active 3 months, 1 week ago
active 3 months, 1 week ago
  • Niles posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    That confuses me even more. Surely I can’t be alone in not knowing what this is?

  • Niles posted an update 3 months, 1 week ago

    The gender pay gap? I’m confused as to what this actually is. As far as I know its illegal to pay men and women differently for the same job and its been this way for decades. I understand pay inequality but I’m confused by the gender pay gap.

    Am I right in thinking that its like two people doing the same job in Company A and they both move up through the company with promotions and gained experience and knowledge of how the company works. However one of those people happens to be female and takes a career break, of many years, to have children and look after them at home. During this time the other person, quite possibly male carries on working in the company/industry gaining more experience and promotion over the years to to get a better salary. When the female employee…[Read more]

    • What you describe is an ‘earnings’ gap not a ‘pay’ gap, however don’t expect the Guardian to make such a distinction.

    • For politicians, the gender gap is a way to get gullible women to vote for you.

    • The Guardian, the Fawcett society etc spent years blaming sexism for the ‘pay gap’ which they calculated as simply being the difference between the average earnings of all men and the average earnings of all women. They completely ignored inconvenient data like career choices, hours worked, subjects studied, time away from the work place an so forth or in short comparing like for like. Even when the ONS published a report that showed women between the ages of 22 – 39 actually earned marginally more then men they completely ignored it

    • Some eejit on Radio 4 said the other day that claiming that a man was in a senior position because they were the best person for the job isn’t acceptable because that suggests that a woman isn’t the best person to employ and is therefore wrong. How does that even make sense?!

    • Gender pay gap is the difference between the salaries of full time employees over the whole economy. Calculating the gender pay gap is about identifying areas where the gap exists and using that information to tackle discrimination. It is to look for areas where education may help young women (or men) in pursuing careers traditionally considered gender biased. A good example might be Ryanair’s large gap explained by highly paid pilots being mostly male and lower paid cabin staff being mostly female: what can we do to encourage women to be pilots?

      The project is about identifying problems not some conspiracy against the male hegemony.

      • That would be a sensible approach but I’ve yet to see it suggested at all in the Guardian etc. Instead the focus seems to be on somehow trying to shame companies like Ryanair, and in some articles men generally, in to doing *something*.

        The ONS gives a lot of detail

        It points out 1/3 of the headline figure of 9% is accounted for by career choice and working pattern differences between men and women, leaving a difference of about 6% which doesnt seem huge. Then it notes education levels and career breaks will account for more, so the overall unexplained gap is at worst small.

      • Why do you need to encourage any women to be pilots? You make sure you provide equal opportunities, going right back to school and selecting the right subjects etc.. and then let women decide for themselves.

        It might be that is some sectors due to maintaining currency etc.. that career breaks are not easy or even possible. So a proportion of women will switch career after children and a natural male dominance will develop. Until men give birth and breastfeed for 6mths I don’t see this pattern changing.

        • Again you’re missing the point. The question should be “Are there gender-specific pressures that discourage women from wanting or applying to become pilots”?

          • I would imagine there are, like how would you maintain currency if you don’t fly for over a year?

            I think I just view the word ‘encouragement’ differently.

            What they should first be looking at is if the female and male pilots with similar experience are paid the same. This is a gender pay gap.

            What this survey highlights are career path variations, not pay.

          • I’m an engineer and have worked in the oil and gas industry for twenty years and while things are slowly improving in terms of women entering the industry we are a long way from parity. My company works closely with several local schools in terms of arranging work experience, attending career fairs or giving presentations to pupils in a bid to promote engineering as a career and to put it bluntly the phrase ‘you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’ comes to mind when dealing with female pupils. The teachers I deal with are trying hard to promote engineering as a career to these girls but at the end of the day there is a general disinterest no matter how bright these girls may be. From my observations the boys are the only interested ones when discussing big…[Read more]

            • Have you got a link to that ONS report, I’ve had a quick google, I’m struggling to find anything that matches your assertion.

            • Something here


              In the Guardian, to be fair. Seems to be condradicted by the ONS link higher

            • “Engineering departments are not exactly known for their bawdy macho sexist culture and the stereotype of nerdy types still kind of holds true today, it is basically still seen by many as being a deeply uncool subject up there with computing.”

              Interesting to hear that. Where I first went to university the engineering departments across the country had the premier reputation as the biggest drinking pools of macho culture. They were essentially the football jocks of the university, and universally so.

