woman boardroom

In yesterday’s blog, I suggested that when we get upset about levels of workplace discrimination we are perhaps, in various ways, looking at things the wrong way round. In today’s blog I want to explore alternative ways of really strengthening the economy, rather than simply increasing women’s entitlements at work.

MP Maria Miller uses discrimination figures to argue that we must give pregnant women more support and protection otherwise the economy will suffer. What she is really talking about is shifting more resources in the direction of women, this time directly from businesses, rather than the taxpayer. This will give even more control to women over their family lives, without asking for a concomitant increase in work.

Maria Miller sees this as protecting women when finances are tight. If we want to know why finances are tight, we need look no further than government policy itself.

By getting increasing numbers of women into the workplace, the government has succeeded in keeping real wages down. By a system of tax credits, the government has encouraged single earner households, breaking up families and encouraging women to go it alone. By providing an absolutely paltry marriage tax allowance while funding childcare, the government has forced women out to work.

One of the key pillars protecting maternity entitlements are the alleged risks to our economy if a woman’s employment position is not completely secure if she becomes a mother. However, why do we place so much focus on keeping mothers in employment? For there are swathes of the population, who rather than being constructively engaged when not employed, incur overall costs when we ignore their needs for work.

Britain has more teenage dropouts than any other developed nation, and a disproportionate number of these will be boys. Fewer boys than girls are leaving school with 5 good GCSEs, with the eventual result that 35 per cent more girls go to university. If this differential carries on unchecked, girls born this year will be 75 per cent more likely to go to university than their male peers. This hails to a future where the vast majority of men are unemployed and women are the ones going to work.

And no, these men will not be at home looking after the babies – the ambition of the feminist dream. Male unemployment leads directly to increases in single parenthood and the huge costs which this incurs. It also leads to ever increasing rates of incarceration as men rebel against a society which has no place for them.

Would it not make more sense to think about the skills and education of this section of the potential workforce who not only incur much more significant costs when unemployed but who also – because they do not need to take time off work for their periods, their IVF treatments, their pregnancy or their lactation – have the potential to provide better value at work?

We have made great strides in terms of workplace flexibility and this enables mothers to be employed. I welcome these changes as a positive form of progress and there is much that should not be reversed.

However, there is another side of the story and this needs to be heard. Employers, business partners and owners need to stand up to the women’s lobby which is ever on the lookout out for accruing financial resources for its sex. Your businesses support your employees, and their families, they give young people fantastic opportunities and they support the needy through their contribution to tax. Nine times out of ten, looking after your business interests means supporting expectant mothers and those with children. However, sometimes it does not.

During times of economic transition, we need our small businesses more than ever, and our families. We need to hear your side of the story. Let’s start this dialogue here.


  1. I am very sceptical of the wage gap.
    One thing which characterises profit-making private industry is their drive for efficiency. In other words they would never employ a more expensive man when a woman could do the same job equally well on less money.
    Since I see no evidence of men being ousted from their jobs to be replaced by equally capable women on a lower salary, I infer that the concept of women being paid less for doing the same job is a myth.

    • My friend is a teacher and appointed a female member of staff. In the three years she worked at the school she had two children and 24 months off. (Paid)

      Plus maternity medical appointments.

      Within 2 months of returning to work she resigned. She drew a salary for 36 months but had worked for less than 10 once medical appiontments were factored in.

      For the 10 months work it actually cost three years salary, plus the disruption of supply teachers.

      A man would be hard pressed to beat that rate of pay!

      I am not saying that women should not be paid for maternity, but they need to look at the whole package not simply compare salaries.

        • The problem is the assumption that being of child bearing age automatically equates to either wanting or being able to have children. What we need is unbiased meritocracy. If employers engage a woman who doesn’t want children she should be on a par with a man’s salary for the same qualifications and experience. Also..supporting the cost of pregnancy back into work is questionable, infants ideally need their mum’s at home up to age 3 or so, unless their firm offers a creche, more of better quality part time work would be a better – work life mix, than full time work, with kids in full time child care.

          • Yes, that is exactly the trouble. When the government mandates special treatment for a particular group, employers often avoid hiring people from that group, because it costs more.

            That is why the ADA actually decreased employment opportunities for disabled people. Before the ADA passed, many employers would hire disabled workers, knowing that if it didn’t work out, they could be fired. Now, they are too afraid of a lawsuit, so it’s safer to not hire them.

          • Exactly. It is quite easy to sift out a young woman at application stage. And if you are a small employer why would you employ a woman who might be pregnant within 6 months and cause you endless expense and grief ? Might be illegal but that is the reality of what happens.

    • The wage gap has been completely debunked. It exists because women choose different types of jobs, different college majors, and make different lifestyle choices. For example, two of the highest-paying occupations that do not require any special education (truck driver and construction worker) are almost exclusively men. Women could go into these professions, but they don’t. Instead, they apply for comfortable 9-5 office jobs, and then complain about the pay gap.

