First there was Ken Harris, the head of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, who couldn’t count. Now there’s Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive Alasdair Thompson, who’s insisted that women are paid 12% less because they have periods.
[Thompson] today admitted there was a gender pay gap – 12 percent according to figures – but said women took the most sick days. “Why? Because once a month they have sick problems. Not all women, but some do, they have children they have to take time off to go home and take leave,” he told NewstalkZB. Therefore their productivity was lower. “I don’t like saying these things because it sounds like I’m sexist, but it’s a fact of life.”
The issue isn’t that he sounds “sexist” – the issue is that he sounds like a brainless moron. Leaving aside his demeaning and insulting view of the world, the facts aren’t exactly on his side.
It’s apparently never occurred to Thompson that if his idiot theory was correct, post-menopausal women or those without children would be paid as much as their male colleagues. Obviously they aren’t, otherwise the statistics – gathered over 40 years, remember – would reflect this. But expecting business lobbyists to use their brains is apparently a bit much to ask. We’ll leave the last word to CTU head Helen Kelly:
CTU boss Helen Kelly said the comments showed Mr Thompson needs to retire. “He passed his best when he stopped being the Mayor of Thames.” Mr Thompson’s ideas showed the latent sexism of those advising the business community, Ms Kelly said. She said the gap between women’s and men’s pay was mainly due to workplace discrimination. “Look at the EMA board. It’s all white men.”
Stupid white men, going by the evidence.