              I seem to recall few females expressing an interest in the sector then too. The take home point may be that, if we accept the pay gap is largely a myth and instead focus on “institutional” issues such as the culture in the places of study that lead into these sectors, we might…[Read more]

      • I actually agree, I have no issues with the data being collected. Where I get frustrated though is the way the data is often presented in some quarters where maintaining the approved narrative or editorial line seems more important then actually having a proper discussion.

        I singled out the Fawcett society and the Guardian as they have appalling form for deliberately ignoring unhelpful facts and spinning others to suit their ‘its sexism’ agenda when discussing differences in pay when the reasons for pay disparity are often a bit more nuanced and complex.

        I mentioned the ONS report published a few years back as that actually went to the trouble to do proper statistical analysis and compare pay for like for like jobs. The Ryanair data you cite above, for instance, shows that there…[Read more]

    • One of the interesting aspects of this is how the figures can be distorted by a small number of individuals ( at the top. If, say in a company of a few hundred staff, 8 of the top 10 people are men, and they are being paid a few hundred grand more than the next layer down, that will massively impact the average numbers. It can account for the whole “gender pay gap).

      But it tells us only what every employee knows: that the top few employees are mainly men.

      • Doesn’t quoting a median, rather than mean, largely eliminate this effect?

      • Is it due to lots of perfectly capable and qualified women being denied the opportunity for their careers to progress to that level due to discrimination, or is it due to the pool of women with the desire and the capability to select from being vanishingly small.?

        • Anecdotally, there’s an awful lot of the latter. More about desire than capability, but it would be interesting to see some proper research on it.

          There is a risk that a lot of resources are put into trying to get women into jobs that they don’t actually want to do.

          • I saw a study this week that showed that the more gender equality in a society the less likely the women in that society are to study/work in STEM fields.

            So especially, for example, in developing countries where there is less choice of degree, more women go into Civils, in the Nordic countries, where there is a wide range of degree and career options, women much less likely.

            In that sense it looks much more that the gender pay gap argument is not about equal pay, it’s about getting women the wage they want for the jobs they like doing.

            I think you’d have to agree that Theresa May has been very weak on this again, claiming that the figures showed a ‘burning injustice’ when they do nothing of the sort.

            May seems to be jumping on the passing bandwagon rather than offering a…[Read more]

            • The rationale I saw for that was that the countries where women more readily gravitate towards STEM tend to ones at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. That is, if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to go to university you damn well make sure you choose a field of study that will afford you the greatest employment and earnings possibilities.

              More developed and wealthy countries, where we have social welfare and minimum incomes, take that pressure away and people can instead choose to study areas they desire – be that art history, underwater ballet, or applied mathematics.

        • There is evidence towards the later, it being argued that if you compare the normal distributions of any traits between males and females you find greater variability in the male bell curve. You simply get way more males at the top and bottom ends of any distribution – more geniuses and more dunces as they say.

          This is also entirely compatible with there only being very small differences between males and females on average. For example, if you looked at how many woman and men were 5’10” tall, you might get a 30:1 difference. But if you then looked at the number of men and women who were just a little bit taller, say 6′, the difference would swing to about 2000:1. Distributions simply get more skewed the further you move from the mean.

          Naturally, the top positions in any…[Read more]

    • I work in a large engineering and manufacturing company. Here women earn more than men on average.

      In this case I think things are skewed because the shop floor is dominated by men to a greater extent than the design/engineering side. Shop floor earns less on average.

      It’s an interesting flip to the norm but not sure what other conclusions I can draw.

      • Likewise, a BBC article this week showed that in the mining industry the ‘gender pay gap’ favours women. They didn’t see fit to comment on this but my guess is that more women work in higher paid administrative roles than as miners themselves. Let’s see a campaign to get more equality in the mining industry! #morewomenunderground or something…..

      • These are both good points and echo my observations.

        Most of the women I have worked alongside with in my industry are not actually UK nationals, they generally hail from Malaysia, Iran, Nigeria, Azerbaijan etc (other oil centres basically) and it is obvious that a huge emphasis is placed on university courses that offer decent careers and remuneration.

        As an example (anecdotal I know) there is a Malaysian Process Engineer I know who actually wanted to study English Literature at uni but her parents basically told her ‘no way’ and steered her towards chemistry as she was bright enough and had the grades to enrol on such a course. She resented her parents at first but now concedes that in hindsight her parents were right to intervene as she now has a career that has seen work on…[Read more]

    • I teach on a bioinformatics MSc course – essentially computational biology. I always find looking at the demographics of the cohort and their career choices interesting. In most years, the course is split roughly 50:50 male:female, but the majority of the females will be new graduates from the Indian subcontinent or SE Asia whereas the males tend to be European or North American and generally older, usually with a year or two of experience in a graduate job.

