Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mired in the Gap

A new report out from the Women and Work commission points to utterly depressing figures showing that the pay gap between men and women is beginning to widen again after a decade of closing.

Anne Perkins has a great commentary about why it continues to exist - that is occupational segregation, women being more prevalent in the severely underpaid in the 5 c's caring, catering, cashiering, cleaning and clerical

I think there's a point to be made that we should have better pay rate in these jobs that are severely socially undermined but oh so important, better cash - no doubt - would lead to more males choosing it as a possible career, more opportunities to remove gender profiling for work. If we continue to undervalue them, saying that they are jobs not worth holding then who picks up the slack and remains exploited by our work system?

A lot of the negative commentary around this issue is that women choose to leave work when they have children, they choose to go into lower paid, part time work full stop. Well to me that doesn't ring true. As always choice is the important part of these accusations, how much choice exists in this world free of pressure from family/friends/society/the bills stacking up at the door etc etc

This isn't a problem we're going to fix today, or tomorrow but we need to keep it forefront, stem the growth of the pay gap, get talking, get active, get fixing.


No comments: