31 March 2005

Womens' Work

I've been reading the Equal Opportunities Commission's report on young people entering jobs.

One finding highlighted in the press release:

67% of women, didn't know when they chose their career, about the often lower pay for work mostly done by women and of these two thirds of young women said they would have considered a wider range of career options had they known.

In the general spirit of making up "just so stories", without evidence, to explain why men and women might behave differently (not being an academic, I can participate in this diverting pastime), I have a new one:

Children are generally presented with a mass of propaganda to the effect that making money is nasty, and nice people aren't concerned about such things. (I still wince at the memory of Roger Hargreaves' "Roundy and Squarey"). My prejudice leads me to suspect that girls might be slightly more susceptible to this rubbish than boys, and that therefore boys would be more keen to identify and head for well-paid occupations than girls.

Just a thought. It would be interesting if the EOC, or whoever, were to ask a question along these lines in their next survey. My prejudices are all very well, but data would be preferable.

For the record, while I see no need to aim for exact equality of numbers of men and women in every occupation, and am suspicious of quangos like the EOC, they are clearly looking at a real problem. I am sitting here in a room with twenty-six other software developers, twenty-five of which are male, and we're struggling to fill open positions...

(comments disabled on this post as having "Work" in the title seems to particularly attract spam)