Women are paid less because they work in HR

Or so says the CBI’s Katja Hall in her response to the government’s proposed Equality Bill.

On the subject of compulsory equal pay audits, she said:

They are very expensive and very time-consuming. Pay gaps are not the result of discrimination – they are because many women would prefer to work in the HR department than the finance department.

Which begs a question: do women earn less because they gravitate towards careers like HR, or do these jobs pay less because more women work in them? You could ask a similar question about many other occupations.

My own view about HR’s low status, as I’ve said before, is that HR people are not bullish enough about what they do.  Which, inevitably, begs another question: Does the HR profession beat itself up so much because it has a disproportionate number of women in its ranks? Mind you, I have known some pretty fierce female HR directors. They tend to be the ones who make it onto the board too.

Anyway, when I have had time to read the government’s white paper, I will comment further on the contents. In the meantime, I will leave you to cogitate on the comments from the CBI’s Head of Employment and Employee Relations.

Incidentally, does anyone know if, all other things being equal, Finance managers do earn more than HR managers?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Women are paid less because they work in HR

  1. Breanne says:

    W-O-W!!!! So, all of the pay inequity can be explained by HR? WOW! Isn’t that spiffy!

    Personally, I think women earn less because they do not strongly negotiate for more. I also think women are regularly unaware of how much their coworkers make (because it is not socially acceptable to ask). I believe men are more likely to find out what each other makes and demand at least that much.

  2. Jon Ingham says:

    Thanks for commenting on my blog post Rick.

    I think Katja’s comment is unfortunate, although I think she is probably just referring to the complexity of the issue that is referred to by Breanne (and that I posed on here: http://strategic-hcm.blogspot.com/2008/03/international-womens-ladies-day.html)

    I think I’ve seen research to suggest there is still a pay gap, but that at senior levels at least, it’s closing. This is in the UK and the US at least. I believe that in Japan, HR is the most highly paid function?

    My expectation is that the gap is going to close further. When finance was king it made sense to bestow riches on finance people. But if now, ‘people are the most important asset’, then…

    So, perhaps the pay gap will sort itself out anyway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s