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Why You Will Never Get Equal Pay for Women

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Zardnaar, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Going by the title there are probably a heap of posters sharpening their knives already. Personally I support equal pay for equal work, the reason why women will never match men's earning power (at least under capitalism) is that not all jobs are created equal.

    Generally the higher the skilled job the more it pays. I live in New Zealand which is one of the most progressive countries in the world, beaten perhaps by Scandinavia and a handful of European countries.

    In general the argument goes the higher skilled a job is the more you get paid. Here women make up around 60% of university students (at least where I live its a university small city).

    However what a lot of university educated types do not realise is that men still have a biological advantage over women when it comes to sheer brute strength. This is due to testosterone. So what does this have to do with the price of fish in a post industrial society?

    Here there are a lot of jobs dominated by men (usually 90%+) that women basically physically can't do. A few of those jobs a lot of men can't do. These are things like tradesmen, port workers, labourers etc. Intellectually I know there are women out there stronger than me for example and I am not as strong as a few of these guys I have met. These jobs also pay more than minimum wage. For example minimum wage here is $16.25 an hour, KFC pays around $17 an hour, and something like McDonalds is around $16.75 while super market work and cleaning is dominated by women for example and that is often minimum wage or close to it. Unless you are a complete potato anyone can basically do those jobs (we have a few potatoes here BTW gender doesn't matter).

    If you drive a forklift you normally get $18-$20 an hour+, port workers are often on $20+ for labouring up to salaries and hourly rates in the $100+ range for driving the big container vehicles, builders apprentices are often on something close to minimum wage but after 3 years most would get $30+ an hour. We have a builder friend who does work on our place and we pay him $40 an hour and he can still get the job done for around 1/3rd the price a company will charge. Even labouring at temp companies will generally pay $17-$20 an hour. Truck drivers are generally on $20+ an hour as well. Fast food workers are dominated by immigrants (Indians and Chinese) and women here.

    And this is before you factor in over time rates which a lot of companies here no longer do but you can still get time and a quarter through to time and a half and double time, freezing works here (meat processing plants/slaughter houses) pay quite well. For example I had a friend 17 years ago working at one and he was getting $25 an hour with time and a half and double time in the weekends. Supermarkets and shop do not pay over time rates generally.

    For the most part women can't really do these jobs (a lot of men can't/won't either). A few years ago for example I needed some money and went to a port and slung 80-90 ton per day of export stuff (well 2 of us did) and I can restack 15 tons of milk powder (20-25kg bags 45-55 pounds roughly) in 2-3 hours, wrap it up and do the paper work to ship it out.

    If you have been to a supermarket odds are it was mostly men who shipped the food/goods to the supermarket. Here the factories ship the goods (canned food etc) to a distribution centre and there packers pick things off the shelf to fulfil orders. A job like that pays around $18 an hour with time and a half for more than 40 hours. I also did this around 5 years ago and they had women in the office and women in small goods but all the forklift drivers, truck drivers, warehouse staff were men with 1 women doing that type of work as an exception on the afternoon shift. She was super fit, went to the gym etc and she was better than quite a few of the guys but even then she was maybe in the top 30-40% of the workers- all the super fast ones were all men. Basically from the employers PoV women are less efficient at these type of jobs even something like trades such as building- not to many women want/can carry sheets of plywood up stairs or lug around 25kg bags of concrete.

    That is not to say women can't make a decent income here, some are very well paid and there is a very big gender disparity in teaching for example (especially early child hood) and that pays 60-70k+ a year here but they are having trouble attracting men to do it and things like science and math teachers (those teachers do not get paid any more than a normal teacher). At the university's there is also a big gender disparity in the subjects, if you want to met women do an arts degree paper or gender studies, engineering and IT are a bit of a sausage fest. My friends mother is a CEO, my wife earns more than me. There are no barriers stopping women from doing these jobs, going to university here is quite easy if you did OK at school or are over 25 (automatic entry) and we have things like student allowances and cheap student loans.

