Society/Culture The Gender Pay Gap

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MrKK

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Mar 11, 2012
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My company offers flexible work hours. It’s becoming more common.

Ive read a few articles recently reporting that people prefer flexible hours above any other “perk”. Forget the table tennis and free fruit, just offer some flexibility.

I totally agree with this and I personally rate it higher than getting a few more $ in my salary. There are many folks on flexible arrangements at my work but mostly lower down the organisation. It thins out at the management levels and is non-existant at the executive level. This is the same as I've observed in practice at other organisations.
 

CatFan79

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It's all lovely to say "oh we should prop up the females who take time off" but it rapidly bounds in to the realms of socialism and completely ignores those who don't take time off.

More like the realms of stupidity.
 

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MrKK

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Flexible hours is nice, any serious job needs face time with colleagues and clients through the standard contact hours.
Also, the further up the management chain you go the more you're dealing with stakeholders external to your organisation, who are usually at the same management level, equally time-poor and don't give a fig about your flexible working arrangements.
 

the_interloper

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That's effectively two full time jobs and not really the ethos of flexible working. Who the hell wants that life? And if you're in a senior management position there's the expectation that you're always available in case of work crises, which is not feasible if you're the primary carer.

Personally I don't mind having to be available basically from 7am - 7pm or thereabouts. I look after customers in NZ as well as Perth so with the time differences it's required. But I can work from home, the office, a cafe or wherever, as long as I have a laptop or a phone I can work. I'd rather this than be 9-5 but be chained to a desk for sure.
 

owen87

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Also, the further up the management chain you go the more you're dealing with stakeholders external to your organisation, who are usually at the same management level, equally time-poor and don't give a fig about your flexible working arrangements.

I think this is more the issue; external expectations generally mean that the higher ups are less able to have flexibility.

Can you imagine the CEO of any large corporation refusing a phone call because that's not within their work hours?

I think we need a paradigm shift in terms of how we view (and value) work and leisure within our lives, before we start seeing people have a meaningful shift in the hours we work.

Ideally I'd love to move from a ~40 hour week as standard to something more like 24 hours; 4 days x 6 hours or some such. I believe most of the same amount of productivity could be achieved in many roles within those working hours, whilst then allowing a significant amount more free time to actually enjoy life.

The trade-off (as always) is dollars earned versus flexibility or leisure. The people most willing to operate as required by the company, will be the ones most likely to be financially rewarded, and in a consumer society, we very highly value income.
 

fleabitten

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Flexible hours is nice, any serious job needs face time with colleagues and clients through the standard contact hours.

I see my colleagues face to face for a few hours about once a month. Don't deal with clients face to face at all. I work from home with semi-flexible hours. I also have a toddler at home and my wife is his full-time carer. There's no way I could still do my job if she wasn't here, even if the hours were fully flexible. Not if I wanted to sleep.
 

sorted

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When I worked an office job they had flexible hours. Could start anytime between 7-10. Finish after 8 hours. If you did OT you got time in lieu, could work extra hours for weekly RDOs

Flexible hours were great. Working from home sometimes worked. Other times people just used it to be slack (especially when they did it to be home with kids. You’d try to skype them and half the time they’d be “away”), managers seemed to just use it when they didn’t want to do anything but still wanted to be considered working.

It depends on the type of work being done. If some people are starting at 7 and finishing at 3 and some are starting 10 finishing at 6, when you take away time for lunch then it doesn't leave much time for collaboration. What ends up happening is that meetings get scheduled between 3 and 6pm and the people who started at 7am are expected to attend.
 

Toump Ass

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I think this is more the issue; external expectations generally mean that the higher ups are less able to have flexibility.
The higher up you get the less "raising kids" becomes an issue, and one of the problems is getting women to senior jobs in the first place.

For example you often hear that women can't become CEO's because they miss out on job experience and education while they're bringing up kids, but when it's suggested workplaces become more flexible to mitigate this the response seems to be: "Impossible! Raising kids is too hard. I have to take a day off when my kid takes a s**t and that's with my partner at home full time. And of course any "serious job" need face to face time with colleagues, clients, cleaners, and general admin staff and strictly between the hours of 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday... "

To answer your question: can I imagine a CEO of any large corporation refusing a phone call that's not within their work hours? Of course not. That's why flexible hours is so good- calls come in all the time: literally everyone in my workplace has taken calls at s**t hours. It's part of the job.

Flexible hours is nice, any serious job needs face time with colleagues and clients through the standard contact hours.
Half my clients aren't even in Australia, lol (and some of my colleagues aren't either).

This post is crap.

