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And may I ask why women should be given help up the career leader? In a proper meritocracy, career progression is judged on a talent alone - which is exactly how it should be.

As a party, we really need to decide whether we are in favour of lightening the regulatory burden on employers, as John Redwood advocates, or making it harsher, as Theresa May advocates.

No one really knows where the Conservative Party stands on economic issues, at the moment.

And what is being done to close the most glaring disparity between men and women - the fact that men die on average up to TEN YEARS before women do?

If it were the other way round we would never hear the end of it.

In comparison, bleating about unequal pay is insignificant to say the least.

If, as the previous post notes, career progress should be judged on talent alone, then it is logical that the reward should be decided on an equally fair basis. It is utterly unfair for some women to do the same job as their male counterparts yet not receive the same pay. At least someone is now attempting to do something about it.

Why don't men want to become teachers? They get paid the same amount as women. Whether Westminster likes it or not, people continue to arrange themselves into family units where men are the principle breadwinners and women, although they may work in some capacity, are subsidiary in terms of supporting their family financially.

These policies are just not Tory policies. This is unwarranted state-interference couched in NuLabSpeak. And I don't think it will even win us many votes.

I write this hoping for enlightenment rather than to be critical. If women, or any other group, are underpaid despite their same level of skill and ability, why aren't companies increasing their profits by just employing women. Why don't we see this happening?

This is truly pathetic. Meritocracy out of the window. But are we surprised when this is the bunch who brought you such key talent (less) spotting initiatives as the A List?

For the record, I have conducted 2 audits in the last 5 years for an organisation of 47,000 employees comparing equal grades and pay levels in the banking sector. These should that there was absolutely No material difference at all: in fact, women at higher grades tended, on avaerage, to be paid more.

There are certainly differences in the number of women in senior grades. Why? They have children and many either decided to end their careers then or accept the fact that men at a similar grade will have progressed their careers whilst they took a break. Are we now as a Party not respecting the fact that being a mother and bringing up children is worthwhile or is there going to be some factory at CCHQ churning out laws to eradicate every conceivable difference between the sexes?

I am pleased to see the Conservatives taking action on this. Since being given her five jobs, Harriet Harman has done nothing on the gender pay gap...or anything else on women's issues come to think of it.

May's comments are based upon a fundamental error. Women's pay is on average lower than men's, but that doesn't mean that in each job women are being paid less.

A man and a woman in the same job, with the same experience, WILL be paid the same - that's the law.

The difference occurs because more women than men take career breaks (in the main to have and rear children) and work part-time. Many women are simply - and often as a consequence of their home responsibilities - less career-focussed than men. So on average women will, over their careers, end up being paid less then men.

The question is - should the Conservative Party worry about this? Are we saying that we think society must be forced to change so that men take on more of the child-rearing responsibilities?

Or should we not be saying, as Conservatives, that this is none of our business and it is up to private individuals and families how they decide to order their lives?

It's about time. Society benefits from strong families and women should not be penalised for bringing up children. Flexible working will benefit mothers and children. The days of the breadwinning dad and housewife mum are long gone.

Ardent. You are spot on.

"Activist" - it's funny you say those days are "long gone", considering that I cannot think of one marriage in any branch of my family at any age which does not work on that basis. There are women who have jobs, but all smaller scale and less well paid than their husband's jobs.

You may be an activist, but probably a utopian-academician Labour activist. "The days of the breadwinning dad and housewife mum are long gone" indeed - that sounds like something straight out of that famous Tory tome "Das Kapital".

what a load of rubbish, this is the sort of policy which makes me consider voting for another party. As a policy it is socially pinko, economically illiterate, and worst of all exactly the sort of wishy washy thinking that the british working class hate.

I always thought this was a myth until I started with my present girlfriend (both work for the same Big 4). Same job, but I earn 11% more. Shocking!

Much better proposals from Ms May than the dreadful linked article she produced recently which quite rightly got caned.

Of course the devil will be in the detail of the proposals but I generally these seem perfectly sensible.

I do have one question though. Will these measures equally apply to the glittery world of modelling and so forth where women's pay far exceeds men's for what would seem to be very much the same work?

I will wait and see with interest......

