Why Men Should be Furious About the Gender Pay Gap

Why Men Should be Furious About the Gender Pay Gap

For the purpose of this article, I am going to use a stereotypical situation of a husband and wife or family situation with dad being the breadwinner and a mum being the home carer while also engaged in the workforce. This is a common situation for many families. It’s also a reflection of my own personal family situation. And for the record, I love my husband and I love how hard he works to provide for our family. But he stands with me in believing gender pay should be equal. Here’s why. 

Last night, like most Australians on social media, I was surprised to read about the departure of Lisa Wilkinson from the Today Show. When I found out the reason, I was shocked to learn it was about a pay dispute. I had wrongly assumed she was paid the same salary as her male colleague, Karl Stefanovic. I was impressed with Lisa’s stance on equal pay. And I’m thrilled it worked in her favour, in the end. It’s a big loss for the Nine Network. Who knows how long the gender pay gap has been going on, but they (Nine) damned themselves the moment they decided to pay two presenters, a different salary.

The gender pay gap has been a controversial issue whenever it’s brought into the spotlight. You only have to read all the comments under this article by the Daily Telegraph, to realise there is still work to be done in changing the attitude that women should receive the same pay as a man doing the same job.

Even this morning on the radio (I think it was 97.3FM), I was flabbergasted to hear of women ringing to share their own stories of being paid anywhere from $5000-$20,000 less than their male colleagues doing the same job role. One was from the construction industry. Why am I not surprised about this one.

Same hours. Same KPI’s being met, same responsibilities, same work output. But different pay.

gender pay gap meme The Plumbette

The reason given for the differing pay was because a ‘man has a family to provide for’. And women don’t? Well let’s look into that theory.

It’s true, that men have often been the breadwinner. They have been the ones who have gone to work to bring home the bacon (so to speak), while women have traditionally stayed home to care for their children.

But the world we live in is no longer the same as it was 50 years ago.

The bacon that men are bringing back to support their families is only half a rash. Their ‘breadwinner’ wage isn’t covering the living costs of raising a family.

We live in a world where living on one wage is hard. For many, it’s impossible.

For families that want to get ahead, two salaries are necessary.

So if we know a breadwinner’s salary isn’t covering all the bills, and a mother has to go to work to bring in the surplus to make ends meet, why aren’t more men ensuring women get equal pay?

Men, the gender pay gap means your household budget is losing $5,000 to $20,000 per annum (or even more, as was in Lisa Wilkinson’s place) simply because your wife doesn’t have a doodle between her legs.

Gender gap pay poster about sex
Poster from Northern Sun Merchandising Offset, 1988, Minneapolis, Minnesota Via Archipalor

If you’re a husband or father, you should be fuming about this. Not just because your wife isn’t being valued for the work she does. But because your family budget could be $5,000 + better off if she was being paid the same as her male colleagues.

Now doesn’t that make you think twice about the need to fix the gender pay gap.

If men (who are usually the typical breadwinners) can’t provide for their families, but prevent women from earning the same as their male colleagues (doing the same job)… then the gender pay gap cycle isn’t just hurting women, it’s hurting men too.

How much more better off would households – even the economy be if women were paid the same as men? You can read how it affects everyone here.

More companies need to lead the way in paying their employees in the same role, the same wage, no matter what sex they are. Especially male dominant industries, where the gender pay gap is just another common issue women have to contend with.

gender pay gap needs to be equal

We need to see more stances, like Lisa’s, to show women aren’t afraid to stand up for what they are worth, and we need more companies like the TEN network, to show how pay equality and paying one’s worth, is done .

What are your thoughts on the gender pay gap? Were you shocked about Lisa Wilkinson leaving Today? Any other thoughts to share about the gender pay gap?