Thursday, July 7, 2011

Andrei More pissing into the wind from me

Posting this will probably be a waste of time since reading it will require the engagement of brain cells and it is going to point out things that people steadfastly don't want to know or perhaps don't want you to know.

T'aint going to be a snappy little number.

Unless you live in a cave you will no that there has been a lot said about an alleged gender gap in what women earn compared to men.

Now one statement that has appeared in the media was
In New Zealand new female graduates are paid on average $5000 less than male graduates and as they progress the gap can increase. In the public relations industry there is a $41,539 variance between men and women with 15 to 19 years in the profession.
I already discussed the first part of that statement here.

Take a look at the second, it's quite revealing. The Public %&*$%#$ Relations industry - gosh? So tonight some little girl in Tuatapere is going to go to bed happily dreaming of her future career in Public Relations industry only to be thwarted in her ambitions to reach the upper echelons of this significant contributor to the New Zealand economy and welfare of our citizens by nasty old gender bias? Give me a break.

See all this empty noise is coming from upper middle class women. Now women in Somalia get a raw deal, women in Saudi Arabia would have much to complain about if they were allowed to complain, something they do at their peril, Indeed the treatment of women in those places is a stain on soul of humanity.

But it is hard to imagine a group more pampered and pandered to in the entirety of human history than upper middle class New Zealand women. Which is not to say there are not some wonderful, wise, witty and all round decent women who fit this categorization because of course there are - maybe most of them.

And we know that all this whining is not about opening up positions for women in drain laying, service station forecourt attending or operating fish filleting machines in fish canning plants. It is about progressing women in nice middle class occupations in comfortable, air conditioned, concrete and glass towers.

Now what might these jobs be if they are not filleting fish? How about lawyers, accountants and the ultimate middle class wet dream occupation - medicine.

So how are women doing in these jobs in 21st century New Zealand? Read on if you would like to know more.

See there is a small study that examines this matter, its motivation is to see how the age and gender profile of the workforce has changed over time. It was produced by the EEO Trust in 2009.

It looks at a variety of occupations and the age or age/gender structure of the workforce.

Some occupations, like bus drivers are only examined superficially, little beyond noting that bus drivers tend to be older than the average age of the workforce. Bus driving as an occupation is not very interesting to the middle class.

However the details of Law, Accountancy and Medicine are interesting in these circles and a detailed look into the structure of these professions is undertaken.

And
In Law
The gender balance between people graduating in law reached equality in the early 1990s. Since then it has shifted in favour of women so that by 2006 62% of those admitted to the bar were women.

And in the younger age groups there are far more women than men employed as lawyers but they drop out of the profession as they get older. Markedly so. So much so that by the age of forty, men make up the greater numbers within the legal profession. This aint because of historical bias towards men entering the legal profession because anyone under about 45 studied law in an era where gender equality had more or less been achieved or surpassed in favour of women.

Is anyone brave enough to hazard a guess as to why women might drop out of the legal profession in their late twenties and thirties?

In Accountancy same phenomena with more young women accountants than young male accountants but more older men than older women, the critical point occurring at 45.

Medicine - this is trickier. "Gender equity" in graduates of medicine was achieved thirty years ago in 1981 and since then the balance has tipped in favour of women. And yet there still remains a slight bias towards males working in medicine.

What makes this tricky is that a lot of our medical graduates leave and a lot of our working doctors come from somewhere else.

But on the face of it it seems that just like Lawyers and accountants women drop out of medicine in their late twenties and early thirties. What exacerbates this situation for medicine is that it takes a lot longer to become a doctor than to become a lawyer or accountant and people don't generally qualify until their late twenties or early thirties about the same age as women start dropping out.

Anyway if you've read this far you will have gathered there is a lot lot more to this "gender gap in pay" argument than the soundbites about "unfairness" in the public relations industry.

And perhaps realized our "National Conversation about Work" shouldn't be about pay equity or the problems faced by GLBT people in the workplace but should be about identifying productive employment opportunities and ways to develop the skills of New Zealand's citizens particularly those still at school so that they take full advantage of these opportunities.

1 comment(s):

scrubone said...

I had a glance at the bill intended to fix the problem.

Well it won't, and the answer to "why" is quite simple.

The stats that "reveal" the problem simply take women's average pay and men's average pay and say "hey, these are different". But of course as well all know this means that apples are being compared to oranges.

The bill sets up mechanisms to make sure apples are being compared to apples.

So all you end up with is a weighty mechanism for causing trouble, which cannot possibly fix the "problem" because the problem is "identified" by ignoring all relevant details.

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.