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Statistical stupidity
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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #1
15-12-2007 04:18 PM

From page 5 of the December issue of Southwark Life (the magazine from Southwark Council):

Quote:
Southwark's independent equality and diversity panel brings together representatives of different faiths, sexual orientation, cultures and ages to try to ensure that no one is excluded or misunderstood. While this helps to reduce discrimination, there is still room to improve.

A pay gap between men and women persists 30 years after the Equal Pay Act, with women nationally earning 17% less than men, 42% less if you work part time. The situation is improving though. The proportion of female council staff in the top 5% of earners has increased to 40.37% in 2006/7 from 38.89% the year before.


Twaddle!

Of course the average woman earns less than the average man. Women tend to take something like 10-20 years off to raise kids and then retire 5 years earlier. The average woman works for perhaps 30 years in their lifetime, while the average man works for more like 45 years.

Considering that earnings generally increase with experience, it's hardly surprising if the average man earns 17% more than the average woman, or a higher proportion of highly paid jobs go to men, is it?

Surely the Equal Pay Act is all about paying men and women with equivalent skills, experience and performance equally for any given job, not paying the average woman the same as the average man.

Nice one Southwark!

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
15-12-2007 08:05 PM

OL,

Women tend to take something like 10-20 years off to raise kids and then retire 5 years earlier. The average woman works for perhaps 30 years in their lifetime, while the average man works for more like 45 years.

I wish. Where did you get your statistics? La la land as usual?

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #3
15-12-2007 09:13 PM

It's Ooperlooper the child hater again. Well, I suppose you are taking the correct steps to remove your traits from the gene pool....Wink

I took one year off for each of my children, which is quite long by most standards, because until not so long ago you only got 3 months paid maternity leave and most working mothers simply cannot afford to be yummy mummies. That would be ED you are thinking of ....

But that was after ten years in international banking and I was quite happy to get out, because I recognised that I would not get any further up the greasy pole.

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #4
15-12-2007 11:39 PM

Apologies. I certainly didn't mean that to come across as sounding like I think that all women take loads of time off to raise kids, or women should take time off to look after kids, or that men work harder than women or anything like that at all.

I'm simply talking about averages and the need to report meaningful statistics.

I'm saying that, across the UK in general, a significantly more women (still, in this day and age) take years off to raise kids than men and more (still) tend to retire earlier, which means that it's nonsense to expect that the average man's salary should be equal to the average woman's salary, or that there should be an equal number of men and women in top jobs.

But perhaps the number of years of difference is a lot less than I'm guessing? Perhaps the 17% difference really ought only be a 10% difference. I'll admit I'm just guessing.

And perhaps the number of women in the top 5% pay bracket ought to be higher than Southwark's 40%. Although perhaps it ought also be lower.

Actually, a page I've just found on the Government Equalities Office website explains what I've been trying to say better than I can: http://www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk/p..._facts.htm

I'm only really trying to poke fun at Southwark's incompetence and unhelpfulness in reporting meaningless statistics as meaningful.

And I do very much like children, by the way (whatever they've got to do with this)!

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #5
16-12-2007 12:18 AM

Here's an review of an interesting sounding book on the topic. Although books obviously don't get peer reviewed in the same way that proper research does, I think it raises some interesting points:
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/career/20050307a1.asp

And another article from Forbes raising similar issues: http://www.forbes.com/home/ceonetwork/20...gmore.html

Perhaps my initial argument was indeed based on 'la la land' estimates and there are a lot more factors involved that I had considered, but at least the point about the daftness of Southwark's reporting of the stats was right.

I do expect better from a local authority.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #6
16-12-2007 01:25 PM

Sorry, I may have got you confused with Baboonery!

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #7
17-12-2007 10:46 AM

Ooperlooper Wrote:
Apologies. I certainly didn't mean that to come across as sounding like I think that all women take loads of time off to raise kids, or women should take time off to look after kids, or that men work harder than women or anything like that at all.

I'm simply talking about averages and the need to report meaningful statistics.

I'm saying that, across the UK in general, a significantly more women (still, in this day and age) take years off to raise kids than men


My employer is now stating that it must count years spent on maternity leave as 'in the job' experience in any promotion decisions, or suchlike. So I have apparently no experience advantage over the woman who started on the same day as me seven years ago and has had three years off in the meantime. It's bad enough that she gets the same salary when she works 0901-1659 and leaves no matter what needs doing, but to me that's the acceptable face of family friendliness. That she then gets WFTC on top of that, so in effect I am doing her work for her, for the privilege of subsidising her taxes, begins to irk. But the suggestion that she's done the job for as long as me is just a flat out lie.

If you think experience is irrelevant, say so, don't invent some lie whereby 3.5 = 7.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #8
17-12-2007 11:06 AM

Yup!!Glare

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Dotcom


Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #9
17-12-2007 01:21 PM

Ooperlooper Wrote:
From page 5 of the December issue of Southwark Life (the magazine from Southwark Council):

Quote:
Southwark's independent equality and diversity panel brings together representatives of different faiths, sexual orientation, cultures and ages to try to ensure that no one is excluded or misunderstood. While this helps to reduce discrimination, there is still room to improve.

A pay gap between men and women persists 30 years after the Equal Pay Act, with women nationally earning 17% less than men, 42% less if you work part time. The situation is improving though. The proportion of female council staff in the top 5% of earners has increased to 40.37% in 2006/7 from 38.89% the year before.


Twaddle!

Of course the average woman earns less than the average man. Women tend to take something like 10-20 years off to raise kids and then retire 5 years earlier. The average woman works for perhaps 30 years in their lifetime, while the average man works for more like 45 years.