      In terms of career choices, women are more likely to go into (lower paid) roles where they provide data analysis as a service to other research groups, whereas the men are more likely to go for something where they can drive the direction of research themselves. Those who move away from academia into biotech/pharma or take…[Read more]

  • Niles posted a new activity comment 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    I also believe that proper support in your shoes will help with lower back pain. Most likely something to do with insoles.

    • @Nile is right insoles can help with back pain! I used to suffer from really bad back ache so I decided to go see a physiotherapist after thorough examination he told me that I should start wearing orthotic insoles to help improve my posture. The ones I bought where a pair from, I tried other makes but for me the footreviver ones worked the best (however it should be stressed that everyone’s needs and requirements are different so a pair of insoles that work for me may not work for somebody else). Within a couple of weeks my posture improved and my back pain reduced significantly, I still get niggling pains every now and again but no where near as bad as I used to get. Here is a link if your interested…

  • Niles posted a new activity comment 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Bloods still boiling to discuss rationally. However, whilst I fear we need to prove ourselves better than these servile scum, examples need to be made.

    • I’ve heard there are rooms still available at Guantanamo…

      • Which is an affront to all right minded people. Many people in Gitmo are there without charge.

        Surely, even for they bastards they deserve a trial and a very long sentence.

        Not sure about removing their citizenship, since they weren’t born here, but supposing you removed their citizenship and they were returned to their country of birth, only to be free men?

        So I’m torn between doing something alien to our constitution (Gitmo) or bringing them here. I suppose the best thing might be to pay some country to take responsibility for their trial, the country they committed their crimes in, and make sure they don’t get out. Though I think this might be difficult since we’re talking about Syria!!

        I’m against the death penalty, but I might make an exception for these two. But that…[Read more]

  • Niles posted a new activity comment 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    AJ by TKO in the later rounds. Parker hasn’t fought anyone like as hard hitting in his career, and he only just scraped through his last few fights. No chance despite the hype IMO.

  • @guy I’m not sure how you could compare the two, it’s not a like-for-like comparison and the ‘fitness spectrum’ is huge in both professions; are we talking Paras, WRENS, the bloke who feeds the regimental goat, Detectives, CTSFO’s, beat cops?

    If we assume that there is such a thing as ‘yer average’ (there isn’t), it would still be difficult to make an accurate comparison. Many squaddies join-up at 16 and leave 22 years later at the age of 38. Some are ultra-fit, others live unhealthy lifestyles and scrape through the fitness assessments. Bobbies are generally older, they often join in their mid-20’s and retire at 60. Just like the military, some of them are impressively fit and some aren’t.

    If you’re trying to compare the fitness level of ‘yer average’ squaddie against ‘yer…[Read more]

  • @guy You seem to be suggesting that Level 5.4 Bleep is an aspirational grade for all unarmed police which they struggle to achieve – and that unarmed police officers are a uniquely unfit group of people – in reality they’re no different to any other group of people. There are no shortage of fit sports men and women in the police, like anywhere else, and no shortage of lard arses, like anywhere else.

    5.4 is nothing more than a basic minimum standard that all officers, of all ages, are required to pass if they want to keep their jobs.

  • The 5.4 bleep test for normal police is widely ridiculed within the service, as well as on this forum, for being pointless. Although, it should be pointed out that this is a ‘one size fits all’ fitness assessment and they’re expected to pass it until retirement at the age of 60.

    For new recruits, the bleep test is run until everyone has dropped out…so low level passes are unlikely to progress to the next stage of assessment.

    Police firearms officers must achieve 9.4 for ARV and 10.4 for OPS and CTSFO, they use the 15m test which is considered by some to be slightly more difficult than the 20m test because there are more shuttles, so more stop / start / turn. Again, the fitness assessment is run until exhaustion. If you drop out on 9.5, you’re unlikely to progress to the next…[Read more]

  • Niles posted a new activity comment 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    The Angel’s Share is a term used to describe the small amount of Whisky that evaporates whilst it is casked and maturing (over many years this can add up to be quite a significant amount). Once bottled then as as you say it can’t escape unless the bottle is opened.

  • Niles posted a new activity comment 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    May cost a bit but you could buy a standing desk to work on your computer stood up. May hurt your bank account but will save your back!

