back to article As far as the gender pay gap in Britain goes, IBM could do much worse

It appears that IBM's Human Resources department has skills that extend beyond the laying off of large swathes of staff. It has emerged that the boys and girls at Big Blue enjoy a gender pay gap that is better than average (in the UK at least), although HR could take some lessons from Microsoft. An internal report (PDF) …

Anonymous Coward

IBM has a novel way of dealing with the problem: paying men and women equally badly.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought that was the current standard way of paying all company peons who aren't directors

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sample size, outliers, biases

Getting that headcount down is sure to shrink the gap, right? Right?

Eh... no. Not the way you phrase it, at least. Not if you just push headcount down at random. If you do it may go either way. The sample gets smaller, and the probability of getting an outlier result, in this case a pay gap much higher or much lower than the average, gets higher. So while after a drastic RIF the chances to get a pay gap very different from the average become better, the outcome will not necessarily be in the desired direction.

If you orchestrate the layoffs with a gap reduction in mind or, for instance, if you tend to fire quite a few senior (overpaid, or experienced, or valuable, or expensive for any other reason) males that contribute significantly to the pre-layoff pay gap then your RIF may well result in a lower gender pay gap.

Specifically, one of the common arguments about the gender pay gap is that women tend to be, on average, less experienced, less senior, less promoted than men because of they time they take off for maternity / child care. If senior / experienced people are laid off with a higher probability - because they are more expensive and firing them will result in bigger savings - then that would tend to reduce pay gap as a side effect.

[Disclaimer: this is quite independent of any discussion of whether not correcting for this natural disadvantage is fair or unfair. That is a different question altogether.]

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Re: sample size, outliers, biases

You also outsource all low paid mostly female jobs so all the cleaners and canteen staff don't skew your stats.

You then get rid of secretaries, receptionists etc.

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Re: sample size, outliers, biases

Specifically, one of the common arguments about the gender pay gap is that women tend to be, on average, less experienced, less senior, less promoted than men because of they time they take off for maternity / child care.

Indeed. El Reg's own Tim Worstall did some very good stuff around this very issue. Quite why the Reg keeps pretending there's a gender pay gap when it knows very well its a maternity gap, is an interesting question.

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Re: sample size, outliers, biases

@ LucreLout

"El Reg's own Tim Worstall did some very good stuff around this very issue"

I get the feeling Tim vanished because he didnt have a problem pointing out reality instead of the 'approved' view.

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Anonymous Coward

secretaries?

What IT company do you work in?

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Re: sample size, outliers, biases

"I get the feeling Tim vanished because..." El Ed desired to spend his editorial budget - as is his absolute right - in a different manner. No complaints from me, that's how the industry works.

Fun discussion of a recent paper:

"Children Hurt Women’s Earnings, but Not Men’s (Even in Scandinavia)

Motherhood is the biggest cause of the gender pay gap. It might take fathers to change that."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/upshot/even-in-family-friendly-scandinavia-mothers-are-paid-less.html

Actually, children seem to raise men's pay. In a sexually dimorphic species the arrival of children produces asymmetric responses across genders. Remarkable that really.

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Statutory redundancy payouts

They're the same whether you're male or female...

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Industry drenched in testosterone

1. Sorry, is this IBM or the NFL?

2, What do hormones have to do with grammar?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

1. I don't know but apparently it's "an industry often drenched in testosterone, that cannot come quickly enough".

2. The connection with grammar would be that I'm quoting words precisely from the article, but I'm not necessarily respecting the phrase structure.

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Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

Its the usual self flaggilation from ignorant male journos who think they're being feminist on-message by dissing any industry that is predominantly male. Not because there's any in built in bias in these industries, but simply because men and women in general (obviously there are exceptions) have different interests and one of the things that interests men more than women is computers. In the same way few men are interested in working with young children so out of about 20 staff at my kids nursery only 1 is a guy. That doesn't seem to bother any of the right-on crowd however. Funny that. And I wonder how they'd react to their industry described as being "drenched in oestrogen"?

