Re: The bigger picture
> women were equally capable and intelligent and should have equal opportunities
Very true. But that sentence is incomplete. people should have equal opportunities to do the things they want to.
The point that seems to be continuously overlooked is that pay is not the only reason a given person takes a given job. Sure, it's one of the few quantifiable reasons - and is therefore amenable to analysis by individuals for whom analytical processes are important. And it seems to me too much emphasis is placed on pay, simply because so few other factors can be measured (a case of valuing what you can measure, rather than measuring what you value). However there are a lot of reasons to take a job that are not quantifiable. Some examples would be:
- because you enjoy the work
- because it's close to where you live
- because it provides thrills and adventure
- because it reinforces your self-image
- because your friends work there
- because the hours suit your lifestyle
- because you don't get wet when it rains
- because it does (or doesn't) require you to extend your abilities
Each individual will take some, all or none of these other attributes into account. None of them can have a financial value attached (although being close to where you live could equate to travel costs) so it's not realistic to simply look at pay as being the only measure of a job's worth. It also means that roles within a company cannot be equally staffed by individuals who attach different priorities to all these different attributes, as they simply wouldn't be attracted to those jobs, if the jobs didn't match their wants or needs.
So long as people have the opportunity to qualify for and enter the sort of work that they feel best suited for, that;s the best you can hope for. It's not necessary to go round counting heads and ticking boxes for each particular job title, just because that provides numerical answers for the analytical types to report on - and imbalances aren't important provided they are there due to choice, not barriers