According to a report published in the Telegraph yesterday, the female chief executives at FTSE 350 companies are paid on average £1.8m, compared to £1.3m for men, findings from a survey carried out by the University of Southampton.
Current statistics show that of the FTSE 350 CEOs, 5.6% are female, which has risen from 3% in 1999, as there are more women with the relevant portfolio entering the top levels of business, and they appear to be richly rewarded.
Is this an indicator that women are better, benefit from a gender premium or (more likely) victims of statistics?
The small percentage of women that reach this level in a company are often the very best. They considered it worthwhile to forgo a family life and pursue a career, for they considered themselves to be good enough to make it worth it.
And the smaller the population used in statistical analysis, the less trustworthy the result.
Often, statistics on the gender pay gap consider all women and men within a country. This means that housewives (who earn less, due to being at home attending to the children and house instead of working) and their husbands are being compared. There should be no comparison.
Indeed, recent research from the AAUW, a feminist organisation in the U.S.A, has debunked the myth with its report, publicised in the Huffington Post;
If it were really true that an employer could get away with paying Jill less than Jack for the same work, clever entrepreneurs would fire all their male employees, replace them with females, and enjoy a huge market advantage. (Christina Hoff-Summers)
The study also shows the pay gap to be only seven cents in the U.S.A. Not much room for discrimination there.
It would seem strange that there are feminists squabbling about how much women get paid in relation to men, when there should be ore discussions about giving more choice to both men and women, without criticising them for it.
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