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After Iceland and Germany, Now France Declares War on the Gender Wage Gap (fastcompany.com) 293

France says it wants to make good on at least one-third of its motto of "liberte, egalite, and fraternite," by ensuring pay equality. From a report: The French government announced it is devising a "tough, concrete" plan to make the gender pay gap as much a thing of the past as Madame DeFarge's knitting habit. Per the Associated Press, France's plan for pay equity is still a work in progress. However, legislators may require companies to release the average salaries of their male and female employees and analyze them for disparities.

After Iceland and Germany, Now France Declares War on the Gender Wage Gap

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  • Fair Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dentree4 ( 1424693 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:41PM (#55887691) Homepage
    As long as they release salaries *and* hours worked for a fair comparison, I'm ok with this.
    • Re:Fair Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

      by e r ( 2847683 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:48PM (#55887805)
      They must go further and quantify and release data about actual productivity.
      It should go without saying that age, experience, and skill set stats must also be included.
      And while we're at it, we should also make a note to release all info about who knows who and for how long as well as stats on who has been on which project for how long.
      Y'know, now that I think about, it's probably also crucial to get some figures on who lives in which neighborhood because the cost of living and thus also salaries varies by region.


      What if we just cut to the chase and straight up mandate how much companies must pay their workers?
      Surely that won't drive jobs away... because we'll all be so multi-cultural and anti-sexists that our utopia will be the only place that anyone will ever want to work!
      • Re:Fair Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:55PM (#55887903) Journal
        And, they must go even further and release data about employees pursuing raises and promotions, actual histories of changing jobs for better pay or positions, being willing and actually doing less desirable jobs for better pay (night shifts, rotating shifts, etc) . And, then correlate this information across entire employee careers to quantify the exact effect each of these things have on compensation.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Summary of your position: if men make more, it's obvious that it's deserved, and no evidence is needed to support it. But if women insist on equity, it has to be carefully justified.

          • Re:Fair Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

            by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @05:45PM (#55888977)

            Whoever makes the claim should make the case. All of this "listen and believe" crap we get is why fewer and fewer take the accusations at face value.

          • by murdocj ( 543661 )

            Summary of your position: if men make more, it's obvious that it's deserved, and no evidence is needed to support it. But if women insist on equity, it has to be carefully justified.

            Dang, where are my mod points when I need them? Someone please mod parent up faster than the trolls are modding it down.

          • Not really, its recognising that pay is often down to many factors and a simplistic average is meaningless.

            For example, imagine a company of 3 people - 1 practice owner and 2 receptionists to equally man the phones and ensure someone is always on duty to take calls. The boss is a man and pays himself $1m, the receptionists are a man and a women and they get paid $40,000.

            If you look at the averages you'll see that there is a massive gender pay gap at that company where men get $502,000 each and the women get

          • Except there is ample evidence that support the argument the pay-gap is minimal (3-5% depending on the study) after you adjust for experience on the job.

            So summary of your position: "NA NA NA NA I CAN"T HEAR YOU"

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It doesn't work like that in Europe. Pay isn't based on how often you ask for a raise, or how often you switch jobs. It's based on the market rate and experience mostly, which are somewhat subjective but at least easy to compare between similar employees.

          • Pay in Europe is also based on how well you can negotiate, and how much competition there is in the work force, on top of how much experience you have.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Such a fine grained level of meritocracy is impossible though. You can't even objectively evaluate a person's skills and experience with that degree of accuracy.

        When you see a job advert that says "minimum 5 years C++", do you interpret that to mean 5 years working on nothing but C++, or 5 years working with C++ but also in other languages? And does it mean C++ on big projects, or on lots of little ones with simple architectures? Does it mean using all the obscure features of C++, doing UML modelling etc?

        An

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by umghhh ( 965931 )
      This goes a bit further: you normalize for position, experience and company (the same job and skills set but different companies and you may have different wage etc) and you get at proper result. In a study after study this has been around 2% in Western Europe. So you go and fix that and I am ok with that. The problem is that most of the warriors for a better future are fighting to fix difference that is allegedly about 20% (socialists in Germany claimed 17% last year). This has no relationship to reality b
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by polar red ( 215081 )

        > How current injustice against men
        yeah, equal is unfair for men.

