The Minister for Women Paula Bennett and the Ministry of Women published excellent research in February showing there cannot be a gender wage gap driven by unconscious bias. The Minister has blamed a large part of the remaining gender wage gap on unconscious bias.
… up to 84 per cent of the reason for the Pay Gap, that’s right, 84 per cent, is described as ‘unexplained factors.’ That means its bias against women, both conscious and unconscious.
It’s about the attitudes and assumptions of women in the workplace, it’s about employing people who we think will fit in – and when you have a workforce of men, particularly in senior roles then it seems likely you’re going to stick with the status quo – whether they do that intentionally or just because “like attracts like”.
It’s because there is still a belief that women will accept less pay than men – they don’t know their worth and aren’t as good at negotiating.
The reason why this February 2017 research on the motherhood penalty contradicts earlier Ministry of Women research on unconscious bias and the gender wage gap is simple.
There is a large difference in the gender wage gap from mothers and for other women. As the adjacent graphic from Ministry of Women research shows, the gender wage gap for mothers is 17% but it is only 5% from other women.
Source: Effect of motherhood on pay – summary of results Statistics New Zealand and Ministry of Women February 2017.
We men, us dirty dogs all, have no way of knowing whether a female applicant is a mother. Remember we are dealing with unconscious bias, the raised eyebrow, the prolonged pause, the lingering glance, not a conspiracy or a prejudice of which we are self-aware and take overt steps to implement. Unconscious bias is unconscious by definition.
Because the bias against women is implicit and unconscious, we men, dirty dogs all, do not know we are biased, so we do not know we have to make further enquiries to check if the female applicant is a mother so we can discriminate against her more than we do for other women.That is before we consider other drivers of the gender wage gap such as whether there are relatively large spaces between the births of her children.
Large spaces between the birthdays of children greatly increases the gender wage gap because women spend much more time out of the workforce and part-time if they spread births. This reduces their accumulation of on-the-job human capital and encourages women who plan large families to choose occupations and educational majors that do not depreciate rapidly during career interruptions.
I have no idea how an unconsciously biased employer can discover if a woman has children with spaced out ages and therefore discriminate against an even more, unconsciously, of course. We men, dirty dogs all, do not know that in order to discriminate against them, especially in shortlisting for initial hiring when we have no information beyond the application about them.
Do women have more unconscious bias against women than men? If not, there should be differences in the gender pay gap in firms with more women managers or owners.
Perhaps there is more unconscious biased in promotions because managers may have accidentally learnt are the ages of the children of female applicants and unconsciously taken a note to remember that when unconsciously discriminating against them in promotion. This unconscious bias involves a lot of very conscious data collection and retention.
All in all, the unconscious bias hypothesis simply cannot explain such a large difference between the gender wage gaps of parents and non-parents. There is too much evidence whose existence that is strictly forbidden by the hypothesis of unconscious bias against women in the workplace.
Prominent New Zealand Labour Party stalwart Sunny Kaushal has resigned from the Party amidst allegations of hostilities and bullying from Party Membership and Party Hierarchy.
With the growing use of arguments about unconscious bias, it is near impossible to rebut an accusation of racism.
Certainly, once the accusation is spit at you, the onus is on you to prove to a stranger who never met you before beyond reasonable doubt that you are not a racist. One misfortunate glance, a raised eyebrow, a jumbled sentence is enough to undo a life of principle
Unconscious bias is the main driver of the gender wage gap if my betters are to be believed. Why not racism? What is the view of the New Zealand Labour Party on unconscious bias in proving racial discrimination and pay inequity?
The Labour Party wants to reverse the onus of proof in sexual assault trials. Certainly these standards should filter down into civil proceedings and pub conversations.
The Labour Party must be a cauldron of sexism if the only way it can get gender balance in caucus is quotas. Why is racism not any less insidious within Labour decision-making than sexism?
The gender wage gap from married women is 3 to 30 times that of single women. This was actually have a positive gender wage gap.
The smallest of the gender wage gap for single women, which has been well known for a long time, does not bode well for those such as Geoff Simmons who argue that implicit bias is an important driver of the gender pay gap.
Why are there vast differences in this implicit bias against women between countries. Why is this implicit bias so much stronger against married women? Having an implicit bias against married women but not single women is a very odd implicit bias.
These puzzles are before considering the information extraction problem facing employers who are implicitly bias against married women. Employers do not know whether an applicant is married or single and pay less accordingly. As Polachek observed:
Corporate discrimination cannot explain these wage patterns. Were corporate discrimination the reason, one would need an explanation why corporations hardly discriminate against single women, but discriminate enormously against married women, especially married women with children spaced widely apart, given that they often cannot legally ask questions about marital status in employment applications.
Even if they could get this marital status information, they wouldn’t have information on the number and spacing of one’s children. But even if supervisors knew number of children, they are far less knowledgeable about children’s ages, and hence less likely to know much about child spacing.
Employers who are slightly less implicitly biased against married women would have a far higher quality recruitment pool which gives them a competitive advantage. Employers who are implicitly biased against women and married women are less likely to survive in competition.