Equality Commission: anti men and anti Protestant?

This is a strange one (subs needed). Yesterday’s Irish News carries a story about the make up of the Equality Commission. According to the raw figures in the Commission’s own report:

Staff Religious and Gender composition 1 January 07

Gender – Male 48 (34.5%) Female 91 (65.5%)

Religion – Protestant 49 (35.3%) Roman Catholic 88 (63.3%) Cannot determine 2 (1.4%)

  • RepublicanStones

    Ring Chris Patten quick !

  • intersted

    Mick
    Surely the only new part to this story is the fact that there are quite so few men working there.

    Everything else has been known for a long long time.

    I’m sure it wont stop the Equality Commission ignoring their own problems whist criticising others though.

  • A look at those figues could suggest that protestant men simply aren’t interested in working for the Equality Commission. After all the EC can only employ those who apply and it’s application statistics i’d be more interested in.

  • Mick Fealty

    Baconian approach: ‘Document everything’.

  • Mick Fealty

    test.

  • Chucky Law

    It has been alledged, repeat alledged, by some that the Equality Commission is a decidely dysfunctional workplace.

    Evidence? It might be worth pursuing the following in reaching any conclusions.

    Number of complaints lodged at Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal against the Commission (ermm how much did cost ECNI to defend these cases?)

    Comparative rates of male and female employees terminating employment with the Commission.

    Gender and religous composition of senior staff, eg Grade 7 and above?

    Conclusion? Draw your own.

    Any tales from elsewhere? Do tell

  • Nevin

    Here’s one I posted earlier:

    “WT, I’ve just had a quick look at the employment records of CBC and ECNI.

    Craigavon borough is very similar to NI in that the perceived community background ratio for each is close to 55/45.

    In 2002 and 2005 the CBC statistics are 60/40 and 60/40 whereas for ECNI they are 43/57 and 40/60.
    Posted by Nevin on Nov 24, 2007 @ 07:02 PM”

    43/57 > 40/60 > 36/64

    So much for appointing Bob Collins, the former head of RTE, in 2005.

  • fair_deal

    In terms of employment of Protestants the situation for the EC is deteriorating not improving.

    The figures in 2005
    Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
    P 50 RC 73 ND 6 Total 129 [40.7%] [59.3%]

    http://www.equalityni.org/archive/pdf/MonitoringReportNo16.pdf

  • The Truth

    Interviews should have absolutely nothing to do with being Male, Female, Catholic, Protestant, Dissenter, Muslum, Jew etc.
    It should be one question. Do you worship at the alter of England. If yes then get out and go live there.

  • Star of the County Down

    FFS ‘The Truth’ – if you’re going to troll with the same tedious crap, at least learn to spell first.
    Repeat after me – A L T A R.

  • “A look at those figues could suggest that protestant men simply aren’t interested in working for the Equality Commission. After all the EC can only employ those who apply and it’s application statistics i’d be more interested in.”

    If that wasn’t a defence for the RUC why is it a defence for the Equality Commission who should really be setting the gold standard in this regard?

  • DC

    Protestants have this assumption that the EC is working against them because equality in the NI sense will disproportionately affect the small majority in this local demographic context.

    Why be part of something that places certain people on the backfoot, seemingly anyway, however much it integrates and does energetic work to achieve such social tolerance towards change.

  • DC, why not address the issue instead of just throwing accusations around about Protestants?

    Why can’t the equality commission practice what it preaches?

  • joeCanuck

    One thing that you didn’t cover, Mick, is the total number of employees.
    The breakdown may very well be statistically insignificant.

  • DC

    Sorry Beano thought that it was addressed by that comment re higher-politick come social interpretation of the EC by those certain people in N Ire who hold little desire for coming forward for positions due to said reason of perceived inequality.

  • Star of the County Down

    Joe,

    >One thing that you didn’t cover, Mick, is the total number of employees.

    It’s at the top:

    Religion – Protestant 49 (35.3%) Roman Catholic 88 (63.3%) Cannot determine 2 (1.4%)

    So total = 139.

    >The breakdown may very well be statistically insignificant.

    Oh, it’s significant all right – excluding the 2 non-declareds, and assuming a 50:50 split by religion in working agegroup (hence overstating the actual Catholic proportion), the probability of Protestant representation being as low as 35.3% by chance alone is <0.05%, or 1 in 2000.

    Pretty damning stuff.

  • joeCanuck

    OOps. Just woke up.

  • RepublicanStones

    pretty damning stuff? perhaps if the EC has a policy of not employing protestants, but as Pounder said application statistics are needed to fully evaluate the problem.

  • joeCanuck

    I agree, Star, that that is statistically significant.

