From a policy perspective, Rick Perry has been leading the war on women for most, if not all, of his time in the governor’s office. He and his PR team have decided to go on the offensive, trying to negate the impact of his punishing policies with the factoid that women make up 60% of the governor’s office and hold 2/3rds of the top positions in his senior staff.
To which I say boola.
In my salad days as an undergraduate, I was invited to a special recruiting season luncheon for “leading women on campus” with Proctor and Gamble. A man gave the overview of what was new at the company, sharing that their biggest growth and most exciting opportunities were overseas. Next, several top executives, women all, gave us the pitch about what an incredible place it was to work, the many systems and support groups P&G had put in place for working women, etc.
I asked whether any of them worked overseas, and if all of those systems and groups were in place in the overseas offices, since that was where the corporate growth and excitement was.
Needless to say, I was not invited to interview with P&G. Judging by the reaction of the women executives after I asked my question, I’d like to think that the male executive had an uncomfortable plane ride back to headquarters.
My point is this: Rick Perry may be surrounded by women in his office. That’s lovely, but it doesn’t tell us the whole picture.
First, I’d be curious to know whether this ratio has been in place throughout his long tenure, or if this is a new thing. Two, and more importantly, I’d like to see two things:
- A comparison of the salaries paid to men and women who’ve held the same positions in the office (with adjustments & comparisons to account for changes and inflation over time).
- A comparison of the jobs the men get when they leave his office, and the salaries they draw, compared to those that women get.
My hunch is that men have, by and large, been paid more for the same jobs than women and have gone on to greater positions of power at higher levels of remuneration and influence, on average, than the women. I could be wrong, but I may be right, in which case, all of the binders full of women in the world won’t fix things and won’t negate his horrible, reprehensible policy decisions that have disproportionately affected Texas women.
Also, note this comment in the article:
In an interview, Perry said “no one should be shocked” by the number of women in his administration. “I live every day with four strong women,” he said, referring to his wife, Anita, his daughter, Sydney, and his two dogs, Rory and Lucy.
OK, this actually clarifies something. Rick Perry’s policies toward women have been so universally bad for women, have essentially treated women like dogs, because he thinks women and female dogs operate at the same level. Or, his leadership has been so damaging because he lets his canine females tell him what to do, and we all know what a mess things become when you let a Labrador retriever and a dachshund set policy.
[NB to Republicans. First, if you are tempted to use any adjective or adverb to qualify the word rape, just stop talking and leave the room. Second, do not pick a campaign rally song without getting explicit, written permission from the song’s author, or you will get a cease and desist letter and be mocked across the internet. Third, stop involving your dogs in your political life. Remember Seamus Romney?]
I’m sure there is some pay disparity between the men and the women. But, because these are government jobs and not corporate jobs, i’d bet the disparity is much less or attributable to experience. Government job titles usually are tied to pay ranges more strictly than others.
True, with the government pay scale, it is harder to discriminate, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Different titles, different job descriptions, and subjective factors like performance reviews create some room for discretion, I believe.