As this is something that we've been banging on about for a decade now we do indeed welcome the manner in which others are now getting with the program:
Back in the 90s, it was all going to be so different. Not for our generation the lopsided approach of our parents, with their quaint postwar notions of father-breadwinners and mother-homemakers. We would be equal; interchangeable. Our young women would run companies, embassies, hospitals and schools, while our young men, no slouches themselves, would punctuate their careers with long, halcyon spells dandling babies and teaching toddlers how to make tiny volcanoes out of vinegar and baking soda.
That equality would have formidable knock-on effects. The gender pay gap would narrow. Sexual harassment wouldn’t disappear, but decoupling professional power from gender would do a lot to erase it from the workplace.
If men and women had equal working patterns then it is entirely true that the "gender" pay gap would not exist. If an equal portion of fathers were the primary child carer as mothers are then it would be very much smaller (not disappear though, it is still true that the portion of mothers among women is higher than fathers among men).
So, what's happening?What happened? Latest statistics for England show more than 80% of fathers still work full time, rising to almost 85% for dads of very young children. This rate has barely changed for 20 years. The ratio of part-timers has flatlined just above 6% throughout this decade (having soared through the 90s and early 00s). Just 1.6% of men have given up work altogether to take care of the family home. New rights for fathers to share parental leave with mothers have poor take-up rates.
At which point we face our standard liberal differential. There are those who call themselves liberals who argue for a specific outcome. Say, that equality of market incomes between mothers and fathers, or more generally between men and women. Then there are those who are actually liberals who are entirely willing to agree that opportunities should be equal but that that doesn't equate to equality of outcome. A society in which choices are available but which lead to different outcomes as a result of consenting adults maximising their utility through such choices is an entirely just one, a righteous outcome. Indeed, that's rather the point, that all should be able to access the choices which maximise that utility.
Not just rather the point actually, it's the whole and entire point. The society emergent from maximal liberty might not be equal along certain axes but it is along the only one which really matters - equality and thus maximisation of liberty.
We cheer because the basic point is being made, that gender pay gap is today largely if not entirely reliant upon the different choices that men and women tend to make about the care arrangements for their mutually begotten children. Where we differ is that, well, if the choices are available and adults make them then, well, what is it to anyone else what the outcome is?
Aren't we all supposed to be liberals on such matters?