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Get up, stand up

Maureen Jordan
Thursday, July 16, 2009

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One of the key findings of a recent study based on data collected for Executive Managers and Key Management Personnel as part of the 2008 EOWA Australian Census of Women in Leadership – Pay, Power and Position – was that remuneration generally increases as companies get larger (measured by market capitalisation) but it increases much faster for men than for women. Remuneration of women executives in the smallest companies is closer to parity with that of men.

At the risk of sounding naïve, why are those women who are being paid less than men (in this day and age) tolerating this? If women in smaller companies are receiving the same remuneration as men holding the same positions, then what is happening at the other end of the spectrum?

If a woman is powerful and successful enough to be holding these key positions, what’s causing the problem? If this information about pay inequality is out in the public domain, doesn’t it boil down to the fact that Harry is being paid X so Harriet gets paid the same amount for doing the same job? Can someone throw some light on this issue?

Aren’t the women who are being paid less capable of fighting for their rights here? If these women are in positions of leadership, doesn’t a leader have to have courage to stand up and fight for what’s right?

I remember doing a gap year between school and university when Gough Whitlam came to power in the early 1970s. I was in a job where I received two-thirds of a man’s wage for doing exactly the same job. Whitlam and his government changed this basically overnight. At university, I fought hard for equality. That was 30 years ago when the amount of information out in the public domain was nowhere near what it is now.

Yes, these reports are great, but how many more reports are needed before women take action and insist on change? As Bob Marley sang: Get up, stand up; stand up for your rights!

Published: Thursday, July 16, 2009

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