The Truth is Out There (somewhere)

These proposals sound fine as long as the "New measures to help women into work and up the careers ladder" are not at the expense of better qualified men.

As conservatives we should believe in a meritocracy but we should also ensure that there is a level playing field to ensure everyone can demonstrate that merit.

"An extension to the right to request flexible working to all parents of children aged eighteen or younger."

Another kick in the teeth for small business if this was ever enacted. As Sean has mentioned above, are we supposed to be backing the Redwood approach or what we are now hearing from Theresa May? Is this Joined Up Opposition?

I'm not going to even bother to look at these proposals and that's probably wrong but these are the people who introduced the anti-meritocratic A-list. They don't have the necessary credentials for me to respect them. Sorry.

Are Cameron and May looking at:

#1 Ways to ensure men on average get to spend as much time retired as women? (different retirement age to reflect different expect life expectancy). It's a WLB issue after all.

#2 Ways to ensure that men are treated equally in custody arrangements during divorce?

Thought not.

I guess there are many shades of 'equal'.


My feelings on this are very simple.

Pay equality should equate to employment terms and conditions equality. That also includes women sequestering a man's pension during divorce settlements.

So when Men receive equal consideration for patnerity leave and flexible working to look after young children then fair enough, close the pay gap.

It isn't beyond the wit of any government to sanction flexible benefits similar to those offered by many employers. If mothers want to go back to work early then they should receive tax credits back from the government to start early. On the flipside, if they want to extend their maternity leave, they pay deductions from their pay packet when they go back to work.

This is how several Scandanavian countries do it and it is open to both mothers and fathers regardless of what size firm you work for and what profession or vocation you have. Pay inequality is unheard of there.

Also, it encourages people into work as benefits to mothers on welfare are a bare minimum.

Of course, nothing of the sort here. Just positive discrimination against men.

I will read this report, though I dread to. This is likely to be social engineering, placing further burden upon small businesses in an attempt to effect gender balance across the occupational world.

We dont believe in equality (everyone having the same irrelevant of other considerations or intervening factors) as that is a Socialist belief. We believe in equity (equal treatment under the law) instead which is based on people having the same opportunities to acheive and allowing meritocracy to decide who wins.

"Compulsary pay audits"

So another boost for public sector beuraucrats and another kick in the teeth for business.

You can tell that Cameron and his mates have never had a proper job.

You can tell that Cameron and his mates have never had a proper job."

That, unfortunately, hits the nail on the head. One gets the impression that very very few senior Conservative frontbenchers who are in charge of economic portfolios do actually have any notion of what running a business is like.

This guff about "helping women to make broader and more ambitious career choices" is wholly un-conservative. It involves a grotesque interference in the private lives of ordinary people; it seeks to challenge the established patterns of our society and worst of all it goes against the grain of nature. By and large, these "broad, ambitious career choices" are freely rejected by the majority of women who have different priorities. And why on earth shouldn't they? We are not boiler suited, sexless automata, we are human beings who have changed little across the centuries. Does M/s May see no connection between her implied denigration of motherhood as a way of life and the terrible state of the British family? Why has she signed up to the Gradgrind agenda of the left? Why should a conservative party find itself supporting an attempt at ugly utopian social engineering? To get power, sneer the modernisers - not that they actually know much about that. The real reason is that it appeals to their chums and cronies over our tennis net political divide.

As others have explained, wage inequalities are seldom now to be found between men and women doing the same job.

Much of the 'inequality' to which Theresa May refers can be put down to the simple fact that many women choose motherhood over a career. That is their inalienable right.

What we have here is Political Correctness, aka Social Marxism once again betraying everything for with the Conservative Party has ever stood.

How much longer are we going to allow party spokesman to sell us down the river?

Yes, it is political correctness in it's classic form - if white males outperform a preferred group at anything, it is due to unfair cheating, whereas if white males underperform, it is because they are inferior. That's why you'll never hear May condemn schools because boys do badly or object to the female majority in our universities. Afterall were her view really that some groups earning more than others is ipso facto proof of discrimination, she would start with gay and Jewish people, who benefit from a larger 'unfair pay gap'.

Ive now read the report and my views are as they were yesterday. Its using the power of the State to control. Its highly unconservative and I cannot support it.

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