Overpaid woke jobs must be first for the chop

May be an image of 2 people and footwear

Claire Lehmann The Australian August 5, 2022

Jim Chalmers can reduce excess spending within the federal budget by slashing the amount of public money that is spent on woke jobs. As of this week, there are more than 17,000 jobs listed for diversity and inclusion officers on the job-listing website Seek. Many of these jobs are with government departments or statutory authorities, and many of them offer more than six figures in annual compensation – more than what our registered nurses and entry-level teachers can expect to be paid.

The federal government could set an example by slashing woke jobs from the federal public service, encouraging state governments to do the same. There is an overseas precedent the Treasurer could follow.

Liz Truss, who is campaigning to become the next leader of Britain’s Conservative Party (and next British prime minister) has pledged to slash about 350 woke jobs from the civil service. Arguing that such a move would save around £12m ($20.9m) a year, she has declared that woke jobs “distract from delivering on the British people’s priorities”.

Echoing her sentiments on Sky News, British Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg argued that civil service diversity roles were a job creation scheme “created by the woke for the woke”.

It is not surprising that conservatives such as Rees-Mogg and Truss are unsympathetic towards woke jobs because of their ideological dimension.

Managerial roles such as human resources managers, diversity officers, sustainability consultants, social media managers, communications officers, sensitivity readers and, more recently, gender affirmation advisers enable an entire class of university graduates to proselytise their values while working in roles that are largely insulated from market forces.

These are the jobs of the “Brahmin left”, the ascendant class of university graduates who view themselves as a priestly class holding sacred knowledge inaccessible to the masses. While the conservative antipathy to woke jobs is to be expected, the Labor Party has another reason to oppose woke jobs: they create and entrench unfairness.

At the University of Melbourne, for example, a senior adviser in gender affirmation can expect to be paid between $108,009 and $116,906 a year with 17 per cent superannuation. By contrast, the cleaner who will be tasked with tidying up the gender whisperer’s office can expect to be paid only $26 an hour. It should not be difficult for traditional leftists to grasp that such an earnings gap is unjust.

Those who still adhere to old left values inside the Labor Party should ask their colleagues why a diversity and inclusion officer should make more money than the registered nurse working overtime on a Covid-19 ward. They should ask why a consultant in gender equity should get paid more than the garbage collector who gets up in the dark to do the work that the rest of us simply refuse to do.

More broadly, we need to ask ourselves why office workers with degrees are automatically entitled to more pay when the work they do is often safer, easier (and often less productive) than those working with their hands on the front lines. Just 10 years ago a graduate of a gender studies degree might have looked forward to employment at the local Starbucks on matriculation. Now they can expect to be employed as a diversity consultant on a comfortable salary at a university or government bureaucracy.

The simple fact is the creation of woke jobs allows university graduates to avoid downward mobility when their skills (or lack thereof) would otherwise merit such an outcome. Of course, there is no doubt that human resources managers and administrators do essential work for many large organisations. HR managers must do the difficult work of hiring and firing, and must deal with all of the complex conflicts that groups encounter. But excess managerial roles can end up wasting precious time and resources.

The widespread implementation of unconscious bias training across government agencies and corporations all over the world has been a colossal waste of time and money, to the tune of billions. While unconscious bias training is touted by many consultants as evidence-based, academic psychologists have been warning the public for years that such training sessions are not scientifically valid, do nothing to ameliorate bias in the real world and have the potential to backfire.

On top of unconscious bias training, employees at government departments can expect to be subjected to gender equity training, cultural sensitivity training and LGBTQ awareness training. Rees-Mogg has a point when he suggests such jobs appear to be a make-work program by the woke for the woke.

If he really wants to reduce waste and rorts, Chalmers should take a red pen to woke jobs right across the public sector. While it may aggravate members of the Brahmin left, such a move is likely to be welcomed by Labor’s traditional base – the blue-collar workers who have been excluded from the gravy train created by woke jobs.

1/ ’The simple fact is the creation of woke jobs allows university graduates to avoid downward mobility when their skills (or lack thereof) would otherwise merit such an outcome.’ Picture: iStock

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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