Review: Equal: A Story of Women, Men and Money by Carrie Gracie

This is an interesting book about Carrie Gracie’s battle to get pay equality at the BBC. I’m a strong believer in equality, whether that be religious, ethnicity, gender, or whatever, everyone should be paid on the merit of their output, and not by any other criteria. At the end of the book, Carrie lists some useful tactics that can be implemented by both employers and employees, and these certainly do have value.

My problem with this kind of book, hence the 4 stars and not 5, is that the arguments need to be unbiased and reasonable. There were several places where inequality was cited, to which I disagree. One huge example was the usefulness of the regulation where employers have to publish the median gender pay gap across their workforce. As Carrie said, “Ryanair topped the table for airlines, with a median gender pay gap of 71.8 per cent.” This is bound to happen – pilots are paid huge sums, and they tend to be male. Ryanair recruit from a talent pool, if there are fewer female pilots seeking work, there will be fewer women flying their planes, and therefore more women on the lower grade, lower paid, roles. Equality in that instance should mean hostesses, male or female, are paid the same, and pilots, whether male or female, are paid the same. There was no discussion in the book about whether those figures can be misleading or worthless – it was always a case of if the number show a disparity, then that must be bad for women.

However, a thought provoking book that needs to be read.

Book supplied by Netgalley for an honest review.

See review on Goodreads.