  2. Belinda Brown’s argument is sound. But it’s too late now. Common sense about the employment of men in preference to women, was thrown out of the window ages ago.

  3. You are so right the debate should be wider and include the corrosive effects of Gov. policies. The shift in Sweden, effectively making their productive private sector a male sector, prompted policies to offer then try to enforce leave for fathers to make them equally burdensome to employers as mothers had become. Thus far, fortunately for Sweden’s economic prospects this policy has had little effect in increasing fathers “costs” to firms as they evade or take only the legally required leave. leaving aside the obvious practical outcomes of encouraging lots of “time off” for mothers and indeed other women wanting “family friendly” hours ; for firms needing to have an efficient workforce.

    There is also good reason to invest more time and attention to the UKs males as they are “under employed” at a time when galvanising some who are not so active would be very good for the ecomomy ( for instance businesses set up by men are far more likely likely to be successful and go on to emply staff, yet we have three separate funding initiatives to support women only). In a sense at least overall the Swedes have the sense to keep their men busy working hard producing the dosh that is then taxed to pay for the wildly inefficient public services! So getting tax in. And then of course there is the madness of a set of policies that make it really hard for men to take a role in supporting a family without feeling and often being “a mug”. “Broken Britain” costs us hugely so valuing men in a providing role may make a dent in our welfare plug hole. While addressing unhappy and unstable kids and young people whose nurturing and attachment issues costs us dear again in care and criminal justice bills. May mean taxes being less or applied to something useful.

    Why on earth would any society not pay attention to its most energetic and resless folk and at least try to harness that energy for good? One that appears to have forgotten that the wealth we still pretend we have (while borrowing,borrowing, borrowing) was made not given to us because we’re “nice”.

    • Employing staff in small business isn’t necessarily a measure of success, many women go into business to improve their work life balance and income from home, and not because they want to become employers. Different objectives for different folks.

      • Also increasing red tape and cost of doing business in terms of time being consumed by admin, as well as money can be detrimental to small home business. Then add in all the additional cost and hassle of employing people, and for some micro business people it probably just isn’t worth it.

      • Exactly so. And the stats (and my experience) supports this view. However if the objective of assistance is to increase economic activity and employment then it is illogical to put additional effort into the “sector” less likely to do this. The work life balance and avoiding hassle being a perfectly reasonable personal objective but one that doesn’t particularly assist economic growth.

    • Comparing Nordic countries to anywhere else is very tricky. These states had,until very recently, extremely high levels of social cohesion. Their governments these days seem more interested in accommodating Syrian barbarians than looking after their own. When you have high social and cultural cohesion nearly any form of government works, from social democracy to feudalism. It’s not the government type, but rather the individual work ethic of the society at large that makes these states a ‘socialist success story’. The wealthy and successful pay outlandish taxes but, are afforded respect for having done so. The lower classes don’t carry signs that say ‘soak the rich’ they say thank you instead. These states are also sparsely populated, easing the systemic burden. The entire population of Finland runs close to the population of New York City alone!

      • I agree on their rather small size and special conditions. However I use Sweden because it is continually presented to us as a “model”. Yet even on the terms of the left Sweden in actual fact doesn’t “perform” well at all (in terms of “gender equality”) if one takes a closer look.
        In many respects sensible comparisons would actually be made with similarly heavily populated countries as ourselves, but of course this isn’t what is done. In reality the “Sweden” of the left is really Sweden as it was 40 years ago not as it is now.

  4. “Men are better value in the workplace” – epiphany at last? Men have known this for a long time, but we are just chauvinist and misogynistic.
    Actually Men are better value in Society! Proven by:
    ·Men pay more into the tax system than women
    ·Men take less out of the tax system than women
    ·Men constructed all the building
    ·Men protect society from danger
    ·Single fathers (as opposed to single mother’s) are better parents
    ·Societies that are male dominated are more stable than visa versa

    I have read about and watched our society quite a bit. Both the tradcons and feminists have gotten it wrong and the results are hilarious to say the least.
    Just as modern tradcon women have cherry picked the best from both worlds, so ‘modern’ men of all ages are doing the same. Gone are the self-sacrificing men of old and the new selfish one has arrived. He is more likely to put his needs ahead of anyone else’s.
    The dropouts mentioned in the article, are using women on benefits – cherry picking what they need. Cheap place to stay with all the amenities, sex on tap and still able to lead the single life without any responsibilities.

