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April 1, 2019: The gender pay gap is a complicated issue, comprising a number of moving parts, as demonstrated by this recent article in the Age. It’s not just about equal pay per hour, but about pay rates for jobs considered ‘women’s roles’, the glass ceiling and more.
New WIRE research has determined there’s a simple solution and WIRE is now working with a coalition of partners to introduce measures to close the gender pay gap for good.
WIRE CEO, Julie Kun announced that, as of today, the Gender Gap Coalition would be taking action against gender inequality by supplying every woman in Victoria with a tube of specially formulated PolyFilla.
“You know, we wanted to do something exciting to celebrate women across the State. I take my job seriously, and I know that this is a special gift that only we could give. It felt only right to give back.”
“We’ve gotten to the point where it’s too complicated to close the gender pay gap with policy levers. I mean, quotas, industry-wide wage surveys, gender equity training? Way too complicated,” she said. “But if women just fill that gap with actual PolyFilla, I’m pretty sure things will change rapidly.”
Marcus Mansplainer, a spokesman for the New Men’s Movement for Men with Meaning, said his organisation thinks the solution is overkill. “Well, actually,” he said, “women are already paid the same amount of money for the same work. But if they’re not, surely the government can just offer women a wage increase of $1.25 per hour?”
“We just realised that women have been a true support to us. They’re always there looking after the kids, taking on our emotional labour and cooking up a storm. I know I couldn’t do it.”
“I personally can’t see the big deal about a few dollars, but they’ve been hankering for change for decades. But like, we expect a lot of gratitude for this. It’s a lot harder than getting hold of a nice bunch of flowers, that’s for sure,” he says.
Other Gender Gap Coalition members expressed excitement about the project, but are keen to get going quickly. An anonymous spokesperson based in Canberra said: “It’s a whole lot of paperwork and you can’t just change attitudes overnight! But the first tubes of PolyFilla should be sent out before the federal election. There are definitely some gender gaps that need filling around here!”.
Judy (42), city dwelling shift worker, who participated in the research, says she thinks most people have slightly misunderstood what ‘gender pay gap’ actually means.
“I get the same pay rate as my male co-workers. That isn’t the issue.” she told WIRE, “but I’ve been working here 10 years and all the managerial staff have been men. The gender pay gap is knowing that I don’t get the same opportunities at work just because of my gender. Mind you, I can think of some places I could use that PolyFilla — maybe to fill up the tee-holes in the men’s only Golf Schmoozefest that happens every Sunday for the executive team.”
Maryam, 24, a child care worker, agreed. “Men in my career get paid the same as me but there are hardly any of them in the industry, because the pay is so terrible. A bunch of us have joined the union at work and we plan to use our tubes of PolyFilla collectively to solidify our picket line — literally — and we’ll add a bit more every time someone tells us we just need to harden up.”
In response to these challenges, Mr Mansplainer has made his position clear. “Listen, I hear you. We’re all about smashing the glass ceiling! Whatever that is!’ he said from his South Yarra office suite. “But what is more equal than the same pay? It’s a pretty simple issue with a clear solution. Or a white solution. Does PolyFilla come in other colours? I’m not really up to date with this intersectional stuff.”
*Disclaimer: There is no Gender Gap Coalition, no one at Emily’s list spoke to us about this and Judy and Maryam don’t exist but we are sure they would all be on board, especially if they check the date. Sadly, the Gender Pay Gap is only too real.