In life, there’s only one thing that we control entirely, and that’s ourselves.
You don’t control what time the bus will arrive. You don’t control the price of milk at the shop. You don’t control what the weather will be like tomorrow (unless you’re Eamon Ryan). Most things, as it happens, are out of our control as human beings.
The only thing that we can say for certain we control is the decisions we make ourselves – we have free will, and we can exercise it as we see fit.
And so, if you wanted to – for example – launch a massive society-wide social engineering project to change the way men and women are paid, you might want to make sure that the organisations that you yourself run have reached those goals first. Before insisting that society be turned upside down and inside out over a harebrained scheme, you might want to give it a whirl yourself and make sure you’re actually practising what you preach – correct?
Well, not if you’re the Irish government.
As it turns out this week, the average pay for men and women is not equal in a single government department – even despite the government’s non-stop talk about the absurd notion of the so-called “gender pay gap.”
As reported by the Irish Times:
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth reported a mean gender gap for the year to June 2022 of minus 3.6, indicating the women were receiving a higher amount per hour on average than their male counterparts.”
So the average wage of male employees tends to be higher than female employees in all government departments, except for the Department of Equality where the opposite is true, and women are paid more on average.
So, in other words, all government departments have an “inequality” – including the Department of Equality, ironically – in how their employees are paid.
Now, as I’ve expressed many times before in articles, the gender pay gap is utterly meaningless tripe, because these figures don’t tell you anything useful.
The way they acquire these numbers is you add up the wages of all male employees at a company or organisation, and all the women, and you compare them in their totality. And if one total is higher than the other, you supposedly have an “inequality.”
But that’s not to imply that there’s any discrimination happening, or that one gender is paid less for the same work (which has been illegal for decades). All that would mean is, the higher paying jobs in that organisation are occupied more by one gender than another. And there are endless reasons why that might be the case, which were actually outlined by RTÉ director general Dee Forbes last year when the state broadcaster’s own gender pay gap was exposed.
— gript (@griptmedia) December 20, 2022
So in a nutshell, the gender pay gap is a meaningless waste of time. It’s codswallop.
However, the government doesn’t agree that it’s codswallop. To them, it is incredibly important, and a moral crusade which must be won in every corner of society. They approach the gender pay gap like Winston Churchill approached World War 2: “We will fight it in the beach resorts…”
And so if they are determined to launch a moral crusade, and it turns out they can’t even achieve this equality in their own departments that they control entirely, is it likely that they can achieve an artificial, forced equality in a society of 5 million people that they don’t control? It seems quite unlikely, doesn’t it?
It’s almost like the entire thing is futile, and a contrived distraction from the things most people actually give a rat’s about, like the cost of living.
It’s great that our leaders are able to make up fun little projects like this to keep themselves occupied, like a game of Sudoku or Solitaire, but hopefully they’ll eventually get around to doing something useful with their energies. Just a suggestion.