        • Equal? No. Having to hire women instead of men if qualifications are equal? Yes.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by polar red ( 215081 )

            >Having to hire women instead of men if qualifications are equal?
            BS. this is about wage. There is no mention of having to hire women.

          • Re:Fair Comparison (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @08:03PM (#55890005)

            Equal? No. Having to hire women instead of men if qualifications are equal? Yes.

            This is a good place to interject my question.

            The presumed wage gap is around 30 percent.

            We'll just accept that for the purpose of argument.

            It is not debateable that corporate America and other outfits want to pay as little as they can get away with. We have businesses declaring they will introduce automation specifically in order to get rid of payroll.

            If women are getting paid 30 percent less and I had a business or corporation, I would not hire men - it would be all women. The amount I could save on payroll would enrich me quite a bit.

            So why has this not happened? All other things being equal, who would hire any man?

    • Re:Fair Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday January 08, 2018 @04:05PM (#55888059)

      There are multiple issues which are regularly conflated in these discussions, and often some of those issues are almost deliberately hidden in order to push the discussion in one particular direct (that direction being that any disparity is bad).

      The UK just forced the top 500 companies to release this sort of information, and at a glance some of them are really bad - EasyJet (a budget airline) has a gap of over 50%, or in other words the average difference between wages paid to women is 50% that of wages paid to men. Except that men tend to be employed in the company as pilots, and women as cabin crew, which have massive differences - and it remains to be proven if that is a company culture issue or not (my guess is, not, as many airline pilots are ex-military pilots, and we are only just seeing an improvement in female military pilots, so perhaps this will resolve itself in due course).

      Then you have the issue of the career gap, where women take time off to have children and return to work a year behind their male counterparts in experience, exposure etc. A very difficult one to solve - do you gift those women a year, do you hold back men for a year, what?

      And yes, there are the outright legitimate arguments about women simply being paid less because they are women, and there are also the kinda legitimate arguments about different negotiating styles between sexes being an issue (but then that all depends on the job - my wife is a doctor, and a quick straw poll of her friends suggests she can demand a higher day rate as a locum precisely because she is female - more women want a female doctor for female issues, which is a good negotiating area for the locum).

      Solving the legitimate issues doesn't however solve all the issues, but no one has worked out how to solve those ones without penalising companies and male workers (but some wouldn't see an issue with that at all).

      Just publishing the wage gap is meaningless flame bait without a lot more information around that gap.

    • EU working time directive caps legal hours

    • And the job worked. I kinda have a hunch that high voltage electrician is better paid due to not really needing a pension plan if you ain't one of the more careful people on the planet is better paid than, say, hairdresser.

    • You are correct that the hours worked is important fact. I pulled our door badge logs a few months ago, and even with the report screwing-up and not counting men that worked more than 24 hours straight, men still worked about 106% longer hours than the women. I think the average for women was 36 hours a week and 74 hours a week for the male engineers. Of course the women are going to make less.

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:44PM (#55887741)
    I hadn't heard about France declaring war on Iceland and Germany!
  • Thanks Europe! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jfetjunky ( 4359471 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:50PM (#55887857)
    Good to know our U.S. government aren't the only idiots to declare war on ideological and intangible things.

    You want to fix a problem, then work towards a solution instead of chest-beating and pretending to "declare war" on it.
    • Re:Thanks Europe! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @04:07PM (#55888087) Journal

      It isn't even a real problem [time.com].

      analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher

      The thing about a real market economy, is that if you could end up paying women whatever % less than men, you'd hire more women, everything else being equal.

      The problem is, not everything else is equal. Women will forgo wage increases to stay closer to home, with the kids, during the 18 years or so it takes to raise them to adulthood. That has profound long term effects on wages. BTW, Stay at home dads suffer just as much, but get no sympathy from the Feminists.

      This isn't about equality, this is about "feelings" about equality. After all, if you're against "wage fairness" you're obviously a misogynist" who hates women. Facts don't matter.

