Sunday, June 21, 2009

I am a Feminist

OK, just wanted put the "I am a Feminist" thing out there up front.

But... there's always a but... let me say something about women and work (in response to Delvi).

Women often get paid less and are discriminated against when hired.

Why is this?

Many societies are male dominated and men bring their prejudices to the table when it comes to hiring women.

There is another reason though. Women are statutorily given time off when they are pregnant and are more likely to choose to leave their careers and bring their kids up.

These are good things.

However it makes women more expensive to hire. If I hire a woman there is a chance I will have to pay for her pregnancy leave, and a chance that after investing time in training her up she will leave my company. This is costly, and it has an impact on hiring and compensation decisions.

You can argue how much of an impact such considerations have, but there is undoubtedly an impact.

Some European countries have tried to mitigate this difference by allowing men the same statutory time off as women, allowing them maternity leave. This goes some way to even things up, however men generally opt to take less time off than women, and women are still more likely to leave their careers to bring up their kids.

Also, such laws end up making men more expensive to hire and therefore can contribute to higher unemployment.

There's a lot of scope to reduce sexism in the workplace, but some decisions are due to hard coded social mores rather than outright prejudice.


A Feminist Blog said...

Without your claiming yourself as a feminist, John, I know that you are one of us. :)

johnorford said...

thx : )

Anonymous said...

John, I constantly hear that women are paid less than men, particularly in my industry (mining). I don't have much experience in my home country of Australia, but I do know that in Indonesia, if a male and female engineer/geologist are in identical positions, they will be paid the same amount. There is no allowance for gender. I'm perpetually stumped as to why people keep saying women are paid less, unless it's comparing different positions, or work in different locations. What's the basis for the claim?


Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

I'd like to think it is the hard coded thing about women being discriminated. Women are truly remarkable creatures and men have to recognise their capabilities and not subjugate them. It depends which country you're in Saudi:((

johnorford said...

belawan, i can't pt to anything in particular, but i have heard of numerous surveys that pt to men earning more than women on average...

keats, subjugate to women! i like it!! ok, that might be understood in completely the wrong way : )