  • Star of the County Down

    Well, the EC managed a net loss of 1 Protestant employee since January 2005, while employing 15 more Catholics on a net basis over the same period. Pretty odd recruitment pattern in a 2 year period, no?

  • RepublicanStones

    the penny doesn’t seem to have dropped yet….you can’t base judgements on anyones employment policy without looking at the application statistics, you could go even further and study seperate applications against their suitability for the role !

  • Shawn

    And does the EC infact even inquire as to the religion of its applicants?

    This would be patently illegal in Canada, what is the situation in nIreland? Are you allowed to ask?

  • joeCanuck

    You don’t have to ask about religion, Shawn. You just ask what school you went to. St.Malachy’s is a dead giveaway.

  • DM

    Most jobs ask about your religion now, Equal Opportunities Monitoring it’s called. Some forms I have filled in go as far as to say that your religious background will be inferred from your School, abode etc. and therefore if you give a false answer you will be found out.

    As regards the application statistics, as Beano said earlier on – if it didn’t wash with the RUC and various others why should the Equality Commission (whose job it is to get thse things right) be any different?

  • DM

    Sorry should have added – this information is generally collected separate to the actual application itself. In NI, they generally ask about percieved background rather than actual religion – in other words, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never set foot in a church in your life, you’re still one or the other.

  • joeCanuck

    Because of the admitted discrimination in the past, I am, a little bit reluctantly, in favour of positive discrimination. As a previous poster mentioned, however, application statistics should be considered.
    So, for example, if 40% of the applications for jobs come from Catholics, let’s say, then, so long as the legitimate requirements to carry out the job are met, them 40% of the jobs should be offered to the Catholic applicants.

  • The Raven

    A post supporting (reluctantly) positive discrimination, which then ends with “as long as the legitimate requirements to carry out the job are met”…go figure.

    I have to say, I DO think the perception issue is a valid one. How many Catholics APPLY for posts at, say, Ballymoney or Coleraine Borough Councils? How many Protestants do likewise in Newry or Derry?

  • getthefacts

    It is not only in their staffing that the Equality Commission may be showing a gender bias. I get the impression that they see gender equality as a one way street – they do not seem to be proactive on issues where men are treated unequally? For example, the Equality Commission, to the best of my knowledge, is not taking any action regarding the Governments gender biased domestic abuse strategy which is not complying with the gender ‘equality of opportunity’ requirement in Article 75 (1) (b) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

    According to NIO statistics 35% to 50% *of domestic abuse victims are men yet:-

    1. The massively gender skewed promotion of the Domestic Violence Helpline is only producing 2% male victim callers.

    2. The so called ‘gender neutral’ Helpline is contracted to a ‘women only’ organisation.

    3. Millions are being spent on emergency accommodation for female victims of domestic abuse and their children but nothing on emergency accommodation for male victims of domestic abuse and their children.

    4. Only 1% of domestic abuse grant funding goes to male victims.

    5. Abused men see the judicial process as biased against them e.g. the Probation Board has a programme called Men Overcoming Domestic Abuse but no programme called Women Overcoming Domestic Abuse.

    6. etc etc

    I doubt that the Equality Commission would be so inactive if female victims were being treated in this way.

    * The Experience of Domestic Violence: Findings from the 2005 Northern Ireland Crime Survey Research and Statistical Bulletin 5/2007 Page 7, published on 5 July 2007 by the NIO, reveals that 35% of respondents, who claimed to be victims of domestic abuse, were men; and that other research findings suggest that the number of male victims may be as high as 50%.

  • joeCanuck

    I’m not sure what you’re implying, Raven.
    Do you think that people without the necessary qualifications should get jobs?
    As you say, go figure.

  • Shawn

    Christ
    In Canada I am not even allowed to ask an applicant their age!

    And their religion is of absolutely no interest to me

  • getthefacts

    Shawn

    Sure – but you hardly sit interviewing with a bag over your head!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    A couple of points to ponder.

    Not to play with loaded stereotypes, but certain professions seem to attract certain people or profiles of people. More men in Engineering and math, as a rule, with more women in the Social “Sciences”, etc.

    Secondly, I would like to see these numbers broken out by level / position and department, with a special look at the make-up of whomever is doing the hiring and how applicants are vetted.

    All the data presented above does is show that there is some imbalance in the totals. A more rational break-out of the data would yield some better information.

  • lib2016

    DC,

    This topic comes up repeatedly and repeatedly I post the fact that the typical civil servant is a woman here, in England and in the South.

    There is a simple fix but it won’t happen just as it didn’t happen for primary school teachers – raise the entry level pay rates.

