Women in the workplace


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09 March 2006

More bullshit about the ‘wage gap’ the other day, which contained a quote from some Labour MP from the Equal Opportunities Commission that actually – and probably unintentionally – contained an element of truth. In relation to how people gain positions of power or influence she said:

“I do think you need to be able to work quite hard and shout loudly.”

I’m not sure about the shouting bit, but she is right, you indeed have to be able to work quite hard – very hard in fact – to get a powerful position in either the corporate or political world.

Does this not lead one to certain conclusions regarding how women are largely unable to get these positions? Does this hint at how many women are not, perhaps, working very hard? Or even quite hard?

I’ve heard some women journalists quote studies (obviously only the ones that prove their point) showing how a lot of young women who are single and childless often earn less and get fewer promotions than men, thus supposedly removing the claim that women get paid less because they take time off for their kids. Indeed I know a number of single childless women at my workplace who earn less than men of a similar age and have fewer promotions. This is, however, because most of these women don’t put in the work because they have very little ambition, especially once they’re past their mid-twenties. They don’t do overtime, don’t bother with courses or extra workloads.

Why?

Simple. They assume that they won’t have to work all their lives. That’s for men. If you reckon you’ll be married in your thirties and able to retire whilst a guy provides for you – and will be forced to do so if you divorce the poor sod – why bother putting in endless hours and stressing yourself out to impress the boss? One woman at my workplace was half-way through a four-year study-at-home legal course when she ditched it halfway through. This was just after her wealthy boyfriend proposed to her. No point in setting out to be a career woman when a career man will provide for you.

Generally speaking married women and mothers get paid less than men because they work less than men, and that’s because they usually have the privilege of not being the primary breadwinner. Those single childless women who get paid less than men are paid less because they often work less than men, and that’s because they usually make the assumption that a future husband will be the primary breadwinner. They’re in for a bit of a shock when they realise how widespread the marriage strike is getting though.

In the article, some other woman, Muzz Stephens, advises women:

“If you do manage to attain any status or decision-making power, don’t be shy in promoting other women.”

Read; only promote other women over men, because sex discrimination against men is the only way a lot of women can make it up the corporate ladder.

Women should be able to take career breaks without it penalising their long-term future.

Why? Us men can’t leave our jobs for several years and waltz back in like nothing happened. Why should women? Oh, I forgot, women want to be able to work part-time and get full-time pay.

Whenever we hear about equality and women’s rights in the workplace it goes hand-in-hand with demands for career breaks, maternity leave, flexible working hours, less working hours, time off when the kids are sick…all of which relate to very much being out of the workplace.

They want women to be able to enter the world of careers then fuck off out of it yet keep the pay, with the bulk of the work picked up by men, not to mention single childless women. It’s as if mothers are the only people who should have a family life; fathers and childless men and women can shut up and slave away to subsidise women getting paid to sit at home being mummy.

posted by Duncan Idaho @ 9:09 PM

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