But hey, lets not worry about facts, much easier to scream sexism and collect the SJW inclusivity kudos.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

Misogynist clickbait wins again.

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Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

So predictable with your assumptions about why women don't work in your industry and men don't work with young children. And lightly sprinkled with just about the right amount of idiotic trigger phrases for the right-wing libertarians who don't really like women very much.

But, hey, let's not worry about the real societal causes for such large inequalities in certain countries (but not all, but we won't mention those because that damages your little argument, doesn't it?).

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Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

"So predictable with your assumptions about why women don't work in your industry and men don't work with young children."

Known facts are predictable in an argument. Thats why they're called facts. Women and men do generally have different interests, denying that only makes you look like a reality denying fool who lives in some ideological fantasy world.

"idiotic"

Says Jeremy Puddleduck.

"But, hey, let's not worry about the real societal causes for such large inequalities in certain countries"

The assumption was this discussion was about the west given that "in Britain" was in the article title. Perhaps that wasn't enough of a clue for you. So lets hear your theories on why women don't go into IT much in europe and north america. Presumably someone is "oppressing" them in some way. Who and how. Be specific, no hand waving vagueries.

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Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

But, hey, let's not worry about the real societal causes for such large inequalities in certain countries (but not all, but we won't mention those because that damages your little argument, doesn't it?).

As we all well know, there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and woman, and their are families.

so what you're really saying here, is that as a man working in IT, it's somehow my fault that enough women didn't take Comp Sci GCSE, A-levels, and university study? Ok, how precisely, do you work that out?

Imbalances in self selecting groups must always occurr because the under represented cohort choose to be under represented by choosing to over represent themselves in other occupations. And the western world is almost entirely self selective regarding what we study after school, and what we do for a living.

Ultimately then, womens under representation in IT is because women don't want to work in IT in sufficient numbers to balance the men. That's not the mens fault anymore than it is womens fault men don't often work in childcare, teaching etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

I think someone at Google was fired for this type of thought process; rightly or wrongly, there is no way it will ever be accepted.

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If it's this Thomas Watson...

... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Watson - he passed on in 1952. An equal work for equal pay policy would have been forward thinking for them there times, I would guess.

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Re: If it's this Thomas Watson...

Indeed. I must say that when I read:

"Why IBM needs a "guiding principle" to know that paying people the same for doing the same job in the same place is the right thing to do is anyone's guess."

I thought that if this really were true not only across the IT sector, but all sectors, we wouldn't need to mandate this in law. Yes, it's a laudable concept and one I fully support, however one not held by many corporations in our society it seems.

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Joke

26.5 per cent of its workforce as "identifying as female"

Hold the phone, what if they just get the highest paid 50% of the company to say they identify as female? That should solve all their problems right?

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Joke

Re: 26.5 per cent of its workforce as "identifying as female"

As someone who has lived for a number of years on both sets of hormones... if they did that, it would just be the start of a whole new set of problems :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 26.5 per cent of its workforce as "identifying as female"

I think Ginni already does, except for golfing purposes.

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At the risk of being branded misogynst...

... there are a number of problems in society that make it unlikely that there will ever be full equality, at least in the very misleading median pay gap measurements.

The problems are mainly about the biological nature of the family, i.e. women are much more intimately involved with the process of having a family.

Let's consider the best case scenario. A woman is in a company, being paid the same for the same role as their male counterpart. The woman decides to have a child, and then works up until a few weeks before the baby is due. She has the baby, and then takes the maternity leave offered, and stays off work for a further 8 months or so, as she is encouraged to do for the sake of her baby.

Let's assume she can return to the same job she had before (which isn't always the case).

She's now been away from the workplace for three-quarters of a year. Her male counterparts have had that extra service, seniority (and probably pay increments), and the woman has to come back to re-learn certain aspects of her job. And in a fast moving industry such as IT, she's also got to catch up on the new developments. If she's in a customer facing role, her customers will have got used to a new face, and she will have to get back in with them, or find new customers.

If we assume that her partner will really share all child care duties, this means that she is actually likely to be a year behind her male colleagues. And if it is not equal, this is another impediment.

Multiply this by two or three, and this is the barrier she has to overcome.

But more realistically, career women end up by choice having their children close together. So it may be that instead of several one-year gaps, one per child spread over several years, they end up with a single two or three year gap.

If this happens, it will be much more difficult to catch up her peers, and their original job role may not even exist! So returning to work will be much more difficult. Also, in the past, Women have been able to retire earlier than men, removing experienced women from the pool of talent.

Add to this the significant number of women who, because of unequal child care or just personal preference, decide to down-grade or completely sidestep their previous careers, such that they will be unavailable to be considered for high level jobs, and the situation gets worse.

Another aspect of high function technical jobs is that the climb to the higher reaches of the board takes 20-30 years, so the women able to be appointed to these roles now will have joined in the 90's, a time when there were fewer women in technical jobs. We will have to wait 20 more years for any current actions we take on recruitment to kick in.

I don't think that there is any real surprise that many of the women currently high up in industry have chosen not to have children, have had them early and restarted their career in their early 20's, or have been able to out-source their child care at the risk of damaging their family life.

Until we have a complete shake-up of society, this pattern of family life will persist, and I can see very little that will significantly alter this in the near future.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

If you think equality of opportunity is the most important thing, then we already have that enshrined into law.

If you think that all that matters is the numbers at the end of the day, i.e. equality of outcome, then these companies can just do the progressive thing, hire women into token positions or skip them ahead of their male colleagues for promotions and hire women into positions on the basis of their gender.

Actual ability to do the job/merit doesn't really play a role in the second option, one which appears to be gaining social traction.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

The number one reason of why men's "absolute" average pay will always be higher is that the wast majority of women want to marry a man who makes more than them. That's it. Close second is child bearing. Most women who have children realize that the rat race for the corner cubicle is not really the faboulous life as it was advertised/brainwashed in to them. Wasn't there a study somewhere that about half of the women who graduated from the top universities (like harvard and the like) have permanently left the workforce in only a couple of years after graduation?

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

Did female graduates quit the rat-race because children and a rich hubby were better life options, or because they had tepid to lousy experiences in the workplace and decided that the traditional route was easier. One can slip into the rut fairly painlessly.

I don't see why it is a downer on women who want to marry someone richer than them. We all want to be richer than we are. If you seek a good, abundant life, it would have to be super true love to marry a pauper. OTOH, my wife married me and my salary was chump-change compared to hers, so is the general assumption of the A.C. (based on what source, we do not know) that women like richer spouses merely the norm of behaviour, and thus my beloved is a black swan, or was the A.C. talking a crock, based on misogyny?

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

@Peter Gathercole your assumption that higher pay should come with time served is nonsense. EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK. Age discrimination is just as bad as sex discrimination or gender discrimination or even racial discrimination.

As you say, it's a fast moving industry. As a result, the required skills are the ability to update skills, not the skills themselves. This means I could miss a year and still be better than colleagues who aren't as good at upskilling. I've also seen 22 year olds who run circles around 45 year olds - this is in fact becoming more common given the rapid change in skill-sets and a reluctance to move with the times. The phrase "I've been doing this for 20 years!" isn't usually a good thing any more, especially in IT. It's not specifically bad, but if the thing you're doing is server installs and you've not learned cloud then it's certainly not good.

You're also assuming that she would need to "relearn". Also nonsense as any woman in a sufficiently senior position for this to matter would likely keep themselves up to date throughout maternity leave. I manage it while on holiday so I'm quite certain the girls can do it too for as long as needed.

Why do you think the climb to the board takes 20-30 years? Tech in particular has extremely young exec level staff. Bill gates certainly hadn't been at it 30 years when he became CEO of Microsoft!

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

She's now been away from the workplace for three-quarters of a year. Her male counterparts have had that extra service, seniority (and probably pay increments), and the woman has to come back to re-learn certain aspects of her job. And in a fast moving industry such as IT, she's also got to catch up on the new developments.

Those are fairly simple to fix, ie HR/general terms of employment written so that there's no loss of seniority or missed pay increments whilst on maternity (or paternity) leave. Which I think is UK law anyway, but HR and employment legislation is complex. Keeping up is something that can be supported, ie home working/access to the company whilst on maternity leave. That can be something as simple as emailing company or department updates, new product stuff etc.

I still think the problem is persuading more women to get into IT in the first place. Some tech companies like Microsoft work to promote IT in education, which helps. Legislation and simple management policies support women during maternity leave. If more women are entering IT careers, then eventually that should feed through into senior roles, which should be filled based on merit. And in a lot of senior roles, that should be about leadership & strategic skills rather than the nitty gritty of IT. After all, they have subordinates to do that sort of thing. And an important part of any senior role is succession planning, or just identifying the best staff to nurture, promote, pay etc.

But that's also where politics/policy can also present challenges. A long time ago, I worked for a company that had a very rigid pay & grade structure (BT!). They had probably the best IT person I've ever worked with, but wasn't exactly a people person. So they had a lot of fun making them a 'manager' to pay them, but without the staff, department, or personal coat stand that went with the grade. Catering for those kinds of exceptional employees would potentially mess up mean/median grades.

Larger companies can work around that kind of problem. So later in life, I encountered Vint Cerf's geek squad, which flew in to rewrite JunOS to fix a problem that Juniper couldn't/wouldn't. Being a seperate team, they had their own pay grades as a kind of 'Tier-4' tech team. A couple of them were also female, and part of that team based on merit rather than gender.

So I don't think it's a social issue, other than understanding why women may not want to go into IT/engineering roles. If they're not entering the profession(s), then no amount of political posturing is going to change the environment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

I didn't meant it to be a downer on women, i just stated it. Considering human evolution and biology i think it is rather natural. Children need a lot of resources and women need some reference point to judge any potential partner's fitness against, and using their own providing ability is a natural choice.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

@lusty Am I wrong or are you saying that seniority, loyalty and experience shouldn't be rewarded in companies... because that's what it sounds like what you're saying.

Also Bill Gates OWNED and created Microsoft. I don't think there was much contention for the position when he gave it to himself.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

According to this, if she is in work, then her wages, etc. are paid for an extended period - https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave/pay - SMP goes up to 39 weeks. (pension... I'm not sure of.)

Some of the other aspects, such as keeping up with technological progress, etc. and the call for job protection - https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/aug/31/mps-urge-better-job-protection-for-expectant-and-new-mothers - which is a 2 year old report and I'm not sure whether it is currently enforced or not...

... and it becomes difficult to see why the percentage difference should be so pronounced.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

"@lusty Am I wrong or are you saying that seniority, loyalty and experience shouldn't be rewarded in companies"

It's not just me saying it, some of it is the law! Also, most people think this way when they actually think about it and stop assuming that the old system is right. And yes, I do believe that being somewhere for a long time doesn't make you automatically better than someone else. Seniority is about position, and that position should be awarded on merit. Loyalty is earned by the company, and rewarding it (aka bribing to stay) is ridiculous because it necessarily means that if your job doesn't change that they used to underpay you for your talents! As I said, if a 22 year old is doing the same job, at the same or better level as a 45 year old then why wouldn't you pay them the same money? There are a lot of technologies around right now that NOBODY has experience in...

Next you'll be telling us older people need the money because they have families! lol

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst... @Lusty

OK, lets look at it another way.

Lets assume that it is time served that is rewarded, not age. In the scenario I outlined, a woman who takes 3 years out will still be three years behind on their time served compared to their male counterpart. There's still a disadvantage there.

I accept equal pay for equal work, but most people would like pay increments without having to change role, and someone who has been doing the same job for a number of years may expect to be paid more than someone who has only just started in the same job. Experience counts in these environments, especially if, like in the technology sector, there are no automatic pay increments, and any pay rise has to be justified by achievement. Taking three years off does not achieve anything work wise, so will not earn pay increments.

Equality has to be equal in all aspects of a job, including experience.