    The situation in the North is complicated by the fact that Catholic applicants in the North tend to be more highly qualified. Don’t know why that is but I have seen too many people with good degrees doing the filing to doubt it.

    It would be interesting to know just what is happening to Protestants/unionists at school leaving age. Are they leaving or are they just not there?

  • The Raven

    “Do you think that people without the necessary qualifications should get jobs?”

    No. It should be the main, if not only, criteria – in the widest sense of course, where I would add the caveat of experience too. There shouldn’t be anything other than “best person for the job”.

    “So, for example, if 40% of the applications for jobs come from Catholics, let’s say, then, so long as the legitimate requirements to carry out the job are met, them 40% of the jobs should be offered to the Catholic applicants.”

    Why? What if an extra 2% of Protestants happened to have better experience? Or indeed, a higher qualification? By luck…by chance…by virtue of the number of Prods who happened to see the job in question in Friday’s Belfast Telegraph?

    Thinking through what you have put forward, the Thought Police would immediately be in to question why some poor bollix who had – for example – five years less experience than his Protestant counterpart, didn’t get the job. You know what the answer is? The answer is “cos he had five years less experience than the other guy.” NOT “oh we preferred a female prod for this post, so we f**ked yer man’s application into the bin.”

    For those of you unfamiliar with some of the legislation and guidelines for personnel here, the “perfect” application form AS PRESENTED TO THE PANEL (i don’t mean as initially submitted here) should only have:

    – a candidate number
    – list of previous experience
    – answers to questions which are experiential in nature (for example “give an example of when you have” etc etc etc) and which are relevant to the criteria for the post
    – some supplementary questions like “when can you start”…”can you work the anti-social hours we mentioned in the job description”…stuff like that.

    The public sector is trying to move forward to a point where you don’t get to know their name until they walk in the door of the interview.

    Also there should be no reference to age in the material a panel is given; no questions about previous illnesses or periods of absence; no reference to where you went to school, only a list of qualifications and grades achieved; no reference to political persuasion or community background – this and other issues (disability etc) are covered in the Monitoring Form, which is removed by a Monitoring Officer, usually a person quite separate from Human Resources. (in fact, the applications are usually sent to them, rather than “The Personnel Officer”.)

    For these reasons and more, I am gobsmacked at how the nepotism alleged in other threads on this site regarding Craigavon Borough Council quite managed to get so far.

    But anyway, really, I have to say stick yer positive discrimination, regardless of how reluctant you may be in supporting it. Best person for the job does be my mantra, and I’m sticking to it.

    And before anyone asks, no: I wasn’t in favour of 50/50 recruitment for the PSNI.

    Oh and lib2016 – the Protestant/Unionist/etc exodus over the past fifteen years to mainland universities was recently noted in a Queens study which I will endeavour to find for you. They go across the water, and they just don’t come back. Go figure (Part II)

  • There was a Commission that preached

    How equality just couldn’t be breached

    “Be it gender or race

    Then it’s a disgrace!

    If equal numbers just cannot be reached”

    Perched up on their moral high ground

    They stood there and gazed all around

    And anyone out of line

    Got a warning or fine

    For, on all such matters, they frowned

    But like the pigs down on Animal Farm

    They had a certain hypocritical charm

    Their house, on inspection

    Showed signs of infection

    But Slugger…..soon raised the alarm.

    Lack of male employees was lamented

    But the Commission was very contented

    For all the talk of fair deals

    Those in lipstick and heels

    Got most of their posts when presented

    There weren’t so many Jills and Dianes

    But plenty of……….Bernies and Annes

    More young Kahlic fillies

    Than Mervyns and Billys

    Seemed to suit their fine equality plans

    Just like Napoleon and Squealer of old

    In that fine tale that George Orwell told

    Equality’s fine and all right

    But in the dark of the night

    Its a warm dish that sometimes runs cold

  • In my last post, the verses were not properly separated. Here is the adjusted version.

    There was a Commission that preached

    How equality just couldn’t be breached

    “Be it gender or race

    Then it’s a disgrace!

    If equal numbers just cannot be reached”

    Perched up on their moral high ground

    They stood there and gazed all around

    And anyone out of line

    Got a warning or fine

    For, on all such matters, they frowned

    But like the pigs down on Animal Farm

    They had a certain hypocritical charm

    Their house, on inspection

    Showed signs of infection

    But Slugger…..soon raised the alarm.