    As I said earlier I support equal pay for equal work -some things will be subjective. My wife gets paid less than some of her male workers (although her job is semi unique its hard to make a fair comparison) but she will not ask for a pay rise (I suspect they would give her one) but her company looks after her well (average of 8-9% pay rises each year for last 14 years, 15% pay rise one year+ bonus every year except 2008, $50 an hour over time rate). At the local branch it seems good but the board is all pale and male and a work mate of hers left when one of the higher ups told her he wanted to f*** her so its not all plain sailing. There were no witnesses to the incident and she got a better pay rate and left for another company.

    And that is basically it. There are still a lot of jobs that require a decent amount of physical fitness and they can't really be automated until someone invents a humanoid type droid. The trades, freight, port work, distribution of food, furniture removal are all dominated by men, there are not enough women (few if any) that want to or can do those jobs to the required speed. A few women can drive forklifts and trucks for example but some of those jobs also require unloading it and I have not yet met a women who can carry 2 63kg kegs of beer (1 in each hand) and even at the lower levels (20kg roughly) very few can do the job as fast as an average male and the exceptional female can't do it as fast as an exceptional male (around 50% slower the DC kept track of everyone individual output fastest female vs fastest male). She was still a good worker though and was faster than a lot of the guys, just not so good fastest male vs fastest female (the fastest 2 were around 2-3 times quicker than the potato types). Potato types were usually in the union.

    And this is before you factor in things like time off for getting pregnant (men can't have babies obviously). Most women here have children at some point (I think its 80 or 90%+). .
     
  2. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    I dunno that most people consider "get more women into the distribution sector" a primary method of achieving equal pay.
     
  3. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Most jobs that are high paying don't require you to be able to lift heavy objects, I don't think.

    But yes, it's true that some jobs pay more than others, and it's also true that men tend to gravitate to certain jobs and women to others. It's also true however that women face a disadvantage in many ways due to the fact that they give birth to things and in many societies tend to be responsible for looking after any young. So there is overall less of an opportunity for women to focus on a full time career where promotions are a regular occurrence (and part-time work is a lot more common instead)

    You'll never truly get full wage equality, because comparing "total $ men make/number of men" to "total $ women make/number of women" just doesn't make any sense. There is no reason those two amounts should be equal. However, better equality can be achieved if the struggles women and parents face in the workplace are better understood, appreciated, and protected by the government. I'm not personally sure how to better level the playing field - it's not like you can just say "we'll just make it so men can give birth too". I'll leave the solutions here up to the experts, who have studied the case studies, and can make the best recommendations on how to create a better workplace for both women and for both men and women.

    Personally I believe it's also, on top of this, important to try to get more women into technology-oriented jobs like programming, etc. and more men into women-dominated fields like teaching and HR. More balance in the workplace overall should be one of the things to strive for. However, if most women just don't want programming jobs or whatever, it wouldn't be wise to try to somehow push them into it anyway. Let people do what they want, within reason, and try to make things as equal and fair as possible however the chips may fall.
     
  4. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy Drinking with Obama

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    Physical strength is one of the least important factors for 'equal pay'. Not that many jobs are incentive based on production. The gap isn't comparing a warehouse worker to a fast food worker, it's comparing a warehouse worker to a warehouse worker, a manager to a manager, or a fast food worker to a fast food worker.
    Pregnancy and taking time off to raise a family are factors for that gap, but supposedly it doesn't explain it all*.

    *How do you figure that, anyway? A man works 9 years, a woman works 12 but took off 3 years for a family, so both worked for 9 years, right? Problem is the man worked 9 consecutive years, the woman worked 6 then 3. Equal? What happens in the industry or the company while the woman was off work? In some situations an opportunity could have came up during that leave of absence.

    No doubt there are some cases of sexism (manager promoting a male just because he's a man or paying him more over an equally qualified female), and those cases should be exposed and stopped.