On the subject of keeping up to date, I'm wondering whether you have children yourself. With a young baby in the house (especially if you are the sole carer during the day), it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for longer than their sleep cycle, they are incredibly demanding, and sometimes you just may want to catch up on some sleep as well.

I have four children, and my daughter is currently on maternity leave after her first child. Looking after a baby for 8 months is nothing like taking a vacation for a couple of weeks. You just don't get the breaks. And as my daughter found out when she asked, if you want to work to 'keep your hand in', and can arrange child care, the maternity leave rules impose strict limits on how much you can work without losing the whole of the maternity benefit! So any keeping up will be done at your own time and expense.

I'm not trying to put women down. I have some women friends who do an incredible job of balancing a successful work career and family, but they are an exception, and really have to work far harder than their male counterparts just to keep up, and this is for no reason other than biology and society.

I accept that there are always exceptions, with both high achievers and low achievers, and that some people make it into senior management positions at quite young ages (although probably as a career manager, rather than one building a management position on technical knowledge), but if you were to to a survey the age people are when they get to certain positions in management, I'm absolutely certain that it will be skewed to middle age to older people. Experience counts, and if it were not like this, it would destroy the traditional career path people have grown used to.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst... @Jellied Eel

<sarcasm>So you are advocating positive discrimination for women, are you? I thought all forms of discrimination were frowned upon</sarcasm>.

The UK legislation provides that women will get all pay rises that happen for all workers, like rate-of-inflation rises. But how many technical companies actually pay any rate-of-inflation rise at all? Pay increments are nearly always based on achievement, and someone not working does not achieve anything. That is still not against the law.

What happens to any in-work qualifications obtained during that time the woman was away? Is the woman expected to try to study them while on maternity leave? Or be paid for an achievement they've not earned.

As I've said elsewhere, there are exceptions, as per your 'geek squad' example. I don't dispute that women can be exceptional in a job role, but I'm talking about the general, not the exceptional.

And I think that your point about recruiting reflects my point about what you do now will take years to actually make a significant difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

@Peter Gathercole

Careful there, with all that reasoning and basic logic you are showing your toxic masculinity as well as being a rape apologists misogynst.

Until we have a complete shake-up of society,

And this is what feminist and other sjw progressives are continually wishing for, that somehow society that has existed for 1000s of years all over the world i.e "the patriarchy" (not really its one of buzz terms they like to use) but the fact it has men protecting women with children in the middle or "the family unit" (which is something else they appear to hate)

Will suddenly become unpopular and disappear, just so they can justify their own life choices.

Well it simply isn't going to happen, and people are waking up to this fact for the cancer on society it really is.

Like this 'Pay Gap', there is no pay gap what there is is an 'earnings gap'.

Men Earn more because they Work more, on average, and hopefully this government intrusion into private companies will finally provide the proof of this.

And ultimately this is all BS.

They say it is for "equality", but I have yet to see them pushing for more women in the highly dangerous men dominated profession's, nor the one that require them to be neck high in human shit, its always the nice high paying jobs with air-con.

Nor am I seeing ANY effort in getting men into female dominated fields, like child care or health care.

Like all cancerous neo-marxist ideology, everyone is equal, expect the ones with the most snowflake points, they are more equal than you comrade.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

This.

First, full disclosure - I'm male, so every "you" in what follows is from second-hand observation when it comes to maternity absence, rather than personal experience. But it's repeated observation - I saw similar things happen several times.

