August 19, 2014

women have to work for 14 years longer than men to earn the same amount of money.

biz

I only write on this blog when I’m a) ecstatically impassioned  b) quite ANGRY.

Today, I’m angry. I didn’t intend to be. I was actually in a lovely mood when I woke up this morning, apart from being a little bit under the weather. I know I’m not supposed to feed the troll, or give any idiots any air-time or limelight, but today on Twitter I could not ignore certain tweets from Katie Hopkins account – in particular her points of view on the gender pay gap which are, to be honest, quite soul-destroying.

She has made a case for why women “should be paid less than men”. I literally choked on my coffee. Coming from a fellow female voice, it seemed bizarre. I know it’s Katie Hopkins, but still, she is a female voice in the media.

Her ‘reasoning’ comes from not wanting to hire another female employee because they take time off for work, to give birth and it ‘lost her company money.’

It’s utterly mind-blowing considering all of the steps we are all trying to make to get rid of the old stereotypes and out-of-date points of view. People should be paid more or less depending on the job at hand, not the gender. Never the gender. It’s like someone getting paid more for having blonde hair. It’s totally disgusting and only good for the person who is benefiting. Shit and unfair for everyone else.

To be honest the pay gap issue is still a weird piece of information to me. Until recently I never knew it was such an issue. I feel silly for being an optimist – but maybe it’s just naivety. I’m twenty five and love my career. I’m up for me and my female colleagues to succeed in every way possible, for every possible reason. We work really hard. Our jobs are quite unique but I know for a fact that when I worked at a big agency I was definitely getting paid less than my male counterparts.

Maybe I didn’t “ask” or be more “pushy” or “bossy” but should that be the answer? That women need to be more pushy? Why can’t we all just get paid the same for the job we do? And be paid on capability and attitude and results, not whether we have a penis or not?

I went to a feminist school, we were told we could do anything. We could be successful. Of COURSE we could be as successful as men. Everyone was equal in our teenage eyes and so we could definitely gets men’s jobs, men could have our jobs – in simple terms it was just “may the best human being for the job at hand win”.

In this day and age where we have had so many other break-throughs, it simply DOES NOT MAKE SENSE for women to earn less. Women and men alike work extremely hard, with households splitting the housework more and more. We are not of our grandparent’s generation. We do not quit our jobs to have our husband’s dinner on the table at 6pm. Sometimes we might, and they may do the same for us. It should be a choice. A job is a job. Yet we appear to still be getting punished for hundreds of years of tradition.

Katie Hopkins, the professional troll, basically said that as a employer she doesn’t want anything to do with paying for maternity leave. She spitefully tweeted today: “You want a baby. Super! Good for you. However, as your employer I have no wish to pay for that decision.”

Talk about being stabbed in the back by a fellow working woman. She has two children so it’s a little odd that she has zero compassion. If women stop having babies… the world sort of dries up…pro-creation is QUITE important. I don’t see why women should be punished for something so COMPULSORY LIKE KEEPING THE WORLD MOVING.

Employees and recruiters should NOT judge a woman based on her fertility or whether she’s ‘engaged’ or ‘thinking about kids’. We should help and support women who choose to have babies while at the same time totally respecting her career. Equal pay and opportunity is VERY possible. Come on.

Image source: businessweek.com

  • Amy Elizabeth Hill

    I have to admit, I’ve ticked the ‘single’ box on certain job applications in the past even though I live with my boyfriend. I try to play my personal life as close to the chest as possible during interviews because when you’re faced with four seniors (all men) for an hour, at least one of them is going to mull over that baby question. Whether they say it out loud or not, they’re looking at you, your age and your life and thinking about having to cover maternity leave!

  • Yeah!! Great article, thanks for writing. It really fucking riles me up to. I also know for a fact male counterparts get paid more than me in most jobs i’ve had. Very disheartening. Loved this line too, “Men wouldn’t even exist if women didn’t give birth to them, we probably should work together to make sure the human race doesn’t die out, right? “

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic