The following complaint to Radio NZ made by one of our members provides an explanation of this latest fiasco in the name of false feminist propaganda. The relevant broadcasts were in news bulletins at midday, 1:00pm and 6:00pm and the Checkpoint programme, all on Tuesday 7th March. The relevant sources are this article on the Ministry for Women’s site, and this information on the the NZ Income Survey 2015.
The Complaint, more or less:
All of the broadcasts above made strong, misleading statements that some research done at AUT had found that gender bias against women was the main reason for the gender pay gap.
The midday news bulletin stated “Gender bias is the main reason for the wage gap between men and women, not education, occupation or industry according to new research.”
The 1:00pm news bulletin stated “Gender bias is the main reason for the wage gap between men and women, rather than education, occupation and industry according to new research.” and “Bias against women both conscious and unconscious accounted for as much as 83%.”
The 6:00pm news bulletin stated “New research shows 80% of the gender pay gap can be attributed to conscious or unconscious (or and unconscious) bias against women.”
Checkpoint stated “It’s sexism stupid. New research has found the 12% pay gap between men and women is mostly down to gender bias.” and “The research found 80% of the pay gap must be attributed to conscious and unconscious bias against women.”
The actual research paper was not available to the public at the time of these broadcasts but the organization that commissioned the research, the Ministry for Women, had on its web site an article announcing the research findings. It stated:
‘The research found that 80 percent of the gender pay gap was “unexplained”. The Ministry for Women defines the unexplained portion of the gap as “unconscious and conscious bias, and differences in behaviours and choices between men and women”.
So in fact, the research DID NOT FIND that up to 83%, or most, or even a significant proportion of the gender wage gap was caused by or attributable to gender bias. The Ministry for Women had simply decided that ‘unexplained’ equaled ‘gender bias against women and differences in behaviours and choices between men and women’. At least the Ministry for Women was open about the fact that it invented its preferred explanation for what the research found to be unexplained.
RNZ made no mention of the terms ‘unexplained’ or ‘unexplained factors’. It broadcast an apparently edited comment from the Chief Executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association in Auckland Kim Campbell that called for more research before he was convinced, but was unclear about the most important information regarding this story. It omitted any mention that the researchers had actually found 80% of the gender wage gap to be unexplained, or that gender bias was actually only the Ministry for Women’s invented explanatory possibility and not even a conclusion made by the researchers.
There was no indication that RNZ had talked to the researchers or obtained the research paper to clarify what it had found, yet made strong and misleading claims about alleged findings of that research. The Ministry for Women’s article described the research as being based on data from the New Zealand Income Survey in 2015. That was part of the census, and if RNZ had bothered to try to be accurate it could easily have ascertained that the census questions were never going to be capable of providing information regarding gender bias or women’s behaviour and decisions or any relationship between these matters and the gender wage gap.
RNZ’s statements even misrepresented the Ministry for Women’s article, by failing to mention that the Ministry’s invented explanation included ‘differences in behaviours and choices between men and women’, something very different to gender bias. Although this omission was unacceptable, it only increased the already badly misleading nature of its broadcasts.
To resolve this issue I request that RNZ broadcast an apology and correction that makes it very clear that the research only concluded that 80% of the wage gap was unexplained, that makes it very clear that the ‘gender bias’ and other explanations were invented by the Ministry for Women, and that attributes the invented explanation (‘gender bias’) to whatever source RNZ obtained it from. Further, I request that the apology and correction are broadcast on three separate news bulletins and once on Checkpoint, to balance the frequency with which it misled the public.