We Couldn't Find Any Sexism, but Here's the Red Tape Anyway

By Doughty, Steve | Daily Mail (London), December 6, 2001 | Go to article overview

We Couldn't Find Any Sexism, but Here's the Red Tape Anyway


Doughty, Steve, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

A NEW raft of red tape and regulation was thrown at business yesterday - in the name of equal pay for women.

Yet research released by the Government has found no evidence of discrimination against women in the workplace.

The state-inspired bureaucracy, which will force businesses to publish details of how they recruit and promote women, was announced by Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Companies which fail to offer equal treatment to women, ministers hope, will be shamed by their own reports.

They will also be pressed to revamp their payrolls and, if necessary, change their wage scales to make sure women are paid the same as men.

The policies are a result of new research into working women - which found that females earn almost 20 per cent less than males.

The researchers concluded that the main reason women earn less is because they tend to focus their energies on their families, not their careers. Many work part-time - and part-time workers are the worst paid.

In spite of finding no evidence of sexism, one research report - by the Government's Women and Equality Unit - declared that discrimination does exist.

' Modern sexism stems from denial of continued discrimination, opposition to women's demands and a lack of support for actions or help to,' it said.

Another research paper - a review of women's pay by Competition Commission deputy chief Denise Kingsmill - found that women working fulltime earn on average 81 per cent of the salaries of men working full time.

Those working part- time earn 61 per cent of the hourly rate of part-time men.

This 'pay gap' has narrowed over the past 30 years, the report said. In 1973 fulltime working women earned just 64 per cent of fulltime male earnings.

Miss Hewitt said women are often forced to leave well-paid jobs when they become mothers.

'The Government is determined to make sure women do not have to face a stark choice between being a mother and being a successful employee. …

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We Couldn't Find Any Sexism, but Here's the Red Tape Anyway
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