Eliminating the UK gender pay gap

Legislation will be introduced in 2018, forcing British companies with 250+ employees to publish their ‘gender pay gap’, with a view to eventual elimination. You have to compare the median pay of all f/t male employees with that of all f/t female employees to arrive at the sort of ‘gap’ campaigners witter on about, 17-20%.

The causes of the ‘gap’ have been well understood for decades, and have nothing to do with companies paying women less than men for the same work (which would be illegal). Key points:

    • there’s a small gender pay gap in favour of females in their 20s, almost no gap in their 30s. Only in the 40s onwards does a gap in favour of males appear, as women focus less on their careers for a variey of reasons including childcare.
    • men are more work-focused than women. Dr Catherine Hakim’s report on Preference Theory (2000) tells us that four in seven British men are work-focused, only one in seven British women.
    • from the moment they leave f/t education, women are more likely than men not to engage in paid employment, or to work only p/t.
    • men are more likely to do the dangerous unpleasant jobs which employers struggle to fill.
    • men are more likely to be willing to work unsocial hours.
    • men are more prepared than women to seek advancement to positions which will be accompanies with high levels of stress.
    • two-thirds of private sector jobs are taken by men, two-thirds of public sector jobs are taken by women. Most of the latter employees have high job security, many are well-paid (e.g. doctors)
    • there is no evidence of employers routinely paying women less than men for doing the same work. They would be committing a crime if they did so, and Fair Pay legislation dates back almost 50 years.

There is, in short, no gender pay gap problem.

Our thanks to Mike P for an eye-wateringly idiotic piece in the Telegraph. It’s accompanied by an equally idiotic video (5:49). An extract:

This is the perfect time, while there is no compulsion to publish the data. They can take the opportunity to investigate the current position, look at the extent of the problem they face, [note the assumption that a problem exists, other than the problem of government interference] analyse the underlying reasons for any gap and decide what they need to do to mitigate the gender pay gap and the associated reputational risks.

So, what might companies do to ‘mitigate the gender pay gap’? They could:

    • increase the pay of their female workers
    • reduce the pay of their male workers
    • increase the pay of female-dominated parts of the business, relative to male-dominated parts
    • preference women over men when promoting staff
    • sack higher-paid men and give their jobs to women

None of the five options makes the slightest business sense. Just as we have with ‘women in boardrooms’ initiatives, the pretence is made that there’s a business case for the privileging of women. Another extract:

Most employers recognise the need to attract and retain the best people. Identifying and addressing any gender pay gap will mean that the value of women in employment is better recognised and increases the potential talent pool. This also has implications in terms of productivity. [My emphasis.]

I think what this is saying, is that if you offer higher salaries for positions than you need to – on the basis of supply and demand – more women will be interested. This is obviously true, but would be true for men also, and would make the company uncompetitive in its marketplace. How it has ‘implications in terms of productivity’, other than negative ones, I cannot start to imagine.

Among the steps which it is recommended businesses take now:

Identifying potential risk areas, e.g. historical pay arrangements for particular groups of staff and work groups that are predominantly male or female and which are subject to different pay arrangements.

This approach will inevitably mean that the less onerous lines of work which women typically favour, will pay better than they already do, further increasing women’s wish to work in those areas. Meanwhile men will do ever more of the onerous lines of work, and get paid less for them.

This anti-male social engineering exercise is happening while we have a Conservative government. In this area, as in so many others, Conservative politicians have waved a white flag to feminists and other Social Justice Warriors. Shame on them.

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About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • For purely economic reasons, any forced “equalisation” of pay is inevitably downwards, thus rendering blue collar men less able to support a family.
    To make semi and unskilled men marriageable their pay has to be supported as against women’s, which is what all the historic productivity schemes sponsored by Barbara Castle – female Cabinet minister – did in collaboration with the unions.

  • cheannaich

    I am afraid your website is swimming against the tide. “This anti-male social engineering exercise is happening” and happening whether we like it or not. More and more of society will be as dysfunctional as the public sector (a dysfunctionality that the ‘man on the Clapham omnibus’ would scarcely comprehend) whilst more and more of our population achieve higher and higher awards, be it educational; investors in people; transexualism diversity champions (I did actually read that item on one college website); chartermarks; two ticks or whatever accolade.
    Our political elite couldn’t care less, just so long as they can keep their collective nose in the trough (maybe have a few thousand others join them).
    I read an interesting comment by one Paul Weston on the ConservativeWoman website: “the next ten-twenty years in the West will be NOTHING like the last sixty”.

    • Thanks. We are PROUD to be swimming against the tide, as are the good people behind The Conservative Woman. Like all tides, this one will turn, after the utter destruction it is wreaking on society is undeniable to enough people. We are encouraged by early signs of Conservative MPs being brave enough to speak the truth, namely Philip Davies and Karl McCartney.

  • Here is my submission together with the official response, for what it is worth: http://www.financialreform.info/f_r_gender_pay_gap_submission.html

    • epistemol

      A government official, author of this reply writes,

      “Is not just about unequal pay for comparable jobs. The gender pay gap is the difference between men and women’s average salaries.”