  5. Woman have always worked and have always contributed to the economy. Until recently that work occurred in the home and on the family farm. Woman would raise chickens and sell the eggs, make candles and sell the surplus. They sewed, made lace, wove. We don’t have family farms for most of the population anymore nor do we need candles to light our homes and we buy eggs at the supermarket produced by massive operations. So those jobs in the home are not available nor needed – for now. So woman now work outside the home. As well as often working inside the home.
    It is true that for many woman the cost of working – child care, transportation, clothes – as compared to what the woman brings home for her salary is not a rational economic decision. But for a lot of woman who are single, divorced, widowed they have to work to survive. The option of being supported by parents or a generous brother is not there for woman anymore. Some have to work.
    The notion that women in the workforce depress wages for men is not actually accepted. Consider that the GDP of the US in 1950 – before women were in the workforce in the numbers we see now – was 2 trillion. US GDP today is 17 trillion. Even given inflation – the economy has expanded greatly hence more workers needed.
    I think the most critical issue is that the economy should support human flourishing and that requires supporting family flourishing. Our governments have not by and large followed family friendly policies and this is part of why we see diminishing birth rates. There also is the critical problem of low wages – wage growth has not kept pace with corporate profit and inflation so a man can no longer support a family with one salary. If we want policies which support
    healthy families – we need to support decent wages. When a male makes a decent living wage – we see women staying at home to raise the children and organize family life.

    • “Our governments have not by and large followed family friendly policies and this is part of why we see diminishing birth rates.”
      Seriously? The irony in this is staggering! Please, pretty please give your rational hamster a rest!
      “….so a man can no longer support a family with one salary.”
      Ah, the root of all evil – lazy man.

      “If we want policies which support healthy families – we need to support decent wages.” – So not overhaul the lopsided divorce laws, just make sure he is a more efficient wage slave and earns more for her to take? Got it!

      “When a male makes a decent living wage – we see women staying at home to raise the children and organize family life.” – The last time this happened, we go feminism. I personally shudder to think what the next episode brings.

      I seriously hope that your rationale is not indicative of conservative women, but I fear the opposite. I personally believe that today, conservative women are more dangerous to men than feminism.

      • it seems you are not familiar with the work done on fertility rates. If a person makes a low wage and is not stable in their employment (zero hours contracts?) they lack the financial means to set up a household. So they delay marriage and hence having children. The longer you wait to marry and have kids – the fewer children you have – lower birth rates.
        That you interpreted my remark that a man who cannot earn a living wage cannot support a family as meaning men are lazy is – bizarre. As recently as our own parents and grandparents men could earn a decent wage and hence support a family – that is no longer true for many people now because the jobs that once allowed people to do that are gone or wages are so depressed. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the work habits of men – nothing to do with laziness.
        What do you mean the last time this happened? Woamn worked out of the home and raised their kids while doing so for eons. Until the industrial revolution most men also worked from their homes in that they were involved in agriculture. Feminism did not emerge during that time. I would suggest the emergence of modern feminism has little to do with previous generations of woman (and men) working from the home whilst they raised their children and more to do with an economic ideology that required females in the workplace instead of in the home so as to support the ever growing need to consume.
        Women have been fed the lie that “work” outside the home liberated them when in fact it just made the join the ranks of wage slavery and created considerable more stress for both the parents while disadvantaging children.
        Too bad if you find that way of understanding the issue objectionable –

  6. All these arguments are applicable to Australia as well, but having virtually no conservative and educated women out there in the political circles and the media makes sure that Australia will continue sliding into the socialist abyss.
    All the universities are decisively leftist, catering for ever increasing and unchecked female intake and produce social justice harpies, who demand guaranteed employment at the highest ranks in the name of “equality”.

  7. Belinda, you’re SO naughty!
    In a not-far-off-future when women are doing all the paid work and all the work at home too, when the birth rate has crashed because women are too knackered to do childcare as well, and in any case there are no men worth marrying, a new social movement will arise. Women in this new movement will say, “These damned men are oppressing us, making us do all the work while they sit around playing computer games and watching porn. We need to get men better educated and get more men into the world of paid work”. And men will say, “Good idea…..now let’s talk about what we get out of this deal”.

    • Odd how the greatest advocates for men to stay single are Married men – go figure? I personally am extremely happy to attest to helping three young men stay single, just by showing them the wonderful system they were buying into. Hopefully there will be many more converts.

  8. You don’t have to dig to far down this rabbit hole to see the emerging economic abyss created from decades of pandering to feminist ideology. The evolving trends of MGTOW,herbivore men,declining marriage and the family unit,poor academic performance of boys,ignored male suicide,male unemployment, the list goes on and on. There ought to be a lot more anger towards the feminist hate movement and the damage it causes men and boys.When the misandry bubble bursts,and a fem-pocalype ensues,let there be harsh justice for feminists,after all men will have to clean up the mess and rebuild as we’ve always done.

  9. We need more gender equality.
    We could start by seeing a 50/50 balance in Household refuse collection operatives!

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