      • by tsqr ( 808554 )

        It isn't even a real problem [time.com].

        analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher

        You forgot to mentioned a rather interesting piece of that Time article:

        The holdout cities — those where the earnings of single, college-educated young women still lag men's — tended to be built around industries that are heavily male-dominated, such as software development or military-technology contracting. In other words, Silicon Valley could also be called Gender Gap Gully.

    • by Muros ( 1167213 )

      Good to know our U.S. government aren't the only idiots to declare war on ideological and intangible things. You want to fix a problem, then work towards a solution instead of chest-beating and pretending to "declare war" on it.

      I didn't see anything about anyone in the French government saying anything about "declaring war", just some trashy American news site I'd never heard of before in the linked article. The same article that makes the bullshit claim in the same headline that France makes no attempt at the liberty & fraternity parts of its motto. How the hell does drivel like that end up here?

  • Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:56PM (#55887913)

    Will I get to take years off for maternity leave, and expect my job waiting for me?

    Because in the real world, I lost my position because I took two months off to recover from having spinal fusion to have a tumor removed from my spinal cord.

    That's the fucking real world, where a baby is a "special kind of tumor".

    • You should have told them you identified as a pregnant woman/ new mother. Then call your local news channel to champion your cause.

    • In America, not France where we are talking about in this article, you would have had A JOB waiting for your return because of the Family Leave Act, Buy your employer is not obliged to hold your previous position for you indefinitely.

  • Will they tackle that as well? This is a serious question. I work with two other guys. I am paid less than one and more than the other. We all have different backgrounds doing the same work in the same position in the same location, in the same company. If we get a woman, who's pay should her's be compared to and why?
  • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @04:01PM (#55887993) Journal

    This is going to get messy. How do France surrender to something that doesn't exist?

  • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @04:04PM (#55888043)
    It is a myth being sold to cover up yet another governmental power-grab. Equal pay for equal performance is the only possible outcome in anything resembling a free market. If a woman could be payed less for the same job, there would be near 100% male unemployment in just about every job besides sperm donor. Any aggregate disparaties between wages of *all* men and *all* women are the outcomes of individual choices made by consenting adults evaluating what's best for them in terms of career and life outside of work and any disparties if compensation for the same job title are largely the result of individual choices about the level of effort and amount of brownnosing applied to the job as opposed to having a life outside of work.
  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @04:06PM (#55888073) Homepage Journal

    However, legislators may require companies to release the average salaries of their male and female employees and analyze them for disparities.

    This type of analysis was tried in the US a few years ago, the politicians found pay disparities on gender when they simply did as discussed above (no surprise), but once they factored in things like comparing same jobs and years experience the pay disparity went away.

    To save face, proponents liedand claimed the initial comparison was for men and women doing 'exactly the same job' (when it clearly wasn't) and those that believed there was gender-based pay inequities never challenged findings they already believed.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      This chart (#7) finds pay disparities on race and gender across all occupations:
      http://www.epi.org/publication... [epi.org]

      • across all occupations

        So, you are saying that the whole USA workforce is divided into 10 categories which are also accounting for other issues like seniority, skills or overtime.

        • by mspohr ( 589790 )

          I'm saying that there is race and gender inequality no matter how you slice and dice it.

      • This chart (#7) finds pay disparities on race and gender across all occupations:
        http://www.epi.org/publication... [epi.org]

        It doesn't adjust by industry. Different industries pay different rates for a job that may have a similar title.
        A software developer on wall street gets paid a lot more than a software developer at a school

        Here's the charts for "retail salespersons" https://www.bls.gov/oes/curren... [bls.gov]

        • by mspohr ( 589790 )

          ... and regardless of industry or occupation, there is significant race and gender inequality.

          • ... and regardless of industry or occupation, there is significant race and gender inequality.

            Repeating that proves nothing.

            The EPI report is misleading because it doesn't differentiate by industry.

            I made much much less doing software development for a computer manufacturer than I did working for a bank. It wasn't because the computer manufacturer was discriminating against me. They paid me according to their salary scale for the position. so I left to find a higher salary scale.

