Say what you mean

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald today – Female managers $13,500 worse off than men – is a great example of how to pussyfoot around and end up with the focus in the wrong place.

“Women managers could be $13,500 a year better off on average if only they had a sex change. That is the penalty managers pay simply for being female, new research shows.”

Instead, it should be something like this: Companies are discriminating against female employees by paying male managers $13,500 more than female managers doing the same job.

Because the issue here is companies underpaying female employees who are doing the same job, with the same level of education and the same level of experience as their male colleagues. (Check out the link on the right about what happens when you use the passive voice. It’s not about boring grammar, trust me.)

Disgustingly, it says: “Yet men and women are rewarded differently for the same characteristics. Male managers earn more for every year they age but female managers reach a distinct earning plateau in their 40s. Male managers earn more if they are married but this is not the case for women. Young children are an earnings liability for women managers but this is not the case for men”.

Dr Ian Watson, who conducted the study, said that taking into account that female managers work on average 45.7 hours a week and male managers work 48 hours, and that female managers tend to be in health and community services while male managers tend to be in finance, at least 60 per cent of the pay gap was due to simply being a women. 60 per cent!! So much for our anti-discrimination laws.

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