In my time at the coal-face of IBM, I saw maternity leave have an effect quite a few times (I saw illness have the same effect, irrespective of gender). The problem as I see it is that, when you're technical and skilled, you normally can't walk away for an extended period (for maternity or any other reason) then simply slide back in to your old role. Your skills are a part of what needs to be done in your area, and if you're not there to provide them, someone else will be found to do so. And, frankly, that someone is not normally simply going to be moved back out of position when you return. You can't even necessarily expect to slide straight into an equivalent role, however willing in principle your management chain are - if there's a job there that really needs doing, again, probably someone is already doing it. So, quite possibly, you'll slide back in to either a period of somewhat make-weight work, or into a minor change of career direction: doing something similar to what you were before, but in a different context, needing a subtly different set of skills - which you are undoubtedly capable of gearing up to, but which will take time, during which you're likely not to be seen as working at your full potential. Net result - slightly lower assessments, on average, than the colleagues who've stayed in role and haven't had time off. No-one has done anything wrong, or improper - it's just a consequence of the business world needing to carry on turning in your absence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

@Hollerithevo

"I don't see why it is a downer on women who want to marry someone richer than them. We all want to be richer than we are. If you seek a good, abundant life, it would have to be super true love to marry a pauper. OTOH, my wife married me and my salary was chump-change compared to hers, so is the general assumption of the A.C. (based on what source, we do not know) that women like richer spouses merely the norm of behaviour, and thus my beloved is a black swan, or was the A.C. talking a crock, based on misogyny?"

This report appear to provide at least some of the evidence you are looking for

https://ifstudies.org/blog/better-educated-women-still-prefer-higher-earning-husbands

Its a bit out of date so things may have changed since, and I guess as the pool of women earning more increases then they will have to start marrying down at some point (if they marry at all of course)

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst... @Jellied Eel

The UK legislation provides that women will get all pay rises that happen for all workers, like rate-of-inflation rises. But how many technical companies actually pay any rate-of-inflation rise at all? Pay increments are nearly always based on achievement, and someone not working does not achieve anything. That is still not against the law.

Pay increments are often set based on grade levels and increments. Then managers and HR can set expectations around those, and hopefully a career path as well. That's very common with large companies. Then there might be annual bumps up the increments, and inflation based increases. Or not in IT companies due to challenging market conditions, or other excuses. Which leads to career spirals where staff leave for a while, then come back to a higher grade. And (bad) management wondering why they struggle to retain staff. Or question people's 'loyalty', when people know that the only way to get a pay rise or promotion might be to leave.

For maternity, if pay's based on appraisal or performance, then do it based on the person's performance while they were at work. That's normal management practice at any decent company, along with resetting any team targets because the team may be down a body, or have to break in a temp/contractor.

What happens to any in-work qualifications obtained during that time the woman was away? Is the woman expected to try to study them while on maternity leave? Or be paid for an achievement they've not earned.

That's also simple in a decent company. If qualification or certification is mandatory for the position, then you give the woman the same time/resources to study for that when they return. However, I've managed women during their maternity leave who've got bored and studied or worked during their maternity leave. Which then gets tricky trying to explain to them that they're not meant to be doing work stuff.

But that's also a general bag of nails, ie paying for and providing time & resources for people to study. If that's not carefully managed, you end up with slackers with certifications, not your best staff. Part of the reason why management can end up with people who've mastered the art of seeming busy.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

"Well it simply isn't going to happen, and people are waking up to this fact for the cancer on society it really is."

Indeed ooFie, I guess that's why so few women accept the label "feminist" these days.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

"In my time at the coal-face of IBM, I saw maternity leave have an effect quite a few times"

Because at IBM those were legacy skills where experience did make a difference. Elsewhere in 2018 people are doing new and interesting things where experience counts for very little. In fact, I see more poor architecture from people with infrastructure experience in the cloud than those with none. This is because those with no experience aren't trying to use the wrong tools for the job at hand.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

AC was talking crock, based on misogyny.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

If you think that all that matters is the numbers at the end of the day, i.e. equality of outcome

The main problem with this is that equality of outcome is a fairy story. It's not real. It never could be real. It's time those clinging to it like a life jacket moved on with their lives.

If you've[1] not made a success of yourself, try harder, but any expectation of levelling down those of us that put in the effort, the hours, and the personal drive to the success output of a couch potato ain't going to happen, now, or indeed, ever.

[1] not you, you. If you follow.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

your assumption that higher pay should come with time served is nonsense. EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK. Age discrimination is just as bad as sex discrimination or gender discrimination or even racial discrimination.

