COMMENT:


Before Julie Anne Genter wanders off for some maternity leave, she had one last burst of altruism yesterday with the launch of her gender pay gap closing dream.

She claims women working in the public service are in for a pay revolution.

The state is going to be flexible by default. We'll come back to that.

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By the end of the year, the gender gap for starting salaries in the same roles will be gone, and there will be a big shift in the gender split.

The hope is when this particular trick is performed private enterprise will follow, which they won't of course, but we'll also come back to that.

What she is trying to do here is bend space and time. It's a lot of theory, not a lot of reality.

She makes the critical error that the so-called gender pay gap is based on sexism, when it is not.

It is based on women not wanting certain jobs.

Some of those jobs pay more than the jobs women do want, and once you average it all out, it's all about averages not specifics. Once you average it all out, women appear to lose out.

Flexibility by default. What that means is if a woman wants to work two days one week and three the next, Julie Anne is all for it, which sounds great until the tasks involved in that job don't get done because too many people are required to fill the gaps.

The work force is already stretched with a lack of quality people. Mix and match jobs is a shambles waiting to happen.

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And do remember the "money jobs" are the ones with responsibility and workloads and they're not being split. They're the ones that shift the income averages.

Is Julie Anne really arguing she can be a Minister of Women's affairs on Monday and Wednesday and we'll get Eugenie Sage to do it the other three days? It's not real.

The claim that all starting roles and salaries will have no gap is not hard to make happen given it would largely happen that way now.

That is unless one man and one woman are after the same job - but the bloke has one year more experience. Does he get paid the same or not? Julie Anne says yes, the real world says no because if he doesn't he walks and yes you have a woman in the job but with less experience. So who wins there?

All of this of course is driven with good intention but sadly the entire premise is flawed. The gender pay gap is not the scandal they make it out to be in the first place. They're looking to artificially leverage women in to work they may or may not want. They're looking to squeeze square blocks into round holes.

This is an ideological exercise driven by people who've spent too much time in workshops and in front of whiteboards, not people who have been out their running their own companies employing people.