Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid Response:

Re: Gender pay gap in England’s NHS: little progress since last year

Without any prejudice against the author for an excellently presented article, I have to ask why are we still concerned about "The Gender Pay Gap" (GPG). In the most egalitarian countries in the world, namely Scandanavia, where they try and rid boys of their "toxic masculinity", encourage girls to play with Meccano, and believe preferences of the sexes are a "construct" (in spite of all the evidence to the contrary), in spite of their interventions, girls are choosing more traditionally female careers and boys, more traditionally male careers. So, the differences are natural, when equality of choice is maximal. In ophthalmology in the UK, I appointed far more females than males to senior positions. The opposite was true in orthopaedics. This is equality of opportunity and is a laudable aim. The opposite can be said of equality of outcome (to which the GPG applies), which is an ideological construct. What are we to do? Force women to do orthopaedics against their will? Make the women in ophthalmology do orthopaedics? The arguments just do not stack up because the whole GPG is an ideological construct of the left. Why do we not ever hear of equality of outcome in war deaths, in bricklaying, in construction, in farm labouring. Because, in this ideological construct, you have your cake and eat it - if you're a woman. There should be equality of opportunity for all and that should be our aim. Equality of outcome always leads to positive discrimination and in this case against men, in particular white men. In medicine we must oppose anything but promotion on merit, because that creates excellence, and that is how medicine has progressed to where we are today. We must also allow white males equality, and protect females, who in my experience want to be at work less for family reasons. That is quite simply their choice.

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 May 2019
Paul Barrington Chell
Ophthalmologist
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Yew Tree House, Stratford Road