Categorized | Blog

Penelope Trunk, HR blogger says there is NO PAY GAP between men and women, and that this is not a controversial statement. It is, and its also factually wrong…

“…the reason top-tier female MBAs make less then the men is because of the choice they make, not because of any gender bias”. This is not the only reason why male and female workers do not achieve equal pay and even if it was, women should not be penalized for having children, and should not be forced to have to make a choice between having children and a career.

Whilst Trunk quotes the Economist and the Washington Post’s legitimate critique of the 77 cents in a dollar stat, she fails to take this into account. Or this. Or this. Or this. And I could just keep going!

As much as I would love to declare the pay gap is closed, it’s just not socially responsible or factually correct to do so.

Her case rests on the assumption that this pay gap is a choice, caused by parenting and that “the workforce is not good for parenting just is not a gender issue” completely fails to take into account that the workforce was designed by men who didn’t need to look after their kids as much because their wife was. The expectations that come with management roles were designed by men, for men and that now the men are trying to get more women into because they’re aware of the diversity benefits of doing this, they need to wake up and make the workforce for accommodating for parents. When you add that to women being ready, willing and keen to take on executive roles, the fact that workplaces need to seriously reassess the required lifestyle that comes with top jobs is a no-brainer.
Is it a gender issue? Not necessarily, but there is no doubt from the stats from organisations like the Australian Work Life Index centre that women feel the pressure of being a mum and an employee more then men do, and that we’re discriminated against just in case the kids do cause us concern over how much time we can give to work.

Sure, I agree with her that it helps to “stop being paranoid” and that most women in top jobs are very thankful to the men along the way who have helped them [link to good guys page].  I blogged about exactly this topic. But I know that women sell themselves short by not negotiating, and I also know that women can be penalized financially and socially for negotiating, something that rarely if ever happens to men.

Check it out here. I’m confident that smart working women who read this article can recognize it for its commentary, but be smart enough to steer well clear of her “show some cleavage” and “feminism is alive and well with bitter, outdated ranters” thoughts. If you’ve got thoughts or responses, and especially experiences that contradict her opinions (I’m looking at you, women experiencing the pay gap without children) share them here in the comments section.

Thankyou to Kim Seeling-Smith for passing this one on.


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