A new study into pay differentials has shown that women are now performing only 12% worse in the workplace than men – an all-time record.
‘When we first did this study 50 years ago, women were barely 60% as capable in the same jobs as men, and they only achieved 70% effectiveness in the mid-1980s,’ said Gallup analyst Dr Colin Thomas, who co-authored the report. ‘And remember, 88% is an average figure. In some areas, women’s performance is almost as good as men’s. I take my hat off to them, as I do anyway as a matter of course.’
However, some analysts fear that women may be nearing their natural limits and, even given time, will not be able to go on and match their male colleagues. ‘A minority of women keep on with their jobs after they get married and this has led to some temporarily rising to the middle of their professions,’ explained Professor Keith Barnes of the Institute of Policy Studies. ‘Of course, that’s not for everyone.’
But optimists like Dr Thomas believe that the sky is the limit for women in the workplace. ‘Some women are out-earning men already,’ he said. ‘Only in modelling and porn, admittedly, but it’s a start. If things carry on getting better at this rate, there’s no reason why one day there can’t be a woman running the line at a football match or even a woman Prime Minister.’
There was, however, some bad news for men from some related research also conducted by Professor Barnes. ‘Exhaustive testing has shown that men continue to average only 17% of women’s efficiency in menial tasks in the kitchen,’ he said. ‘And it’s difficult to see how we’ll be able to up our game given we already have to pull more than our own weight in the office. I’ll think we’ll just have to accept defeat on this one.’