In response to a brilliant feature in the Financial Times on Equal Pay and the Gender Pay Gap, our founder Dame Moya Greene wrote to the Editor of the paper. Her letter is available in full here and we’ve republished the letter below:
Letter: Battle for equal pay is about power and status
From Dame Moya Greene, London, UK
Many thanks for your illuminating and interesting articles on gender equality, particularly the differences in male and female compensation.
This most recent series of interviews with outstanding women on this subject was a highlight (FT Magazine, August 8).
I am always struck by the comments that follow these articles. Often those who take the time are of the opinion that either, there is no gender pay gap, women disproportionately choose careers that pay less, or they take time away during crucial earning years etc.
The implication is women have freely decided to forgo income. Or the alternative reading is the pay gap is so negligible as to not warrant consideration.
I wonder why these same people never ask, “how did it happen that the most important jobs in society, often disproportionately filled by women, are rewarded with such low pay?”.
Why is it that from the very first promotion women are far less likely than male colleagues to be chosen for the managerial post. Is it not possible that these structures, and these individual decisions are male-made?
Earning capacity confers power and status. I know of no case where power and the establishment who holds it, has easily given it up. It has usually been wrested away.
Equal pay like the vote, is something women will have to fight for.
Dame Moya Greene London, UK