    Lack of male employees was lamented

    But the Commission was very contented

    For all the talk of fair deals

    Those in lipstick and heels

    Got most of their posts when presented

    There weren’t so many Jills and Dianes

    But plenty of……….Bernies and Annes

    More young Kahlic fillies

    Than Mervyns and Billys

    Seemed to suit their fine equality plans

    Just like Napoleon and Squealer of old

    In that fine tale that George Orwell told

    Equality’s fine and all right

    But in the dark of the night

    Its a warm dish that sometimes runs cold

  • Frank Sinistra

    It’s a bad stat and a reoccurring one. Why are men and Protestants so underrepresented in the Equality Commission? Come to think of it.. all those ‘rights’ organisations are weighted towards groups that claim to be suffering discrimination….think about it…they are taking our jobs and raping our daughters. Too many blacks in those Ethnic Minority groups.

    And don’t get me started on how disabled charities employ disproportionate amounts of disabled people.

  • The Raven

    “Come to think of it.. all those ‘rights’ organisations are weighted towards groups that claim to be suffering discrimination….”

    Be interested to see how many people over the age of 60 are employed by Age Concern. I wonder how may of our MLAs advertised their “assistants” jobs too….you know…the ones they get the extra “allowances” for.

    Gosh we could have a field day on this…

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks for your reply, Raven. You raise a lot of interesting points. I’ll have to think a bit.

  • Anonymous

    Kind of connected…. Marty was complaining about certain companies in E Belfast not employing the right percentages

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=30160501&postID=4153557173222761214

    The moral being…oh work it out yourself.

  • getthefacts

    Dread Cthulhu ‘I would like to see these numbers broken out by level / position and department’

    Heads (?) of Departments Page 49

    Strategic Enforcement – Female
    Policy & Development – Female
    Promotion & Education – Female
    Employment Development – Female
    Corporate Services – Male

  • getthefacts

    All are Heads of Departments – Pages 38/39

  • Rory

    The simple reason for the catholic/protestant, female/male imbalance it seems to me is similar to the reason why turkeys might not seem too keen to vote for Christmas (or Thanksgiving, if you’re a goddamn Yankee) – a slight matter of vested interest in retaining one’s survival – actual survival in the case of the turkeys and survival of one’s traditional superior social status in the case of males and protestants (and doubly so for male protestants).

  • The central point here is the hypocrisy of The Equality Commission, a body that preaches to the rest of us about what it calls “equality”, but does not measure up itself to the “standards” it imposes on others.

    Suppose (a )The discrepancies in gender and religion were reversed ie., women and Catholics were clearly under – represented and (b) This under – representation of women and Catholics was found in a company under investigation by The Equality Commission. If this occurred, The Equality Commission would be highly critical of the company. But when the exact same thing is happening behind The Equality Commission’s own doors, it seems to believe this is perfectly ok.

    Personally, I don’t believe that there should always be an equal number of men and women, of Protestants and Catholics etc., I believe the best person should get the job. However, if a company with a majority of males in senior positions tried to defend itself by saying they were just the best people who applied, I don’t think this would wash well with The Equality Commission. So, if they want to apply these rules to others, they should apply them first and foremost to themselves. If they cannot do so, then they shouldn’t be imposing their “equality” on others.

  • Shawn

    Could it not also be a matter of attrition?

    Say they did hire equal numbers of both communities but the protestant workers maybe have moved on to other opportunities in greater numbers then their catholic friends

    As for the man / woman thing, these jobs I believe are mainly clerical and the female of the species is always over represented in the clerical fields are they not?

    When it comes to simple servants working in offices I believe that women always out number men in the western world, it is certainly true in Canada

  • BonarLaw

    The employment stats in the EC look good when compared to some of the North South Bodies. Is it just me or is one community getting the shitty end of the stick in the new dispensation?

  • getthefacts

    While reading through the Equality Commission annual report late last night I began to think I was becoming a bit paranoid and in need of a good nights sleep. But no, there they were again in the morning after a relaxing breakfast and again after lunch in town with my lovely wife. The photographs in the report are a graphic projection of the feminist ‘women and children’ mantra – with not a single adult male in sight. And as if to rub it in, the same offending selective use of photographs is repeated ad neuseam on every one of the 88 pages of the report. Now, before you scream out that I certainly am paranoid and need a permanent nights sleep to get over it, look again at the photographs yourself and imagine the reaction if all the 178 adult female photographs were replaced with 178 adult male photographs. Am I still paranoid?

    I think we should take the Equality Commission toooooooooo ………the Equality Commission. Second thoughts, how about taking it to the ‘gender neutral’ Women’s Rights, drat, Human Rights Commission. No point, it would be much easier to simply rename it the Inequality Commission that it is.

  • lib2016

    “…is one community getting the shitty end of the stick in the new dispensation?”

    Gerry Adams, referring to the loyalist community in his first speech at Stormont, asked much the same question though his point was more to do with the numbers from that community reaching third level education.

