they realise there is more to life than getting out of bed every morning and repeatedly kicking your opponent in the nuts. And good for them. However, if you climb out the ring and return part time as the guy that holds the spit bucket…

  5. We’ve solved the problem and the reason is clearly females who are free to choose don’t choose STEM at the same rate as men:

    According to a new paper published in Psychological Science by the psychologists Gijsbert Stoet, at Leeds Beckett University, and David Geary, at the University of Missouri, it could have to do with the fact that women in countries with higher gender inequality are simply seeking the clearest possible path to financial freedom. And often, that path leads through stem professions.

    According to a new paper published in Psychological Science by the psychologists Gijsbert Stoet, at Leeds Beckett University, and David Geary, at the University of Missouri, it could have to do with the fact that women in countries with higher gender inequality are simply seeking the clearest possible path to financial freedom. And often, that path leads through stem professions.

    I don’t suppose doing away with the welfare state and reducing women’s rights is the answer they’re look for, though.

  6. Your best bet for a million pound income if you’re a woman is to marry the right man. It’s only rational for the brightest and best of women to aim for this, rather than trying to make their own fortunes.

    Not much discussed, but maybe it should be.

    Men don’t get the same option of course.

  7. “That means making flexible working laws actually work on the ground, enabling women to get on with their careers after, as well as before, starting a family”

    But that will still result in, say, a 40-year-old with ten years experience ‘cos they’ve taken ten years off in the last twenty to look after kids, competing with 40-year-olds with 20 years’ experience because they *haven’t* taken any time off in the last 20 years.

    Which is what we already have. ANYBODY can take ANY time off for ANYTHING and come back to work, but the iron rule of mathematcis means that they will be behind those people who did NOT take any time off.

    Hell, I took 11 years off to serve my community in local government. I didn’t expect, as a 40-year-old, to re-enter my previous career as though I’d been working in it for the previous 11 years, I went back into it as though I was still 30, and FULLY EXPECTED TO BE PAID AS SUCH.

  8. I don’t know why we can’t just acknowledge that there is a widespread unfair bias towards tall, light-skinned men who don’t go bald, and that _everyone_ else is getting screwed by that to a greater or lesser extent.

    “There were 681,000 men earning £100,000 or more in 2015-16, according to new HMRC data. It compares with only 179,000 women. The latest figures show that 17,000 men earned £1m in 2015-16, while only 2,000 women did so.”

    I would love to know the height distribution of those groups. I’d be willing to bet it’s substantially different to the general population.