EQUALITY OR EXPLOITATION?

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Stanley
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EQUALITY OR EXPLOITATION?

Post by Stanley »

EQUALITY OR EXPLOITATION?

Of late we have seen many more women in principal roles throughout the media. This is splendid and exactly as it should be, after all, they comprise half of the population. However, being an old cynic (or a realist), I am wondering if all is as it seems.
Another trend of late has been the efforts of all the media to reduce costs many thousands of journalists have been ‘let go’ as they say. Instead the proprietors try to maintain the news flow using ‘Citizen Journalists’. This sounds great but in effect means anyone with a smart phone who can video and report on public occurrences. What they have found is that they still need old fashioned presenters and journalists and many of these seem to be women.
Let’s think now of another trend we have been seeing, women fighting to break the former iron rule in business that women are automatically paid less if doing the same job as a man. This has been illegal since the Equal Pay Act of 1970 but has been largely ignored. Only now is the pendulum starting to swing. Even so, in many fields women are still paid less for doing exactly the same job as their male colleagues. This became a problem recently in the BBC and coincided with the retirement of some very highly paid presenters. As a consequence we have seen a nice crop of promotions to more senior roles of women. Great, looks like a result!
This is where my cynicism/realism kicks in. We all know that the BBC, for a variety of reasons, is under financial pressure. This applies to other media organisations as well. As with any industry, labour costs are a significant proportion of costs and for a while there has been a process of reducing numbers of staff particularly in the news and investigative departments. So what is the overriding motive when appointing a woman to one of the the positions opened up by retirement? Is it to adjust the proportion of women in these jobs, equality, or could it be because they cost less than the departed one? In the latter case it is exploitation and realistically we have to recognise that there is bound to be an element of this. The question is how much?

SCG/29/03/21
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

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