We need to ask ourselves if the pay rate or volunteer expectation of females within the Church is the same as a male. If the answer is “no,” then is this morally acceptable, asks businesswoman Clare Burns in The Catholic Leader.
Recently I became aware of a woman with two decades of experience at a senior level in industry, who regularly volunteers for a Catholic-based organisation, and has helped raise more than $50,000 for them.
At a networking event the organisation’s chairman jumped tables to say he had “a great opportunity” for her.
This great opportunity turned out to be working two to four days a week for free with a number of responsibilities in a graduate-level position.
It is hoped this “oversight” was an unconscious bias, rather than disingenuous.
In 1995 St John Paul II wrote on the gift of the feminine genius and the need for the Church to uphold the dignity, role, and rights of women.
Practical aspects of these writings appear to have been lost in the day-to-day operations of some Catholic-based organisations.
Skilled women are not being paid the same as their male counterparts.
I know a number of talented, highly-skilled, generous, and competent women who are often underpaid or not paid for their roles in Catholic-based organisations.
These incidences are not to be confused with the times they consciously choose to volunteer.
The issue of wage inequity is not limited to the Church or her organisations.
In Australia, the wage-gap between male and female is 16.2 per cent.
My hope is that our Church, which professes the dignity of women, would take a lead, practicing what it is called to preach – rather than purporting society’s norm.