Last week, female city employees in Sheffield, England, accused the city of gender discrimination, raising some interesting questions about the gender gap. Caregivers and housecleaners in Sheffield, it turns out, make as much as 30 percent less than gardeners and garbage collectors. They’re relatively equivalent jobs — public service involving some degree of manual labor — so why the discrepancy? To hear what the court ruled, read more.
In Sheffield — among other places — jobs considered "men’s work" (like gardening and trash collecting) receive productivity bonuses. Jobs considered "women’s work" (like caregiving and housecleaning) aren’t bonused, because, according to a previous ruling, they’re not measurable in the same way. The judge in this case ruled that paying less for women’s work than for men’s does in fact constitute gender discrimination and ordered the city to balance out its compensation.
Do you think men’s work is more highly valued than women’s work? Should steps be taken to eliminate the wage gap among industries, not just within the same position?