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Is a penis really worth £10,000 a year?

In a month when Netmums decided to announce that feminism is like so last season, it was a little bit of a surprise to read that the Chartered Management Institute’s pay survey has found that being a female executive means you earn £10,060 less than a man doing the same job – or simply put, having a penis is worth £10,000 a year

Tell you what,  get me one right now, I’ll even wear it on my head if it means enough extra cash to have a decent holiday, a few treats and pair of hot new shoes…

Being flippant aside, how on earth is this still the case?

It is 42 years since legislation was passed making it illegal to pay someone less just because she happens to possess a uterus

Despite this there is still a significant pay gap between men and women – staggeringly it is as prevalent at the top of the ladder (where the CMI estimate a £14,689 a year gap) as it is at the bottom (the Fawsett Society estimates a 15% average pay gap)

A 15% pay gap means that for every month a man works, a woman has to work an addition three and a half days to get the same pay – how in any way is this fair?

I find it just all so depressing – I really had thought we were better than this, I really thought that society had moved on from assuming that women were worth less than just by virtue of the fact that they are women, I had thought that feminism had won not only the battle but most of the war

Trouble is that you look around and realise that actually society is doing an awful lot of perpetuate the myth that women aren’t quite as good at things as men – just walk around a toy shop and the separation between gadgets and doing things toys and the mass of pink princessey tat, or the clothes aimed at brave boys and pretty girls, or the lack of women in decent roles in films and on TV

The Everyday Sexism project shouldn’t really need to exist today, should it?  And yet every day women are noting down the drip drip drip actions that seem to suggest that attitudes have barely changed from Medieval times

So what on earth do we do? 

I’m sick of fighting this fight – I’m sick of having to work longer, harder and better than my male colleagues to get the same grudging recognition – I want better for my daughters

Sadly based on this evidence it appears that changing their names to Bob and Fred and getting them a stick on penis may be the best solution…

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11 Comments

  1. I haven’t looked at the study but the first question that came to me was about the validity of the study in terms of how they adjusted for things like periods of maternity leave and the fact that women tend to leave senior roles earlier/retire before they get the really senior roles. And also how do they adjust for different industries?

    That aside I don’t doubt that there is still a gap and this is largely due to lack of transparency (at least in my industry it was) and horrendous secrecy over pay-type things. And the fact that if you switch jobs in your 30s you’re made to feel grateful for being offered anything given the business risk your uterus and waning fertility constitute.

    I think things are improving but slower than they should and some of this is about education and teaching the upcoming generations (both girls and boys) that sex makes no difference in terms of ability to do a job. Tough one but a longer haul than we all expected.

    Reply
  2. £10,000! That’s outrageous.

    Reply
    • AND £60… a few quid here and there is one thing but this is really real money – wrong wrongly wrong

      Reply
  3. I know, this is just outrageous. I am also sick of having to fight these fights. Just because I am a woman it does not mean that somehow I care/work less nor that I am less committed or worth less. But that said my great grandmother was a suffragette so fighting is in my genes!!!

    Reply
    • Well said that lady – named no2 for a suffragette so she knows to keep fighting the good fight (both of mine are named for inspirational ladies)

      Reply
  4. The pay divide and the unwillingness of management to address it were the two largest factors in me leaving the legal sector (arguably a sector who ought to have known better). I’m appalled it still seems to be so widespread.

    I’d rather take the uncertainty of self employment over the double standards of employment any day, but it shouldn’t be a choice I feel forced to make.

    As an aside, great blog. I’ll definitely be back.

    Reply
    • I can totally understand where you are – dithering with a similar stay or go dilemma

      Pleased to meet you too

      Reply
    • Next time you need to ask me – sounds like you had an ‘interesting’ time

      Reply
  5. It’s a disgrace, I just don’t understand how it can be legal.

    Reply

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