    Generally speaking (there are no absolutes), men tend to be more aggressive so they are more likely to ask for the raises and take risks, women play it more 'safe'. It all goes back to when they were kids: Boys are raised to "When you fail, get back up and try again" (especially in sports). Girls are raised as princesses and don't want to make mistakes (be perfect) so they don't take as many risks.
     
    dusters likes this.
  5. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    I think you would be surprised. Your country has builders, supermarkets, ports and freight?

    I'm guessing most of those jobs are male dominated?

    Most people don't think about the supply lines and how they get their food and a lot of that type of work is invisible to the average person. They tend to think of large corporations, factories and government departments.

    A few dozen men in a DC can supply half a million people (plus drivers, forklift drivers etc).
     
  6. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy Drinking with Obama

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    Manual labor is typically fixed hourly wages (non-negotiable, everyone gets paid the same, based on seniority), and as you can see the gap is small.
    Managers and occupations where the wages are negotiated, the gap is larger.
     
  7. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Warlord

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    Brute strength jobs generally don't pay all that well. They pay good, yes, but not well. Many are in danger of being replaced by robots.

    My job requires lifting of 75 pounds, but we do have one woman working for us who is not expected to lift that much. We basically pull her share of the physical work. That's just the way it goes. And being hourly workers, she makes the same as the rest of us (or will when she tops out her pay). My main complaint about her isn't her lack of strength, but that she lacks mechanical ability. I won't say there's a stereotype here, but very few women have impressed me in this regard. This can be rectified by teaching your daughters to take things apart and put them back together.

    It's not the strength requirement that hurts women, it's that many seem to be lazy and not willing to work dirty, hard work. Why work as a garbage collector when you can work in a supermarket cashier making the same wages. Of course the latter is being replaced by technology. And actually the former isn't dirty, hard work anymore since machines lift the containers in the truck where I live, they just got new trucks this year to do that.
     
  8. Silurian

    Silurian Chieftain

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    I have worked in the UK civil engineering and construction industries for over thirty years.

    At present there are few jobs that require the strength that you described.
    When I started in the 1980s strength was required for most craft and labour rolls.
    Then men would work hard until there late forties or fifties then their body would fail and they would leave.
    Since then the work has become more mechanised and smarter.

    Here no one would be expected to carry 63kg let alone 2 63kg kegs of beer. The company would not want the risk of being sued when the person did their back in after one or ten years, or they had other problems and came back latter and rightfully sued.

    Women are equally capable of driving machines, they are better in some respect in that they do less damage to the machine.

    Two years ago I worked on a site where a small girl worked as a scaffolder.

    At present the main reason there are less women now is that people do not want too be in a minority.


    When I started work it was said that New Zealand was like the UK in the fifties. Maybe you have now reached the eighties.
     
  9. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yeah but we also have higher paying jobs: lawyers, dentists, doctors, engineers, programmers, pharmacists, managers, accountants, etc. Lots and lots of jobs that have high paying positions that don't require you to use physical strength.
     
  10. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    upload_2018-1-10_12-32-39.png

    The gender pay gap in NZ is in fact declining, and at 12% it's one of the world's smaller ones. I think in 2017 it was closer to 10%.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  11. Arwon

    Arwon Show me your moves

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    Machinery operators also have the smallest pay gap of the major occupation groups in NZ.

    upload_2018-1-10_12-44-1.png

    And as a percentage of male earnings, women machinery operators are closest to men, while labourers are closer than professionals, community and personal service workers, and clerical workers.

    upload_2018-1-10_12-48-37.png
     
  12. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    I don't know that physically demanding jobs are the data set that skew pay gap statistics. This is especially apparent when the most physically demanding jobs have union-mandated wages, negating that argument even if it were seriously offered.

    You see the pay gap, however anecdotal or statistically proven, in jobs where both genders are for the most part equal in capability. There's nothing about a man or a woman that makes them particularly useful at, say, data analysis, yet you might find that in your area the women in such a job are being paid less than the men.
     