    This isn’t about triumphalism but realism. Nowhere, least of all NI, can survive while losing a large proportion of it’s best and brightest. Surely there’s a post-grad somewhere who could sort out the statistics so that we all knew where the problem lies?

    The problem may be that the number of children from a nationalist/catholic background attending state schools was underestimated at the last census, it may be that numbers of unionists are leaving, or it may be simply a difference in qualifications.

  • Raymond

    And let us not forget that there is only one Monopoly and Mergers Commission

  • Nevin

    “The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is an independent public body established under the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

    Our vision: The Equality Commission has the vision of Northern Ireland as a shared, integrated and inclusive place, a society where difference is respected and valued, based on equality and fairness for the entire community.

    Our mission: To advance equality, promote equality of opportunity, encourage good relations and challenge discrimination through promotion, advice and enforcement.” .. ECNI website

    Mission impossible? A challenge for Specsavers? It seems ECNI isn’t fit for purpose. Why haven’t the other so called promoters of rights issues taken ECNI to task? Perhaps the OFMDFM will issue a statement. Anyone fancy a humbug? 😉

  • lib2018

    Nevin,

    As you well know ECNI have been publicly recording their alarm at the difficulty of recruiting enough Protestants right across the Civil Service for years.

    Just as unionists have been publicising their hate for any moves towards a more equal society for years. Maybe it isn’t the ECNI who are humbugs.

  • getthefacts

    Nevin “It seems ECNI isn’t fit for purpose. Why haven’t the other so called promoters of rights issues taken ECNI to task?”

    Because the inequality identified here is about Protestants not Catholics and men not women. They think, or want to think, that equality is a one way street. But I am sure you know all that already.

  • Nevin

    lib, at about 57/43 NICS is rather more representative than ECNI ….

  • fathertouchmeup

    It makes sense to have more Catholics working for equality as the prodesons are the ones who created inequality.

  • Aquifer

    In a region with historically high unemployment differential birth rates will also have created unemployment, as will attacks on ‘economic targets’. Soggy socialist politics were also a great antidote to enterprise, keeping brighter people in the public sector on low pay. The tendency for both communities to keep ‘jobs for our own’ will also have led to economic inefficiency.

    The men and women at the equality commission could be doing a great job. Maybe they have analysed the trends in employment and emigration of qualified people, projected employment patterns forward, and concluded that the unfair discrimination that is most entrenched is mostly directed against women.

  • quietattheback

    There once was a Belfast Commission
    Who had equality as their sole mission
    They preached it all day and night
    But something….wasn’t quite right
    When we examined their own position

    VERSE TWO

    Sure as a dollar is one hundred cents
    There was an acute shortage of gents
    In their equality endeavours
    Paddys outnumbered Trevors
    As this thread on old Slugger laments

    VERSE THREE

    And so to equality lets all drink a toast
    For fair play is what you love the most
    Ah but…….unfortunately brothers
    Some are more equal than others
    In places haunted by a feminist ghost

  • getthefacts

    My otherwise brilliant brain is no working too well this Monday morning, will somebody help me please? Who has responsibility for ensuring that the (In)Equality Commission itself complies with Article 75 – the SOS? Or have I, strangely, read somewhere that the EC itself is not subject to Article 75? Or should I just go back to bed!

  • Dk

    These figures aren’t too worrying – I’d be more concerned if one grouping was reaching the 80% mark.

    What’s more worrying is that apprently there are no athiests or non-christians working at the Equality Commission.

  • getthefacts

    Dk “…no atheists or non-christians…”

    My understanding is that faith background is calculated from (a) those that are prepared to declare their faith position, and otherwise (b) a judgment made from the school(s) a person attended as recorded in their job application. These figures would therefore contain Protestant atheists and non-christians and Catholic atheists and non-christians – the way things are going that probably means there are an awful lot of both atheists and non-christians employed at the Inequality Commission!

    Would you by any chance be a Catholic atheist non-christian female! God bless you.

  • wild turkey

    getthefacts

    for purposes of section 75 the equality commission is NOT a designated public body.

    a few years ago there were moves on the part of the commission to develope its own ‘voluntary’ equality scheme.

    it seems to have,uh, fallen off the radar screen. you might wish to contact ECNI to find out the current state of play, or lack thereof.

    let us know what their response is?

  • getthefacts

    wild turkey

    Many thanks for rescuing my weary brain. Just been looking at the November 2006 report “Assessing the Role of the Equality Commission in the Effectiveness of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998” by Brice Dickson and Colin Harvey of the Human Rights Centre School of Law at Queen’s. Page 5

    “[This report] comments on the Commission’s power to request a public authority which is not obliged to submit an Equality Scheme to nevertheless make one……..The report commends the Equality Commission for its success in persuading the government to increase the number of authorities which must comply with section 75 and it welcomes the fact that the Commission itself, not before time, is in the process of producing its own Equality Scheme.”