There's no such thing as equal work.

I bring my experience (yes, this is valuable and no the kids don't have it), intelligence, aptitude, and drive to the job. There's isn't anyone else with the same balance of those traits as me, which is why my salary varies enormously compared to the person sat either side of me.

The same role != the same work. Sorry, must try harder.

My experience allows me to solve problems in minutes that take my millennial colleagues all day. Its not that they're not hard working, or bright, its just that lots of problems are new to them, whereas they were new to me decades ago and I can solve them from memory in seconds. Give it 20 years and they'll be in the same place I am today, and they'll be able to leverage their experience in the way I do, and they'll probably earn what I earn. Then, not now.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

As I said, if a 22 year old is doing the same job, at the same or better level as a 45 year old then why wouldn't you pay them the same money?

Unless the 45 year old was a career change part way through, it simply won't be possible that a 22 year old would be doing the job to the same level. They'd have to have forgone university education, and college, in order to have a quarter of the experience of the 45 year old, whow ould be better educated.

Sorry kiddo, its possible you're too young to understand the value of experience, but the beauty of that is you'll learn all about it as you get some of your won.

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

“My experience allows me to solve problems in minutes that take my millennial colleagues all day. ”

Agreed, but you solve it in the same ways you always have so realistically we could automate that. Inexperience brings fresh ideas which are at least as valuable as experience if not more so now we’re architecting for cloud which when done properly is completely different to standard architectures.

The number of experienced network people I see “solving” the network design by making one huge network on Azure is astonishing. Not one of them considers individual networks with public endpoints for each service, yet the inexperienced often consider that first.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst... @Jellied Eel

Professor Claudia Goldin, economics at Harvard, produced a report on the paygap. She found that there isn't one. I can assume she is no longer part of the sisterhood, but listen anyway.

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/the-true-story-of-the-gender-pay-gap-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

How many rich and very old men have young and highly attractive wives? How many rich and very old women have young and highly attractive husbands?

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Re: At the risk of being branded misogynst...

Agreed, but you solve it in the same ways you always have so realistically we could automate that.

No, I solve it in the most appropriate way for the current situation. It's just that I can see the dead ends and the millennials have to go explore them because they can't see its a dead end.

Inexperience brings fresh ideas

No, it really doesn't. Inexperience brings a lot of unworkable noise that those with experience can see through in a second. Fresh ideas come from fresh thinking, and theres no age related component to that, however much you wish there were.

which are at least as valuable as experience if not more so now we’re architecting for cloud which when done properly is completely different to standard architectures

Inexperience is free mate - nobody pays for it because its worth less than shit - that can be used as fertilizer at least. Architecting for the cloud isn't particularly challenging I'm afraid - certainly none of the millennials I work with can do it half as effectively or nearly so quick as I can.

Sorry, but young inexperienced staff simply aren't worth a lot of money because they're not bringing very much value to the role. Experience pays - it always has and it always will because its more valuable than anything else you can bring to a job. If you want to get paid for being young & dumb, then go be a sex worker - its about the only way youth gets paid more than experience.

You'll figure this out for yourself in another 15-20 years. Report back then.

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What gender gap though?

Some people keep yapping about the gender gap but every article always starts with the disclaimer that this doesn't focus on men and women performing the same job. Obviously because in that case men and women should earn the same, governed by law.

So I keep wondering: what is the problem that men and women earn different salaries when they perform different jobs? Because that is the only underlying reason for this so called "gap".

See, my problem with all this is that the drive behind it is supposedly about equality. So why is it never a problem when, according to these studies of course, women suddenly earn more than men? When that happens there's nothing wrong, yet isn't that simply a display of hypocrisy? Equality should be absolute: it should cover both ends of the spectrum and not simply favor only one end of it.

... that is, if you truly pursue equality of course. And I have some serious doubts about that part.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What gender gap though?

It's a "problem" because it makes for a great angle for politicians and various other parasitic lifeforms. Especially when combined with the new push for forced equality of outcome. A whole lot of undeserved money and power to go around for them.

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