If you calculate the average UK salary using the mean it will come out as being over £50,000 per person, per year… a ridiculously skewed figure. This is because the top 10% earn 50% of all earnings in the country, (and money=power but we’ll get to that later). To get a more meaningful figure, very high earning and very low earning outliers need to be excluded and the average calculated using the median. This is what the Office of National Statistics, (ONS), does to produce the much more realistic average salary of £27,000 per person, per year…
Not so with the “Gender Pay Gap”. The GPG is the difference between the total earnings of ALL males and all females calculated USING THE MEAN. It includes the highest earning people and the lowest earning people and comes up with a similarly skewed result. In reality the average male’s salary is as far away from the top earning males as is the average female’s. When you use the median to calculate the GPG, include the fact that females work 14% less hours than males, (for obvious reasons), and are more likely to choose lower paying professions… the gap becomes negligible. As far as I can tell these are the facts.
So what ACTUAL systemic obstacles to female advancement in the workplace and pay remain and in what industries are they to be found? Not surprisingly, perhaps, they are mostly to be found in the higher echelons of society that fall outside of the median. We’re talking about the boardrooms of financial institutions, Hollywood and the media and other institutions which are still run by the “old boys network”.
Some feminists tell us that “patriarchy” is the obstacle to female advancement and IF by patriarchy they mean the aforementioned “old boys network” existing in the upper echelons of society, there is factual evidence for it’s existence. But, lets not forget that the power and influence of this small group of males is as far away from that of the average man and woman’s as the average salary calculated using the mean is from the one calculated using the median.
When feminists calculate the oppressiveness of “patriarchy” using the mean they vastly overestimate the oppressiveness of the average male at the same time as letting the real culprits, with the real power off the hook.
I am completely supportive of the removal of all REAL obstacles to female advancement and I am completely supportive of a feminism that calculates the oppressiveness of “patriarchy” using the median.