    Did you ever! I have heard of Crown Exemption but would have thought it highly unlikely that the EC had a Crown about the place!

    I gave David Abraham a ring to take his advice on contacting the EC about their own long impending Equality Scheme. His advice was to get a friend to do it for me, so I am waiting patiently to hear the result, which I will rush to Slugger as soon as it arrives.

  • wild turkey

    Getthefacts

    Is David an ECNI Commissioner?

    Allegedly initial work started on the ECNI equality scheme somewhere between 2001 and 2003. Well, given competing pressures and priorities, especially the debacle of the legal funding budget, these things do take time. No doubt the Chief Executive can give a clear commitment as to when the ECNI equality will be out for ‘meaningful and inclusive’ consultation.

    Given the meritocracy which lies at the heart of the ECNI, there are no doubt numerous crowns and other marks of distinction about the place. After all the previous Commission Chair was a Dame!

    Happy Hunting

  • This would be patently illegal in Canada, what is the situation in nIreland? Are you allowed to ask?

    Not just that but if you employ more than (IIRC) 10 applicants, you’re compelled to ask, although there’s supposed to be a fairly heavy firewall between the religion bit and the rest of the job application.

    You just ask what school you went to. St.Malachy’s is a dead giveaway.

    What happens if you went to St. Malachy’s and are a member of the Church of Ireland?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I commented on this very subject a few months back on Slugger. Obviously nothing has changed – the so-called “Equality Commission” still discriminate against men and Protestants. It’s slightly sinister to say the least considering the lack of parity of esteem for Protestants was brought up months ago by the DUP…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    It should be one question. Do you worship at the alter of England. If yes then get out and go live there.

    Posted by The Truth on Nov 30, 2007 @ 01:26 PM

    Bigoted prick.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Interviews should have absolutely nothing to do with being Male, Female, Catholic, Protestant, Dissenter, Muslum, Jew etc.

    Posted by The Truth on Nov 30, 2007 @ 01:26 PM

    Try telling that to Patten, who might as well of made it illegal for Protestants to apply to join the PSNI.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gtf: “Strategic Enforcement – Female
    Policy & Development – Female
    Promotion & Education – Female
    Employment Development – Female
    Corporate Services – Male ”

    Okay. Now, what are the qualifications for those positions and what is the profile of the university graduate educated in the fields that “feed” these positions? It’s not as simply as looking at either the aggregated totals or a few top positions.

    If the population of applicants is skewed, then the employees drawn from that population, assuming no selection bias, should be similarly skewed at the entry level. With each “level” further away from the initial population, the initial skew will lessen a bit, but will still reflect that initial pool of applicants. Now, are there institutional biases? Sure — I suspect that few “women’s studies” programs are headed by men, for example.

    If the profile of a social science graduate who goes into public service is predominantly female and predominantly Roman Catholic, then there is little to complain about.

    And look on the bright side — obviously, there is no problem with women finding themselves trapped on “the mommy track.”

  • getthefacts

    wild turkey “Allegedly initial work started on the ECNI equality scheme somewhere between 2001 and 2003.”

    I am advised that the Head of Corporate Services said yesterday that the EC Equality Scheme will be in their 08/09 Business Plan. Manyana Manyana

    “Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was on television with British TV host Anne Diamond when he used the word ‘manyana’. Diamond asked him to explain what it meant. He said that the term means “maybe the job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that. Perhaps next week, next month, next year. Who cares?”

    The host turned to Irishman Shay Brennan who was also on the show and asked him if there was an equivalent term in Irish. “No. In Ireland we don’t have a word to describe that degree of urgency,” replied Brennan.”

    Credit http://www.arcamax.com/jokes/s-151491-601772?source=1930

    Dread Cthulhu “And look on the bright side—obviously, there is no problem with women finding themselves trapped on “the mommy track.”

    Unfortunately, as I am sure you well know Dread, the issue is no joke. There are at least 50,000 to 80,000 men out there who have been or are being abused at home, and Government Departments are acting as if they do not exist. They allocate millions to women’s organisations and blatantly humiliate male victims of domestic abuse by throwing them a few pennies in a vane attempt to salve their conscience. To add insult to injury the very body which should be championing their cause is sitting on its hands. The whole point about an Equality Commission is to deal with the equality skewing which takes place in society – not reinforce it by having its equality watchdog acting like a toothless blind dog when it comes to gender issues affecting men. And, they do not even have their own Equality Scheme by which we can test their performance, like most other public bodies, and bring them to book.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gtf: “The whole point about an Equality Commission is to deal with the equality skewing which takes place in society – not reinforce it by having its equality watchdog acting like a toothless blind dog when it comes to gender issues affecting men. And, they do not even have their own Equality Scheme by which we can test their performance, like most other public bodies, and bring them to book. ”

    Still not getting it, are you. An organization can only hire from the pool of people who apply. If men and Protestants aren’t applying — and you have yet to demonstrate that they are and are simply being discriminated against — then, as a direct consequence, they will not be hired. If they are not graduating from university with the requisite degrees to enter the “upstream” positions that fill the leadership of the Equality Commission, then they will not be a department head within the Equality Commission.

