Jan Logie
Young women being ripped off

According to figures from Statistics NZ’s annual income survey reported in the Dominion Post today, young women are earning almost a third less than young men in real terms.

The median weekly earnings for men aged 15-24 in 2012 was $600 compared with $384 for women of the same age.

This has been put down to young women returning to traditionally female professions which typically attract lower pay.

Also a young woman working for MacDonalds said “Guys get more shifts and more training than girls.”

This is over the same time period that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs decided to stop working on pay equity in favour of “working with industry and education partners to develop practical solutions and share information that promotes improved women’s participation in non-traditional occupations.” Not so successful really.

There has been very little change in women’s fields of employment. Women are now in non-traditional work like engineering, but the majority of us are still in female dominated care and service jobs.  Nine out of ten of the jobs women are most likely to be employed in have remained the same over the last two decades;

This is why Kristine Bartlett’s equal pay case in front of the employment tribunal is so important. We really need to start fairly valuing women’s work.  We also need to ensure we have mechanisms to pick up problems like preference for overtime and training being given to any group.

 

17 thoughts on “Young women being ripped off

  1. Is this a typo?

    The median weekly earnings for men aged 15-24 in 2012 was $6000 compared with $384 for women of the same age.

    Also, the following, though it may be representative, is easy to dismiss as an isolated anecdote:

    Also a young woman working for MacDonalds said “Guys get more shifts and more training than girls.

    UNITE may have hard data to support this.
    Contact:support@unite.org.nz

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  2. I’ve found an interesting corner of the web, complaining that Justin Bieber is a terrorist, and should not be glamourised on the cover of a Rolling Stone, but I don’t think I’ve found the right Kristine Bartlett. If this is sub-judice, that might limit what people can say.

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  3. the typo for the first version? (600 instead of 6000)possible to change it still?

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  4. Jan – while you continually ignore the fact that males work around 30% more hours per week on average than females, your numbers for weekly pay are meaningless at best – misleading at worst.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3 (+3)

  5. photonz1 – not if the reasons for the 30% higher hours are outside the control of the female workers, such as not being offered the same number of shifts.

    Of course, there may be occupations that require both male and female staff to be on site, so if there are only a few males available for those positions, they may get offered more shifts as a result.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  6. Where does it all end? Shall the government dictate wages for every occupation? And more? Until we get this utterly creepy regime of explicit state-defined “equality”? Jesus christ.

    The role of central government is NOT to regulate and specify civil life to this degree. You have it all totally out of perspective. Not to mention that inequalities amongst men and woman may have nothing to do with anything but natural preferences amongst the sexes.

    You will never be satisfied as long as there are differences in professional outcomes amongst men and woman. It’s depressing knowing that people like you even make it to parliament. Obviously you have never asked yourself the question…What is (or should be) the role of the state? You just want to use and abuse the power of the state to get the outcomes you personally want.

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  7. To truly understand how badly women are paid one should compare the median wage of unmarried men aged 40 – 49 with that of unmarried women aged 40 – 49.

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  8. Trevor29 – a lot of females are mums, and work part time instead of full time.

    So comparing the weekly wage of an average of around 27hrs a week for females with males who work on average around ten additional hours more per week is totally misleading.

    And you’d have to question if it’s deliberately misleading.

    If Jan knows anything about gender pay differences she’d know average hours worked per week are hugely different between male and female.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  9. Even if men do work 30% more hours, that doesn’t account fully for the $600/$384 difference in pay. What else is happening? Is it just a lack of time on the job leading to less promotion or is there more to it than that?

    Trevor.

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  10. Is it just a lack of time on the job leading to less promotion or is there more to it than that?

    There is more to it than that.

    The first big clue is this in Jan’s post:

    …traditionally female professions…

    For some reason, women choose to work in lower paying jobs.

    The second big problem is using averaging techniques. If you compare a woman and a man doing the same job, then they’ll tend to be paid the same. Most jobs have a rate, or if not a rate a band, and the rate or band apply irrespective of your gender. Try to bend that, and the employer ends up in front of an tribunal.

    However……. when you use averaging techniques, then that equality gets lost in the noise of the first problem, which is that women (generally, we are now in averaging territory) choose to undertake lower paying jobs. Thus when Jan states “The median weekly earnings for men aged 15-24 in 2012 was $600 compared with $384 for women of the same age.”, that statement is probably entirely true. But the headline that this is trying to substantiate, namely, “Young women being ripped off” is entirely fallacious.

    Women need to have it explained to them that if they want the same median earnings as the testicled, they need to choose better career paths. Equality is there for the taking. If one chooses to have less than equality, then that is a personal choice. Choosing a “traditionally female profession” is not a smart career move.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2 (+7)

  11. Trevor says “Even if men do work 30% more hours, that doesn’t account fully for the $600/$384 difference in pay. What else is happening?”

    For there to be such a massive difference in hours worked between male and female, it’s obvious that a large number of women are in part time jobs. Overall, part time jobs are not generally high payed skilled career jobs.

    Trying to use a comparison of average weekly pay, when hours worked, skill levels, and jobs types are all significantly different, is totally pointless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 (+4)

  12. How many women in the 15-24 year age range would be mums working part time? Seems to me that there wouldn’t be that many, as those that are mums are probably not working at all (yet). So if these young ladies are working fewer hours, why is that?

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  13. “Women are now in non-traditional work like engineering, but the majority of us are still in female dominated care and service jobs.”

    Is there possibly a parallel issue where, by comparison, men are largely uninterested in care and service jobs?

    It’s great to encourage women to become interested in higher paying professions, but if few men are ever interested in the alternatives whereas a portion of women are, the higher-paying jobs will always be dominated by men no matter how much women are encouraged to compete.

    Have any countries managed to crack this issue? If so, what are they doing?

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  14. “If you compare a woman and a man doing the same job, then they’ll tend to be paid the same. Most jobs have a rate, or if not a rate a band, and the rate or band apply irrespective of your gender. Try to bend that, and the employer ends up in front of an tribunal.”

    Only if a successful complaint is made, but practicalities and power games in the real world probably mean that this doesn’t always happen. I’d be keen to see research beyond the anecdotes in the linked DomPost article which considers:

    (a) if men and women progress up the ladder at the same rate once employed (even after moderation for issues like career-stalling with things like childcare), and

    (b) if women who are equally qualified are as likely to be interviewed/hired as men for the same job, when applying.

    There are plenty of claims of racial discrimination by employers over things like fewer calls back on CVs which are identical except for a foreign-sounding name.

    Does this type of thing also happen with gender? Allegedly it does—at least in science and academic jobs in New Zealand—and my own intuition is that it’s likely to be very present in general employment situations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  15. dbuckley – “For some reason, women choose to work in lower paying jobs.”

    or is it that – for some reason, the jobs women choose to work in are lower paying ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 (+3)

  16. Atkin uses the name of Jesus Christ as an expletive (Shame!!) It was Jesus who said, “Workers are worthy of their hire” so He is on the same side as all of us in this argument.

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