            • by mspohr ( 589790 )

              The report does differentiate by industry. Your arguments are specious.

              • No, it doesn't, and the BLS category page makes it as clear as day: industries [bls.gov] are below the occupation category reported for in the EPi report.
                • Please provide some authoritative evidence instead of bringing up irrelevant minutia.
                  I don't think you can.

                  • Please provide some authoritative evidence instead of bringing up irrelevant minutia.
                    I don't think you can.

                    It's clear you are not interested in the facts when you don't consider "The Bureau of Labor Statistics" to be the authority on labor statistics.

                    The report does differentiate by industry. Your arguments are specious.

                    The EPI report chart differentiates by occupation, not industry. Of course you don't believe that, even though the chart is titled "Average hourly wages of black women and white men by OCCUPATION"

      • And yet, above, a convincing argument has been made why your chart #7 may be skewed: the categories themselves are aggregates of diverse individual occupations which may have uneven representations of groups.
  • Given that any real economic assessment of the so called wage game has systematically disproven it we're now left with the parts of the EU just using this as an excuse to pass any new regulation they want. That can't possible end in economic catastrophe when people are legally required to hire people passed on their physical gender instead of weather or not they're worth a damn.
  • After reading articles like this or the previous [slashdot.org] one (for me, both of them are basically about people wanting irrelevant aspects to be relevant), my expectations on this front get further reinforced: zero-tolerance with generic victimism-, prejudice-, hypocrisy-based whomever/whatever at work (and pretty much everywhere else).

    DISCLAIMER: I am a white, cisgender, heterosexual, leftist, etc. man proudly ignoring all these and other features/ideas of myself or anyone else at work (programming/engineering).
  • Where I work, I had to negotiate my own salary - nothing was set. I know there are male developers that earn less money than me, I know there are male developers that earn more money than me. There are also female developers that earn less money than me and others that earn more money than me. We've all negotiated our own salaries. Mind you I think some people have obtained their salary not because of their ability to code, but their ability to talk (but that is a different issue).

    Perhaps we should just bec

  • I can't wait for the war on the gender occupational safety gap. You know, the one where men make up virtually all workplace deaths and a large majority of workplace injuries. Where are the vagina hat marches against this inequality?

  • Said no Frenchmen, ever.
  • In liberte, egalite, and fraternite, that last word is gender-specific. There's been a push in France to create “écriture inclusive” in recent years, which would strip words of their inherent gender when it isn't needed or wanted, but there's a lot of pushback against such a foundational change. It's hard to gauge just how big a problem it is... is the fact that "terrorist" is gendered male in French responsible for an observed pattern of less inspection of women at security stations? That'
  • by heretic108 ( 454817 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @09:41PM (#55890529)

    What should an employer do in cases where female employees take significantly more time out of the industry then male ones, to raise kids?

    If an employer has a female workforce with average experience of (say) 10 years, and males with average 15 years experience, and if it's a sector such as medicine where experience massively affects capability, how should the pay policy work?

    If the employer pays by gender equality, then female employees of lesser experience who took time out for child raising will be getting paid more than male employees of greater experience who stayed, continued their training and built their skills. Employees of greater merit will be suffering pay disadvantage.

    But if the employer pays by merit and experience, the average female pay will be significantly lower than average male pay, and the employer will be exposed to legal problems.

    What is an employer to do here?

  • by sproketboy ( 608031 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @09:44PM (#55890541)

    Call me when women are 50% in mining, underwater welding, septic tank maintenance, construction, etc... etc... etc....

    • I'd be interested if enough would ever want those jobs that they would ever reach 5%

      Now I have worked at power plants that have schedules outages were they have large amounts of contractors, and a few women were in the crews to be construction laborers during those times...but I still haven't seen them in the trades like insulators, iron workers, welders, carpenters (who also do scaffolding), pipe fitters, electricians, etc.

      Now don't misunderstand, there were women at those plants, for white collar jobs

The difference between a career and a job is about 20 hours a week.

Working...