    No entity, not even the Equality Commission, should have to hire unqualified personnel, your sob stories and non sequiters notwithstanding.

  • quietattheback

    In reply to Dread Cthulhu:

    You tell getthefacts that he / she is “Still not getting it”. I would disagree. If you look at the post from getthefacts on 1st December when he / she refers to the huge amount of photos of women in The Equality Commission’s annual report while there is not a single photograph of an adult male, it is quite obvious that this Commssion is not behaving in a gender neutral manner. In that post getthefacts stated that there was “not a single adult male in sight. And as if to rub it in, the same offending selective use of photographs is repeated ad neuseam on every one of the 88 pages of the report”. He/she goes on to say: “look again at the photographs yourself and imagine the reaction if all the 178 adult female photographs were replaced with 178 adult male photographs”. This bias cannot be explained by saying that more women than men apply. According to getthefacts there are 178 photos of adult women in the Commission’s report and zero photos of adult males. If that isn’t biased, then Gerry Adams is an Orangeman.

    In my own post on December 1st, I said: “Suppose (a )The discrepancies in gender and religion were reversed ie., women and Catholics were clearly under – represented and (b) This under – representation of women and Catholics was found in a company under investigation by The Equality Commission. If this occurred, The Equality Commission would be highly critical of the company. But when the exact same thing is happening behind The Equality Commission’s own doors, it seems to believe this is perfectly ok.

    Personally, I don’t believe that there should always be an equal number of men and women, of Protestants and Catholics etc., I believe the best person should get the job. However, if a company with a majority of males in senior positions tried to defend itself by saying they were just the best people who applied, I don’t think this would wash well with The Equality Commission. So, if they want to apply these rules to others, they should apply them first and foremost to themselves. If they cannot do so, then they shouldn’t be imposing their “equality” on others”.

    You are saying “An organization can only hire from the pool of people who apply. If men and Protestants aren’t applying—and you have yet to demonstrate that they are and are simply being discriminated against—then, as a direct consequence, they will not be hired. If they are not graduating from university with the requisite degrees to enter the “upstream” positions that fill the leadership of the Equality Commission, then they will not be a department head within the Equality Commission”. I don’t believe that the average feminist would accept this argument if it were applied to an organisation which had more men employed and more men in senior positions, regardless of how many women were applying.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    q@tb: “Personally, I don’t believe that there should always be an equal number of men and women, of Protestants and Catholics etc., I believe the best person should get the job. However, if a company with a majority of males in senior positions tried to defend itself by saying they were just the best people who applied, I don’t think this would wash well with The Equality Commission.”

    They can if they document everything.

    There are a few factors which contribute to male having an advantage in numbers at senior positions, including a willingness of men to take risks, the willingness of men to claim credit for their (and, sadly, others) accomplishments and the conflict resolution styles — women tend to operate on consensus, which leads to a sharing of credit, while male are more willing for a “winner take all” conflict / challenge approach.

    q@tb: “I don’t believe that the average feminist would accept this argument if it were applied to an organisation which had more men employed and more men in senior positions, regardless of how many women were applying. ”

    Which is why we go back to the matter of documentation and record retention. You can do just about anything you want, provided you can document your reasoning in an acceptable fashion. If a firm retains the resumes they receive, has a valid policy for hiring, adequately advertises in accordance to the accepted practices and norms of their profession and follows their policy, assuming there is nothing blatantly against the law — and, having retained said documents, can prove it — the average feminist can go pound sand.

    And, frankly, if a feminist can’t handle the reality that the world is neither tidy nor wholly fair, she can toddle off back to her women’s studies classes and sing another verse of “I am Woman” until she feels better, because men and woman are different, the percentages in any given profession are never going come out even-steven and until and unless they are willing to embrace those aspects of true equality that work against them — and few are willing to do that in my experience — I really don’t care if they get their noses out of joint, assuming a fair and level pitch.

  • As quietattheback says, there seems to be an inconsistency between the EC’s (or the media’s or political observers’) apparent rule of thumb that disproportionate numbers of one group strongly indicate discrimination, and the EC’s own practice of, well, disproportionate numbers.

