Women Should Get Paid Less Because They Menstruate – CEO


There are many differences between the sexes. For millenia — and even today — women have been treated as lesser members of society, lesser contributors, lesser workers than men. Unfairly.  It has been a long, difficult and painful road towards equality and equity, and the battle is still fought daily. And just when you think you’ve made some gains, someone will open his mouth and make you realize just how far there still is left to go.

Last week, that person who opened his mouth was Alasdair Thompson, the head of the New Zealand Employers and Manufacturers Association. In an interview with New Zealand’s News 3 station discussing gender equity, he spoke about why women were paid on average 12% less than men, and said:

“There’s a gender pay gap, but people only need to look at who takes the most sick days, as to the reason for it. Women’s productivity, in general, is lower than men’s and while women might be more productive on an hourly basis, some take sick days when they get their period.

“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. I don’t like saying this because it sounds like I’m sexist but it’s a fact of life.”

Unsurprisingly, Thompson faced immediate backlash from the public as well as from other public figures in New Zealand, including the Prime Minister, a (female) former Prime Minister, the Women’s Affairs minister and others. He offered an unreserved apology and stated that his remarks were taken out of context — a claim which may have some merit, although someone in his role should be at least media-savvy enough not to stick his foot in his mouth quite this badly.

Thompson is now — ironically — on sick leave from his position after the maelstrom of last week. Many have called for his resignation but for now, the embattled CEO is staying.

While Thompson himself claims to have “learned his lesson,” the lesson women’s rights groups have learned through this is a hard one: that many men in positions of authority still secretly feel that women somehow don’t deserve equal pay for equal work. That no matter how much lip service they pay to equality, they still harbor beliefs that undermine women in the workplace, and everywhere. And that we still have much work to do.

Related Stories:

It’s Not a “He-Cession” Anymore: Economic Changes Erode Gender Equality

Happy Equal Pay Day! Today You Have Now Earned As Much As a Man Did Last Year

The Feminization of the College Degree


Photo Credit: Andrew Feinberg on Flickr


Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

Actually I am wrong. From the Urban Institute Web site

"More than half of gay men and 41 percent of lesbians want to have a child."

It would seem more men than women want kids, perhaps.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

anybody leave a maxi pad in his chair? anybody want to?

Allison M.

XD FAIL!!! Sometimes I wonder how far stupidity can go! XD

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

In response to the business demand that someone dedicate themselves to work, 43% of Gen X women and 32% of Gen X men have no kids, incidentally.

I wondered back in 1991 when the hell people would get it.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

Are men not fired for caring for sick kids?

Maybe that has never been tested.

In my study of sociology business, like the Army, thrives on having one spouse they can abuse without limit, and having the other spouse worry about the kid(s) if any.

My closest friend decided never to have kids. He decided the responsibility before God was too heavy, and I didn't understand until I saw the movie Courageous. You don't do a half assed job of being daddy.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

I actually think women want kids more than men do. Or at least women are more involved with the ones they got. My dad wasn't really involved with anybody at home, not even mom (unless he woke her up for sex). Worked too late and spent the weekends searching for rare books and records, which he promptly sold at retirement.

Lesbian couples have more kids than male-male couples do.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.4 years ago

No, women aren't paid less because they have periods. They are paid less because some have really bad periods.

I've seen both men and women waste time at work. I am a computer programmer (Software Developer 2 in ColdFusion 8) and I wrote on my bulletin board, More Hacking and Less Yakking.

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Another sexist white male scumbag.

Jan O.
Jan oneal4 years ago

This man is definitely a chauvanist, who has not moved forward to the modern day. I wonder if he is married? If so, I am sure his wife must be extrene;y proud of him.
This about the dumbest statement that I have seen or heard lately from someone who is suppose to intelligent. He is a bigot of the worst kind.
Never took off from school, had perfect attendance all through junior and senior high school years, rarely missed a day in over 50 years of working. I could not afford to off, and feared the possibility of losing my job. Many days went to work sick with flu, etc, so I went and infected others instead. Hopefully, most were men. Many of my counter parts can say the same. In married couples it is always the wife who is expected to stay home with sick children, but now when many men have custody of their children, men more and more take days off to care for the sick child, so that blows a big hole in this man's theory. Men however are not threatened with being fired for taking off, because they are men. The double standard is still alive and well, sadly.

Glenda L.
Glenda L.4 years ago

He should probably resign just by virtue of the fact that he showed such poor judgment in making that comment. I've worked with a lot of women over the years, and have rarely noticed anyone taking days off every month. Of course, I've worked mostly in private healthcare, so we don't get paid for days off. Very few people take days off when they don't get paid for them it seems.