Also, the further up the management chain you go the more you're dealing with stakeholders external to your organisation, who are usually at the same management level, equally time-poor and don't give a fig about your flexible working arrangements.
They give many figs actually- why wouldn't they, it means they can get a response when required.

Most of the large clients in Australia I deal with have similar arrangements for their senior staff. I even noticed flexible hours being mentioned in an e-mail signature today.

I think, given the absence of response, that the answer is no. i continue to amazed by the parental expertise of people who don't have children.
I did respond. The answer is: "none of your business".
 

its free real estate

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I think, given the absence of response, that the answer is no. i continue to amazed by the parental expertise of people who don't have children.
The difference between men and women hinges on who gives birth and must be the primary caregiver while they are in infancy. The burden is oftentimes severe for the woman - medical issues after birth, feeding issues, sleeplessness, etc.

If a couple are on equal pay and have a kid, the rational strategy is for the man to continue working while the woman takes maternity leave. After her leave ends, it remains rational for the person who has advanced his career by a year to keep working full throttle at it - there are bills to pay, more mouths to feed. Why take a hit to the family income in the interests of 'gender equality'?
 

Toump Ass

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That's why I said "any serious job".
You said this:

any serious job needs face time with colleagues and clients through the standard contact hours
And it's complete crap.

Not sure "standard contact hours" even exists for most corporate jobs, let alone those dealing with stakeholders o/s.
 

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its free real estate

it's free real estate
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Didn't realise senior management was the only serious job.

Bit surprised you're claiming to be one though: 500 posts a month on bigfooty, bringing up kids, running a company... are you jesus?
I never claimed to be running a company or in senior management. I recognise these require serious investments in time, and probably can’t be achieved by people who need and use flexible hours.
 

Chief

Chugging Adrenochrome
Dec 1, 1999
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Flexible hours is nice, any serious job needs face time with colleagues and clients through the standard contact hours.
You seem to be saying every single job needs every single person to be looking into another person’s eyes for the entire work day? If not, it’s not a serious job?

Do you mean that people should be available in case their physical presence is required?
 

demontim27

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May 27, 2018
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It depends on the type of work being done. If some people are starting at 7 and finishing at 3 and some are starting 10 finishing at 6, when you take away time for lunch then it doesn't leave much time for collaboration. What ends up happening is that meetings get scheduled between 3 and 6pm and the people who started at 7am are expected to attend.
Yep it used to happen to me a fair bit. Until I started scheduling meetings at 8 or 9. The 10am starters would crack the sads refuse to attend the meeting, and would then understand why their expectations were off.

Was an analyst role though and didn’t require much collab (we all had our own portfolio)
 

Toump Ass

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I never claimed to be running a company or in senior management. I recognise these require serious investments in time, and probably can’t be achieved by people who need and use flexible hours.
If you're a senior manager in a billion dollar company you need to be flexible by default and the people who need to contact you are going to be understanding if you're unavailable.

In any case, there's degrees of flexibility: early start/finish times, working weekends instead of weekdays when the other parent is home, using skype in place of irl meetings, working from home, job / task sharing etc.

Even small companies can do things to help keep women in the workforce developing their skills or in management roles.
 

owen87

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Even small companies can do things to help keep women in the workforce developing their skills or in management roles.

What's your idea of a small company, and how do you expect they finance this?

I feel like a lot of suggestions sound fine at the government or multi-national corporation level, but fall apart at the small business level.
 

Toump Ass

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What's your idea of a small company, and how do you expect they finance this?

I feel like a lot of suggestions sound fine at the government or multi-national corporation level, but fall apart at the small business level.
As I said before:

"In any case, there's degrees of flexibility: early start/finish times, working weekends instead of weekdays when the other parent is home, using skype in place of irl meetings, working from home, job / task sharing etc."

Don't think these really requires a huge financial outlay.
 

owen87

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As I said before:

"In any case, there's degrees of flexibility: early start/finish times, working weekends instead of weekdays when the other parent is home, using skype in place of irl meetings, working from home, job / task sharing etc."

Don't think these really requires a huge financial outlay.

Not all roles suit a flexible arrangement; not all employees are willing (or able) to sacrifice hours worked for more flexibility.

Again; the concept works at a macro level, but for significant portions of the population, is not realistic given the current expectations and role of work (and earnings) in our lives.
 

Toump Ass

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Not all roles suit a flexible arrangement; not all employees are willing (or able) to sacrifice hours worked for more flexibility.
And not all companies are providing flexible options where they could be, which is kind of the point.

And yes some suggestions for decreasing the gender pay gap are more relevant to large business, but they're still not being taken up.
 

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