“Gender Discrimination” comments actually a sidetrack
This morning on Newstalk ZB, Mike Hosking interviewed Alasdair Thompson and Helen Kelly about Green MP Catherine Delahunty’s bill on gender equality in pay. You may remember Delahunty having a bit of an unprovoked rage at members of the Young Nationals at the beginning of this year. If not, I’ll embed this at the bottom 🙂
Alasdair Thompson’s comments were stupid. He should not have said about women taking more time off because of “medical problems once a month”. While he does have a point about women taking time off for child birth (I’ll get to this later), it is unfortunate that these comments were blown out of proportion. If you listen to the interview before he says that, Helen Kelly has nothing. She clearly doesn’t understand what a pay gap is. Seriously, have a listen to the interview – that’s what I linked to above. She starts talking about how there’s a pay gap because people in higher management positions get paid more. Hold on, what?
But to the comment I’ve made here that will possibly be blown out of proportion just as much as this whole thing, and that is women are likely to have a lower pay because of taking time off for child birth. What company is going to invest money in training someone for higher positions when there is a good chance in a few years they will lose her because goes on maternity leave to have children, or leaves entirely to bring up the children. I know I wouldn’t invest time and money in someone that is going to potentially disappear in five years. That’s nothing against the ability of women to do the work. Women have every ability to do the work. But until they’ve had children, or reached an age where they aren’t likely to have children, they aren’t going to achieve these positions, because companies won’t want to invest this. If women are getting less for the same job in the same company, that’s wrong. But if they aren’t getting promoted because of the above reasons, that’s rational.
Now, have a look at what happens when Catherine Delahunty sees red. I mean blue.