    Now, as DC suggests, this rule of thumb is not enough on its own. But it is “interesting”, and it does suggest that further investigations may be in order.

    The EC is not there to “represent” men, women, catholics, protestants, or transgendered atheist muslims. But it is there to represent the interests of disadvantaged groups.

    If their leadership and staff is predominantly female, then they may simply be unaware of issues that affect men, or they may believe that “their” issues are “more urgent”.

    Of course, they may be insightful paragons of even-handedness, but evidence in this discussion suggests a degree of gender bias – from the use of predominantly female images in publications, to a failure to address issues that significantly or disproportionately affect men: like domestic abuse (of men by women), poor (male) takeup of healthcare, poor (male) performance in education.

    Similar factors could also be at work in the catholic/protestant area, though I suspect that there are more advocacy groups to raise awareness of those issues.

    Finally, if the EC were predominantly (or exclusively) white, Christian, and English or English-and-Irish speaking, then issues of race, religion, and languages other than Irish can too be easily ignored or put on the long finger!

    They may be brilliant at all this other stuff – but if so, we’d probably have heard by now?

  • getthefacts

    We are in real danger, including me, of replicating the ‘Yes Minister’ scenario; focusing on getting the hospital properly organised and deciding that admitting patients would mess things up.

    Essential and all as it is to get well organised, which includes an appropriately balanced workforce, this is not the primary ‘output’ of the Equality Commission. The primary ‘output’ is, as its annual report strap line says ‘Equality for All’. The EC has itself underlined the primary importance of ‘output’ rather than ‘process’ – for others of course!

    The real significance of the staffing imbalance is not that it sets a bad example for others and appears hypocritical, both of which are true. The real story is that this staffing imbalance might skew the primary ‘output’ of ‘Equality for All’. As has been argued by others, it may be ‘impossible’ and/or ‘undesirable’ to apply positive discrimination to the employee appointments process, but it is both possible and essential to have mechanisms in place which ensure that the EC itself produces its primary ‘output’ ‘Equality for All’, without bias or favour. That mechanism is, as it preaches to others, an Equality Scheme and effective ways of ensuring compliance. The lack of these is the real hypocrisy in the Equality Commission today. Is its ‘output’ ‘Equality for All’ or ‘Equality for Some’?

    I have given one significant example, earlier in this string and there are others, which demonstrate that the EC are showing gender bias where it should and could take action. Government is failing to ensure equality for male victims of domestic abuse and the EC does nothing.

    I have also identified the gender skewed choice of photographs in the Annual Report. This is not a minor detail botched up by a junior graphic designer – final decisions, on important presentational details like this, are made at a very senior level. This choice of photographs screams out loud the Commissions understanding of gender equality. The report should be withdrawn; the photographs changed and re-issued with an unqualified apology to everyone, but particularly adult men.

    I am disappointed that Dread Cthulhu, who I am sure is otherwise a very caring person, should describe my reference to male victims of domestic abuse as ‘sob stories’. He/She clearly has no experience or understanding of domestic abuse, or perhaps we are seeing some gender bias. Would the same words have been used regarding female victims? Contrary to popular myth and uncaring public ‘servants’, real men do cry and real men do feel pain, just as much as women.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    gtf: “I am disappointed that Dread Cthulhu, who I am sure is otherwise a very caring person, should describe my reference to male victims of domestic abuse as ‘sob stories’. He/She clearly has no experience or understanding of domestic abuse, or perhaps we are seeing some gender bias. Would the same words have been used regarding female victims? ”

    It is a non-sequiter in the flow of the conversation and a blatantly emotional appeal to avoid the more rational aspects of the conversation.

    The fact of the matter is is that your arguments, up to this point, were myopic, insofar as you focus on a single point in the employment stream of the EC and assume discrimination / bias without sufficient analysis of the upstream considerations, such as who are the students who enter those fields that the EC would normally employ and who in society is attracted to that sort of position.

    When challenged, you fall back to an emotional redoubt, daring anyone to challenge you on that subject, as if your challenge there would somehow validate your flawed analysis elsewhere. Your crude riposte was expected.

    The fact of the matter is is that the world is not a tidy place and the numbers will never work out perfectly. Your inability to debate without seking to hide behind emotional charges amply demonstrates that you are insecure in the face of challenge. You have no answer to my questions and to response to my challenges, so seek to retreat to some redoubt from which you may make ad hominem attacks on the character of those who challenge you.

    When you’re ready to discuss this like a grown-up, feel free to come down.

  • getthefacts

    Dread

    Love You. Or is that too emotional for you!