Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Government 'Equalities' Office

Members of Parliament

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Wednesday, 12 August 2009


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"Without wanting to be paranoid, why did the Secretary of State not mention the gender breakdown. I am sure she would have done if it was the other way around.

Also it brings into question again all the nonsense about the gender pay gap. Part of the reason why men earn more money (not more when doing the same jobs as a woman) is because they carry out more dangerous work."

Great post... Spot on.


Sadly the record for deaths and also for serious injuries often does not reflect a "premium" job. Many of the deaths and injuries happen to workers in the "glass cellar" jobs as described by Warren Farrell. Many dangerous jobs do command good wages and many don't however they do share the same feature in being overwhelmingly male. Death and Serious injury is "gendered" and should be of great concern to any equalities minister. I will not hold my breath.

A good post as this issue is completely ignored.

John Kimble

"Many dangerous jobs do command good wages and many don't"

Indeed, but I think the point is that most people realsie when a job is dangerous and very demanding, thus employers are forced to at least pay above the minimum wage because otherwise no one would work for them at all. SO although the men are indeed badly paid considering the nature of the work, they always still earn more than minimum wage by default. That's how markets work.

Women generally go for the least demanding, least dangerous jobs, and ones where they don't have to travel, thus many get the minimum wage a such jobs are very popular. There are many thousands of men in dangerous and demanding jobs all getting roughly an extra £1.50 per hour more than all such women. The net result is of course the oh so terrible gender pay gap.


It is indeed the popularity of part time work which drives much of the supposed wage gap. And in fact men in part time work earn slightly less. In countries with very little part time work there is in fact much lower "gaps". What is clear is that whatever the pay rate men are the vast majority in dangerous industries. As you point out the premium for that danger can be quite small. The real economic driver for the supposed "gender pay gap"is the concentration of women in the public sector and part time work. The gender pay gap barely exists in Northern Ireland where the public sector is half the employment available. A key driver for the shorter lifespan for men is the more dangerous and unhealthy nature of their work. I note that though there is an investigation into women in the Finance Industry there is not one into the Building Industry; as you say sistas prefer the office.

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