  • GDPR should put a stop to this!

    Come 25th May (when GDPR comes in to force) you can ask Facebook to tell you everything they know about you for free (under the existing law they could have charged up to £10). It’s called a Subject Access Request and you can do it any way you like: e-mail, telephone, write them a letter. They are entitled to verify your identity before handing the information over (obviously) but they have to respond within 30 days.

    Does GDPR apply to you if you cannot be identified I hear you ask??

    GDPR is quite clear that personal data is data that relates to “an identified or identifiable natural person”. “Natural person” means it doesn’t apply to companies, or to the deceased. “Identifiable” means that, even if the data doesn’t include your…[Read more]

  • In my case-sports massage sorted it out, also had a steroid shot for an impingement but also had something similar to what you describe prior to that. I am very one sided (or I was) thought lots of manual work etc which brought it on. I had massages monthly for about 6 months, job done. wouldn’t ever use a chiro.

  • It depends a lot on your risk profile. But there are occasionally viruses which do not require any activity, foolish or otherwise, on your part. I would say antivirus is still advisable on Windows 10, and essential on earlier versions.

    No need to buy though, there are perfectly functional free ones. I would recommend Bitdefender or Avast. Both may nag you to buy the full version, but both provide adequate protection through the free version. In fact if anything I would turn off some of the extra features in Avast.

  • Couple years ago talking to an inanimate object as though it was a real person would get you put in the nut house.

    These products to me seem to serve Google/amazon more than they would serve me. I have a cd player, computer that can do everything these things can do and I get to keep my privacy.

  • Niles replied to the topic How do you buy a car? in the forum General Chat 6 months ago

    1) If you are buying new, decide on what you want and then contact every dealer in the UK asking for a quote for the specific model, engine size, extras etc. that you want.

    2) Take the cheapest quote and contact everyone who replied again asking them to beat it.

    3) Repeat 2 (optionally you can knock another £X off the price and lie about the quote you have if you think its still too high and nobody is quoting very well) until you have only 1 or 2 people left with enough motivation to try and really cut you a genuinely good deal.

    4) Buy vehicle.

    That’s what I did for my last van and it worked pretty well.

    My experience of a dealer is that you pay a premium for the vehicle and it isn’t worth it.

    My experience of buying from a random person second hand has generally been good.…[Read more]

  • Niles replied to the topic Population growth in the forum General Chat 6 months ago

    @peter In developed countries the birthrate is falling and hence the natural population will shrink over time.

    Luckily we are able to prevent the population from retracting by immigration.

    The Chinese found that limiting the number of children is economically disastrous. The main problem being old people had no one to care for them. To maintain their productivity they had to bring masses of people into the towns and take them off the farms.

    People eat far too much and create too much waste due to consumerist economic policies, not due to population size. There’s no need to introduce population control, population controls itself. What we need to do is control rampant consumerism. Don’t confuse consumerism with capitalism, they’re different. Capitalism works well as long a con…[Read more]

  • Niles replied to the topic Population growth in the forum General Chat 6 months ago

    As countries develop their birth rate drops. There are a few reasons for that. One is more children make it to adulthood so couples don’t have to have extra children to compensate. Another is children start going to school, so they’re not productive members of the family working on farms or factories. Another is better availability of contraception.

    It’s more expensive to bring up children in a developed country.

    Im sure there are others.

    What is your source for these claims?

  • Niles replied to the topic I've given up diet drinks in the forum Health 6 months, 1 week ago

    What about other junk drinks like coke etc?

    I know someone who had a minor stroke age 30 and he was told it was from drinking red bull excessively and working long hours (farmer).

    I only drink highland spring sparkling water. I just hope they don’t find a health risk with that!

    @scarymary Anything with artificial sweeteners in… Aspartame was banned in the US but is in everything here.

    Your farmer guy sounds like his stroke was caused by stress.

  • Niles replied to the topic I've given up diet drinks in the forum Health 6 months, 1 week ago

    @howard Interesting, thank you. I read it in the Telegraph, and that failed to point out the flaws in the study.

    I’m sufficiently concerned with the correlation, given that my dad had ischemic strokes on a regular basis before he died.

  • After reading a study online about the effects diet drinks can have on your health… I’m never going to drink an artificially sweetened drink again. A seventeen year study of four thousand people, properly scientifically analyzed, has found a three times risk of having a stroke or developing dementia if you drink ONE a day

    That’s too big to ignore, I quit.

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