Rationalizing pay inequity: women engineers, pervasive patriarchy and the neoliberal chimera
MetadataShow full item record
This article argues that neoliberalism with its pervasive patriarchy and co-option of feminism, renders women tacitly complicit in gendered pay inequalities. We show that in New Zealand, one of the world’s most neoliberal nations, women who might precisely be best equipped to argue for equal pay – engineers – do not do so because neoliberalism makes many feel responsible for, and accepting of, their lower salaries. In interviews and focus groups, many women engineers talk of deserving less pay than men because of their ‘choices’, their ‘personality’ and their lack of ‘responsibility’. In a disempowering environment, some women show agency by disavowing gender as a reason for the pay gap. Such narratives of individualized shortcomings reduce hope of collective action that might uncover and dismantle the systemic causes of pay inequity, which are not due to a woman’s choice or personality but rather what we frame as the neoliberal chimera.
Journal of Gender Studies
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Human Resources Management