      Did you see that bit Mike?
      Official acknowledgement that it is about all women as a group V. all men as a group, not just equal pay for equal work.

      I find that VERY interesting.

      An ADMISSION that their policy is about gender group equality, not not indivdual merit equaliy.
      In other words, it’s WHAT you are, not WHO you are, or what you DO that should be rewarded, – money paid out on the basis of an accident of birth, yes?

      What an ideal policy for the creation an elite group, SO elite that you have to be born into it just like the aristocracy of old, and if not then there’s no chance for you.

      I thought we had things like the 18th century ‘Elightenment’ and the abolition of slavery – great acheivements of the west and of modernity over the oppressive dogmas of the dark ages.

      Now here we have the OFFICIAL REVELATIONZ that all this is to be thrown away, trashed and undone.
      Where are the mass protests, the marches and rioting in the streets and farm labourers with pitchforks that surely should accompany such an astounding set back for civilisation?

      Can we now expect this this policy to spread – equally – to other groups like, oh I don’t know, er, men for example.

      There is plenty of scope for gender group equality in, well let’s see now;

      The life expectancy GAP.

      The health care funding Gap.

      The primary education GAP.

      The secondary education GAP.

      The university GAP.

      The degree GAP.

      The criminal justice sentencing GAP.

      The divorce court’s preferential treatment GAP.

      The pro feminist GAP.

      The missandry GAP.

      The youngers men’s pay GAP.

      The male lives disposability

      The nascent and growing prevention of ANY defence against rape accusation GAP.

      That’ll do to start with, but please add your own ‘GAP’ if you’d care to.

      Is my confidence misplaced when I say I fully expect to see measures adopted very soon to address these GAP issues.

      Surely not?

  • William Gruff

    Most employers recognise the need to attract and retain the best people.

    How are they to do that when those who are at best no more than second best – because they lack a strong work ethic, will not put in the effort needed to get the job done properly or to acquire the skills and experience necessary to climb the promotion ladder, care more for ‘work / life balance’ than the source of their income etc etc etc – are effectively paid more than those who are actually the best from the employer’s perspective?

    I can see a future in which men remain single, acquire saleable skills in areas that women are simply not interested in*, set up sole trader businesses, small partnerships or co-operatives**, acquire knowledge and skills via alternatives to college or university and simply refuse to trade in areas dominated by women.

    * An acquaintance of mine abandoned a PhD, overcome a number of disabilities (such as a disabling fear of heights, even stepladders, and of driving) and became a plumber, eventually starting his own small business, employing others. He’s now considerably happier and better off than he might have been had he remained in academia.

    ** For an example of which, have a look at the growth of micropubs and breweries.

  • Mike, thank you for setting out the issues so clearly and concisely.
    The cruncher for me is this: there is no evidence of employers routinely paying women less than men for doing the same work. They would be committing a crime if they did so, and Fair Pay legislation dates back almost 50 years.
    Hence a good question to ask a feminist about the alleged ‘gender pay gap’ would be: where is the evidence of employers routinely paying women less than men for doing the same work? Can I please have a seat in the front row when that question is asked.

    • epistemol

      Dear Sean 44SS,
      I don’t blame you for (perhaps) missing it, but your answer is in the official reply to Alexander Baron’s concerns – click on the link at the end of Alexanders’ comment.

      In this syrupy letter we read that the ‘gender pay gap’ is not just about unequal pay for comparable jobs, it is the
      difference between men and women’s AVERAGE salaries.

      So you see the ‘gender pay gap’ has been redefined in the same way as ‘domestic violence’ or ‘rape’.
      This is how they have wriggled out of the trap that different pay for the same job has been illegal since 1970, and not obtaining anyway.

  • epistemol

    Once, you might have expected this sort of pernicious socio-political interferance from Labour.

    But as MB points out, this is happening (enthusiastically)
    under the Tories to whom I, rightly or wrongly, used to look for protection against legislative excess.

    Now there is little difference in their fundamentaly statist outlook, that is why I will never vote for them again.

    They’ve abandoned me, so I’ve abandoned them – fair enough?

  • In a fit of foolishness I was reviewing the slides from the recent Fawcett Soc. Conference on the Pay Gap. Why I do such things I don’t know as it was full of the usual. women managers etc etc.
    One set of slides was on “myths”. One such fantasy that people in a survey responded that the birth of children means men become more work oriented and women less so. But of course the people who think that are in fact precisely reflecting the statistical evidence. Men do indeed increase their hours and women reduce theirs, its not hard to think of the practical reasons why.
    It just struck me of the nonsense of telling people things are myths when in fact they’re empirically demonstrated. the deluded folk are the ones thinking this doesn’t happen.
    A lot of it appears to be to try to cover the obvious, that women will have to work as long and as hard as men in order to achieve equal outcomes. And this isn’t going to be possible if one increases entitlements to time off and shorter more convenient hours. Of course the latter is an implicit acceptance of exactly the “myth” that women do want less time in work!
    At least they have the sense in their Alice in Wonderland world to realise that they’re going nowhere with “Women work like men to get ahead” type slogans. Which would be the honest policy to increase women’s earnings.

  • Welcome to UKSR !