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Mike's Minute: The gender pay gap is water cooler chat

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 1 Mar 2024, 10:06AM

Mike's Minute: The gender pay gap is water cooler chat

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 1 Mar 2024, 10:06AM

If you want to laugh, have a look at the shambles that unfolded this week in Australia as a result of the new law that makes companies publish their gender pay gaps. 

It turns out there is one, in some industries it's worse than others and it proves what those of us who have argued against such measures were right all along. 

If you know what the other person earns, in some way, shape or form, your head is going to explode. 

It is of course, and this is the real story, based on a falsehood. 

There is no such thing as a gender pay gap in the sense wages are not handed out for gender. They are handed out for a job and/or experience and/or skill, sometimes also age. 

Wages also vary depending on the business, specifically, and the industry, generally. 

Where you get the so-called gender gap is by comparing apples with spanners and thinking it makes sense. 

Women often choose careers and jobs and hours for different reasons than men. That’s not right or wrong, nor is it black or white. 

What it is, is individual and everyone is allowed to choose what they want for themselves. 

Some examples this week; they went to town on fashion brands where there was a pay gap and where management was largely male, and sales were largely female. This was presented as a problem. 

What they failed to ask, as they always fail to ask, is why were there men in management? Had they deliberately rejected all females because they were females, or was the male who happened to be in the job the best person who applied? 

A gender pay issue is only an issue if you overtly because of gender deny a person a job. That, most of the time in this day and age, does not happen. 

They have taken a nuanced and complex problem and the Government, for reasons best known to themselves, most likely woke, decided to make a law that will cause needless angst and solve nothing. 

Good for headlines though and water cooler chat, which is what Australia has busied itself with this week. 

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