Category Archives: Equal pay

It's just a potato race. But it shows a familiar pattern of gender inequality | Van Badham

A rainy farming town is a place as good as any to recognise the gendered judgments of worth afflicting women everywhere

The town of Robertson in the southern highlands of New South Wales is a place of verdant pastures, morning mists and an unexpected battlefront in the war against the patriarchy.

With its fertile soil and frequent heavy rain, “Robbo” – as the locals call it – is potato country. Yes, this town celebrates its produce in the traditional Australian way; an infamous “Big Potato” monument squats by the roadside. But it’s this year’s “Potato Race” – a popular highlight of the annual Robbo agricultural show – that’s obliged the town into an awkward conversation about its own deference to structural sexism. The competition to run the fastest with a sack of potatoes has traditionally male and female divisions. This year, the prize money for the men was posted at $1,000. For the women, it was $200.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Gender equality at work is a matter of respect, not just money | Gaby Hinsliff

Half a century after Dagenham, sexism still shapes salaries. But demanding high earners ‘justify their wage’ is a red herring

Fifty years ago this spring, the sewing machinists at Ford’s Dagenham plant famously downed tools and in doing so changed history. But contrary to popular belief, the strike that nudged Barbara Castle into creating the Equal Pay Act didn’t start over equal pay. It was originally a demand for recognition, for the women who stitched Ford’s car seats to be acknowledged for what they really were. A regrading exercise had classified the men on the factory floor as skilled workers entitled to higher rates, but lumped the women in with janitors as unskilled labour. It was the casual dismissal of what they did that rankled.

Eventually, the women returned to work for 92% of the men’s pay but it took another 16 years, and a second strike, to get what they wanted: recognition that they were just as skilled as the men, that their work should be taken seriously. It was never just about the money.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Carrie Gracie tells MPs the BBC is in real trouble over equal pay – video

Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s former China editor, made a series of damning claims about the corporation’s management in an extraordinary hearing with MPs, saying they were not living up to the BBC’s values and had briefed against her by claiming she worked part-time. She said women were being made to feel belittled and their work was being marginalised. Her comments will increase the pressure on the BBC over pay equality, which began last summer when the broadcaster’s pay list revealed that two-thirds of its best-paid on-air staff were men. Gracie resigned as China editor in January in protest at the ‘secretive and illegal’ pay culture at the BBC

Continue reading…
Source: gad

I admire my old BBC colleagues hugely. But it’s time to cap their pay | Robin Lustig

The row over corporation salaries is actually three scandals in one: radical action is now needed

When I started working for the BBC nearly 30 years ago, what I was going to get paid never even came up for discussion. I was just starting out as a freelance radio news presenter, with nearly 20 years’ experience as a journalist under my belt (including more than a decade on this newspaper), and I was simply paid per programme. The BBC set the rate, I accepted it, and that was that.

It never occurred to me that had I been a woman, they might have offered me less. My earliest records date from 1991, when I was paid £260 for presenting an edition of The World Tonight on Radio 4, and £235 for Newshour on the World Service. So if I had presented three programmes a week for 46 weeks a year, I would have earned between £32,430 and £35,880 per annum, roughly equivalent to between £67,000 and £75,000 today.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Once more, Iceland has shown it is the best place in the world to be female | Sif Sigmarsdóttir

My country has just taken a huge step forward in legally enforcing equal pay for men and women. When will the UK dare to follow suit?

On 24 October 1975, the women of Iceland refused to show up for work. They refused to cook, clean or look after their children. Basically, they went on strike. And that day, the shops in Iceland ran out of the only convenience food available at the time: sausages.

Call it symbolism, but by going on strike the women of Iceland were calling for men to respect their work and demanding equal pay.

Continue reading…
Source: gad