Friday, 9 February 2018

Sometimes men deserve to be paid more per Rod Liddle in The Spectator

This Spectator article is a must read, as those by Rod Liddle generally are. It ends with a long anecdote:

'I say Today was an entirely women-only zone, but it wasn't quite. At the end of the show they read out the names of the programme editors and studio producer — and there was a bloke's name there.

As a former boss of the show, I had a guess at why this would be. When I was there the staff were pretty much split 50-50 between men and women, perhaps with a slight female bias. And women were represented equally throughout each of the BBC's ludicrous grading system on the programme.

But in my time, the male producers earned considerably more than the female producers. Why was this? Institutionalised sexism and unfairness on the part of me, the editor? No. The staff onToday work three kinds of shifts. A tiny minority work a congenial nine-to-five shift on a planning desk. But the rest of the producers do either an 11-hour day or a 13-hour night. Those night shifts are a killer, literally and metaphorically. Working through the night is seriously injurious to health and can be catastrophic for family life — and so the extra money paid to the people who did these horrible shifts seems to me entirely just.

Now, both sexes were meant to do the night shift —after all, you can't put a decent edition ofToday out without a team working overnight. But during my time, more and more women presented compelling (to the BBC) reasons for why they couldn't work overnight — mostly, but by no means exclusively, because of child care. And so they were made exempt. One after another came to me and said: 'I'm pregnant, can't do nights, sorry.' Or, 'I've got kids — can't do nights'. Or even simply — 'The doctor says I can't do nights'.

The Today hand-over meeting between the two teams was at eight o'clock in the evening. And I would watch as the largely female day team greeted the sallow, red-eyed, zombified young men turning up for their third of three consecutive night shifts. I ought to add that some women were happy to do nights, but far fewer. So that's why men, back in 2003, earned more money than women: they did the same job, but at a different, much less congenial, time.

And so after three hours of women-only interviews on theToday programme last Tuesday morning, perhaps the most revelatory and informative nugget of information came right at the end, just before the pips: they had a bloke working overnight, because that's what blokes do. And very few people will have picked it up.

A great shame, really, because it is just one — among a million — examples as to why the gender pay gap is a myth, a fabrication. There is an earnings gap between men and women, but not a pay gap. Do the same job as men and you will be paid the same amount of money.'

More inconvenient facts that the social justice warriors and feminists/midandrists at the BBC will ignore.

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