Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Baldeosingh: T&T’s gender pay gap is situated on “a farrago of fake facts”

Baldeosingh: T&T’s gender pay gap is situated on “a farrago of fake facts”

“The average male wage in 2008 (the last Labour Force Report) was TT$4,640 a month and the female was TT$3,758. Among male officials and managers, the mean salary was just over TT$8,000 a month, while women earned TT$5,000. Among male professionals, the mean monthly salary was over TT$11,500 whereas for females it was just under TT$10,000.

“In the elementary occupations, men earned TT$2,800 and women TT$2,000. Thus, we have an overall wage differential of 23 percent between men and women. This, however, is not the whole story…”

In the following Letter to the Editor, satirist Kevin Baldeosingh from Freeport suggests that the wage gap between the sexes in Trinidad and Tobago might be fake news:

Photo: A depiction of the wage gap between the sexes.

From hyperbolic claims that police officers and doctors are “dismissive and rough” to rape victims to hysterical assertions that “women are fighting for the right to love,” last Thursday’s International Women’s Day was defined by a farrago of fake facts.

It would be irksome to refute all the specific laments but one issue reveals the typical misrepresentations: the complaint made by many IWD spokeswomen about the wage gap between men and women in T&T.

None of these women presented any actual statistics and, although one article in Business Newsday cited a 60 percent gap, that report also claimed that the average man in T&T earns an absurdly high salary of TT$20,000 a month while women earn TT$11,000.

However, the average male wage in 2008 (the last Labour Force Report) was TT$4,640 a month and the female was TT$3,758. Among male officials and managers, the mean salary was just over TT$8,000 a month while women earned TT$5,000. Among male professionals, the mean monthly salary was over TT$11,500 whereas for females it was just under TT$10,000. In the elementary occupations, men earned TT$2,800 and women TT$2,000.

Thus, we have an overall wage differential of 23 percent between men and women. This, however, is not the whole story. First of all, there are more men than women in the labour force—74 percent of men as compared to 52 percent of women. This means that the average must be skewed in favour of men.

Photo: The gap between the sexes.

Among managers and officials, the LFR recorded 16 percent more men than women while, in the basic jobs, there are one-third more men than women. In the professional category, however, women outnumber men by nine percent. But this is still not the whole story.

When you look at hours, men worked 39 hours per week while women worked 38 hours. This would reduce the raw differential in wages since men are getting paid more for more work. Among professionals—where, remember, women outnumber men—in the 33-40 hours range, 22 percent more women than men work these hours. However, twice as many professional men worked more than 41 hours a week compared to women and twice as many men as women also worked two jobs.

All of which means that, once all these factors are considered, women earn at worst about 15 percent less than men. If you include women’s career choices, that gap effectively shrinks to zero.

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3 comments

  1. the worst thing to have is a woman in a senior management position when she has her period

  2. Men need more money to afford “stress management therapy” brought on by most women. A simple statement like ” Honey, my nails need a reviver” while watching my pocket can send us Mt. Hope.