Today is; Equal Pay Day

Today is; Equal Pay Day

Did you know? November the 10th is Equal Pay Day. It was a new one on me too. I am not surprised, I mean every day marks something these days so really supporting equal pay seems like a pretty justified, if not necessary day to my mind.

Do you know what we are actually marking though, the fact that still in 2017 women in the UK earn an average of 18.1% less than men for doing the same job,  and they say having a penis doesn’t give you super powers. Perhaps I am being hard as it is up a whole 1.2% from 2015*, I mean how you can you not be impressed at such a glacial rate of change?

Ironically I find myself in one of the best yet poorly paid jobs going being a SAHM, if actual cash is what you are after. One of the many reasons I am a stay-at-home-mum is because, you guessed it, Mr Tammy’s job paid better than mine and if one of us were to fall on our employment sword there was no question it would be me. I highly suspect I am not alone in this.

During my time at work I worked in a relatively gender balanced environment. Well at entry level. The further up the ladder you look the more on sided it became. Both of my bosses, who were partners in the firm were in fact male. Their bosses were male and the three equity partners, i.e. the people who put the most money into the firm and therefore owned the controlling shares were, of course, male. One thing that did change upon my departure was the appointment of a female managing partner who essentially become Commander in Chief. She was also a damn good employment lawyer, brilliant business woman and I hate to say it, at risk of being burnt at the steak, childless. Don’t judge me just yet for I will elaborate. For the sake of clarity being childless does not make you anymore qualified for the job in hand.

You see, I have been thinking about why  there remains this gender pay gap. Surely it cannot just be because we have the boobs? Perhaps long standing social inequality that evidently takes several lifetimes to beat down plays it part. However, I suspect the fact we are gifted the ability to bear child must also be at work here.

A lot women take a years maternity leave, reduce hours around childcare, work part time, flexi time or even stop working at all for a few years. All the while our male counterparts remain in full time employment. Continue to impress, chip away at the corporate ladder, obtain pay rises and promotions. If women do return to full time employment after a gap or chance in hours then it can take years to make up their wage packet for that time out they dared to have.  It is not wrong that those who don’t have this time out are rewarded and it is not wrong that those who reduce their hours reduce their pay. What doesn’t feel right however is the choice that seems to remain, mostly for woman. You have children, you will pay a financial price, approximately 18% in fact.

Of course it is not just women who dared to start a family who are on the receiving end of gender pay inequality. Sadly, it would seem, just having a female anatomy can in itself be enough, we all saw the pay statistics that came out of the BBC earlier this right? Certain workforces remain male dominated, engineering, mathematics, scientists. Equalising pay and the workforce in general has a long way to go.

It is often said, ‘it starts at home’ and well, yes it does and it can.

That is why days like today are important.

May my girl and boy grow up knowing their worth. Knowing they both deserve the best and that the best applies to both of them, equally. May my boy never think he is entitled to more than his sister because he was born with boy bits. Equally may my girl never feel she is entitled to more or that she deserves any less than her brother.

If they grow up with this attitude there is hope they can take it to the work place with them and that this can help to outdate some of the current attitudes resulting in males being paid an average of 18.1% more than females for the same role. There is hope of creating an actual equal society.

So whilst days like today might seem like a fad, and as though there ‘is a day for everything these days’ truth be told they remain a ‘thing’ because we still have a long way to go in making society a truly equal place for men and women. As it stands men and women seemingly aren’t equal, in fact women are worth 18.1% less, apparently. 

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10 Comments

  1. The Mummy Bubble
    November 13, 2017 / 8:45 am

    This issue is so unbelievable in this day and age. I cannot believe it’s still happening. I hadn’t heard of equal pay day before this year but I’m glad it exists to raise awareness #familyfunlinky

  2. November 13, 2017 / 9:04 am

    I hadn’t heard of equal pay day until I saw it trending on Twitter last week. I think it’s ridiculous that it even exists nowadays, but I saw it before I went on maternity leave. I was shown how much my team at work (I have no say in their salary) were paid and it varied across the team even though they were all doing the same job and one of my best members (a female) was paid the lowest out of everyone. #FamilyFunLinky

  3. November 13, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    This is huge in Sweden where we live that they try and make it all equal including each parent getting the same amount of paid child leave after having a child #familyfunlinky

  4. Mother of 3
    November 13, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    The problem persists here in the US too and while I do think part of it is due to moms taking more time off when they have children, I don’t think that is the only factor either. I have actually not worked since having my first son back in 2004 and don’t plan to work until my youngest is done with homeschooling; which will be another 10 years or so. I can only image the jobs that would even be opened to me as I would not be seen as qualified to do anything after a 20-25 “break” from working. And yet I have learned so many skills running a household, teaching my children, and in general being a CEO of our family… but those are not skills that transfer to a resume.

  5. November 14, 2017 / 2:32 am

    It’s amazing to think this is still the case – but your logic is pretty sound. I am impressed with the greater flexibility some workplaces are working towards for parents. But it still means decreased hours and decrease pay scales. If we can school our children to understand that everyone is equal, all the time, maybe we’ll see a decrease in that 18%!
    ~Jess
    #FamilyFun

  6. November 14, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    A very important article and shocking statistics. I can understand it to an extent for mothers who have had time out to have children, but it actually happens to those who havent even had children – just because like you say they have boobs! November 10th is an impotant day for raising the issue

  7. November 14, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Shocking this is still the case! Definitely an important issue to raise #familyfunlinky

  8. November 14, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    We’re hearing about this more and more these days – which I guess may be a good thing, and may lead to that 18.1% gap finally closing… maybe. #FamilyFun

  9. November 16, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    I knew a pay gap still existed and while I can understand there being some difference when maternity leaves etc is factored in, 18% is a rediculous amount. Hopefully all the coverage the issue is getting at the minute with the BBC published salaries etc will help that figure come down a bit faster.
    #FamilyFunLinky

  10. November 17, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    It is astounding at how a woman’s worth is measured by this pay gap in the work force and by choosing to be a parent or not. It’s like this here in the states too but ours also factors in race and immigration status as well. It all is just too last century. Things definitely need to change but I think maybe within the next few years – or 10 – we are going to start seeing that change. We fight now for these rights so that our kids don’t have to. Great post to share with us! And thanks for hosting #FamilyFunLinky

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