  13. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    Utility workers are not that badly paid here, $20+ an hour sort of thing.
     
  14. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    You are not required here to lift two beer kegs these days either, health and safety has cracked down on that a lot since the late 90's.

    What you are required to do and what some people do are two different things. The driver did that as he could make 1 trip instead of 2 and I saw him move a 200kg barrel of metal as well (rolled it).

    In theory anything here over 25kg is a two man lift, in practice its not always like that. NZ is full of old buildings that do not have modern loading zones for example so if you are delivering things to small town NZ its just the way things are. Or in the cities the rules say one thing in practice its impossible to follow the rules. Everything is a lot more decentralised, 4,5 million people in a country bigger than the UK for example.
     
  15. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

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    That is wrong in theory, depends on the exact circumstances. 1 contract I had it had 9 different pay scales. Basically it was less skilled to most skilled (3 levels) and something again for each of those categories.I asked for 3 pay rises got each one and combined with things like annual increase and annual performance reviews got around 11 pay rises in 2 years. Most of the highest paid ones were however done by men. That place was heavily unionized (which is rare now).

    Jobs like that here are starting to disappear though the average wage is around 50k a year here but the median wage is lower than 40k IIRC. There lots of jobs in the $16-$20 range and a few high skilled jobs over $30 hour (or salary equivalents). Theres not that much int he $20-30 range though (a few factory jobs and civil service pays that, entry level positions in skilled jobs etc).

    Some of the new stuff here is as good as Europe- if it has been built in the last 5 years or so otherwise its probably 10-20 years behind. I have seen some places that are worse than other places I saw 17 years ago in terms of set up (ergonomics, flow etc). That place the job got done they had a few lost time injuries including the superviser (knee pain).
     
  16. red_elk

    red_elk Chieftain

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    Women shouldn't just get equal pay, it doesn't make sense.
    They should get equal pay for equal job done.
     
  17. Silurian

    Silurian Chieftain

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    When I first saw the thread title I was expecting it to be something about women taking time off for childcare so gaining less experience and problems with working part time. I was expecting some arguments about women actually gaining some skills whilst taking time off for childcare.

    I was not expecting a thread about the strength of men so they get paid more.
     
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  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It depends on the sector, market, country, type of job, etc. In a lot of places it is illegal to discriminate based on gender wrt pay, not to say that discrimination doesn't happen, but for instance my employer goes out of its way to meet certain diversity and equality standards, one of those being that when deciding the pay of an employee, the gender can't be considered as a factor. In fact I think this might be a provincial or federal law? I'm not really sure tbh, but as far as my work goes at least (where thousands of people are employed) we have a large HR department that looks over this stuff and from what I've seen makes sure that gender is not a factor when pay is determined, but also that women and minorities make up a certain % of the employed

    My sister on the other hand has several stories to tell me about how she lost out on pay because she's a woman (in a different field, market, and employer). They are mainly stories regarding maternity leave, the way bonuses are calculated, etc. Most people working in her office are women, and the lead person happens to be a man. I think he might be the only man at that particular office. Anyway, as a result men make on average more than women at that company (when all other variables are accounted for), because they have more opportunities to receive larger bonuses, since they weren't gone from work due to parental leave. The company only offers maternity leave, no paternity leave, so it in the end mainly affects women negatively..
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam GiftOfNukes

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    What are the median years worked in these figures? 10 years experience has a higher median income than 5 years experience...even for the same person. Age wage gap?

    Working more hours in the week on average also creates a higher median income. Hours worked age gap?

    These considerations are not insignificant, and when you start graphing data w/o them it's disingenuous. You could find that women are more or less discriminated against than what you show, and either would be useful information.
     
  20. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    And so do most employers. The "women don't get equal pay" argument has been debunked as the studies that showed women don't get equal pay were flawed in their methodology. Once those errors were properly corrected for, the difference in pay between men and women is negligible.
     

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