Considering that earnings generally increase with experience, it's hardly surprising if the average man earns 17% more than the average woman, or a higher proportion of highly paid jobs go to men, is it?

Surely the Equal Pay Act is all about paying men and women with equivalent skills, experience and performance equally for any given job, not paying the average woman the same as the average man.

Nice one Southwark!


More rantings from OL.

Women take 10 to 20 years off to raise kids - I wish, although I do happen to believe in choice. If a woman can afford to stay at home and raise her kids by herself, good luck to her I say.

And then retire 5 years earlier - not any more - read up on it.

However, your final paragraph is quite right. Authorities are duty bound to conduct a job evaluation exercise to ensure people are being paid the correct grade for the work they do. This would have been undertaken in response to the new equality legislation (the Equal Pay Act) to rule out sex discrimination by employers.

Twaddle?

Statistical stupidity?

I'll say.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #10
17-12-2007 01:50 PM

Well, there will be equlity in terms of retirement age - but not until 2020, I believe.

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Dotcom


Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #11
17-12-2007 02:25 PM

Yes, NM, that's true. Unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be) I'm gonna be a 65-er. Will probably just about have paid my mortgage by then if I'm lucky.

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #12
17-12-2007 07:41 PM

Quote:
My employer is now stating that it must count years spent on maternity leave as 'in the job' experience in any promotion decisions, or suchlike.


...and employers are now advised not to advertise job specs by saying anything like "must have x years of experience" due to the legislation against age discrimination introduced a few months ago.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #13
17-12-2007 09:36 PM

Yes, but it's the skills you have and the things you've done in your past that are important, surely - not necessarily how long you've been in a job. I'm not knocking experience, but if you've spent, for example 30 years behind a till, full stop, you're really not any more qualified to do the job than someone who's been behind a till for five: you're unlikely to be 25 years better at handling a till.

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #14
17-12-2007 10:05 PM

Exactly. So why should Baboonery's colleagues who've been off looking after babies get the same pay, just for having the same number of 'years' on the job?

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #15
18-12-2007 09:59 AM

nevermodern Wrote:
Yes, but it's the skills you have and the things you've done in your past that are important, surely - not necessarily how long you've been in a job. I'm not knocking experience, but if you've spent, for example 30 years behind a till, full stop, you're really not any more qualified to do the job than someone who's been behind a till for five: you're unlikely to be 25 years better at handling a till.


First, see Ooperlooper's point about the pay argument. You can't have it both ways. Oh, no, you can. It's family-unfriendly not to, you see. Silly me.

Second, while you are of course right in the case you cite, it doesn't apply across the board. 3.5 years versus 7 years in a rather more demanding job isn't quite the same. And no, time-served isn't always a good measure to judge things on, but they're not saying they won't take into account time served. They're saying they must consider time spent on maternity leave as time spent on the job. Even though it really, really isn't (to the extent that every time she comes back she asks me for a year's update on developments that she'd know about if she was working). That's not quite the same, is it?

I've no tale of woe to follow on from this: she hasn't been favoured for promotion over me, there's no job liable to come up in which she might be, unless someone gets hit by a runaway P4. And if one does, and she's better at it in the view of all criteria, then fine. But please, don't pretend she's done the job for as long as me, because she hasn't.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #16
18-12-2007 11:14 AM

Baboonery and Ooperlooper, I wasn't disagreeing with generally - just on the question of age discrimination, years of experience and job adverts.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
18-12-2007 09:54 PM

What a load of misogynistic cr~p.

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baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #18
18-12-2007 11:06 PM

If we did not have kids then there would be nobody to drive your buses, stack your shelves or change your nappies when you are in old age. Society needs to build this into the equation (ie that we need to procreate) when we look at earning potential, and at the least the female of the species has to have a few months off when producing off-spring. Personally I would love to be in a situation where the man does more of the child raising (despite all my dreadful traits). Look to Sweden where the male is forced to take off a long period of paternity leave.
Don't know what this thread is even doing here, surely people cannot support some of the views. Even BD draws a line in his irreverent comments.

BD - burning his dinner.

BD -

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #19
18-12-2007 11:30 PM

If Baboonery were a woman, who'd not taken time off for kids, making the same point, then would you say that?

Of to put that another way, if you'd never had kids and a father where you work, doing the same job as you, took time off for paternity leave while you toiled away for years and he then returned to be treated as if he had developed the same skills and experience as you, would you feel the same about it, Roz?

It's effectively another 'childlessness tax' like the Child Trust Fund complained about on one of the other threads a few days ago, isn't it?

I suppose you might argue that it's good for society despite the apparent unfairness, but then again perhaps this sort of family-friendly benefit just gets voted through because parents are in the majority and vote for their own self-interest.

And getting back to the original article by Southwark, it irks me because, through what is probably just incompetence, it actually comes across as suggesting that the stats show that men are suppressing women. That may be true or it may not, but the stats they quote are not evidence either way.

I was simply suggesting that if you support equal opportunities, in the sense that people should be judged on their merits, then with women taking more time off in their lifetimes than men on average, it wouldn't be right for the average woman to get paid as much as the average man, because the average woman would have weaker skills and experience.

I take it you believe in 'positive discrimination' then, Roz? Just in this case, or in general?

I've never quite made up my mind about positive discrimination, myself.

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Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #20
18-12-2007 11:42 PM

Baggy, I disagree that things that are not already widely accepted by the majority of society should not be discussed. There are lots of stupid things of the past that were once widely accepted by the majority. Women not having the vote, slavery, burning witches, etc.

And you don't necessarily have to believe in a view in order to argue for it, do you? How do you know that there's not a better view out there than your current one if you never try others out?

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