Add The Office Secret Santa To The Long List Of Things That Make Us Anxious

Ho Ho Oh No.

It’s that time of year again, the time where your most festive workmate is starting to organise the office Secret Santa. The time old tradition of pulling the name of your colleague that you know nothing about, then just giving up and buying them a candle is about to start again for another year. 

The whole thing is always more stressful that it needs to be, and I was pretty stoked this morning to find out that I’m not the only one who feels like this. 

My dream

Somebody went to the lengths of conducting a study about how millennials are increasingly seeing the annual Secret Santa as more of a source of anxiety rather than Christmas cheer. 

We’re scared of being judged for being too stingy, which is a pretty legit concern seeing as we’re broke af and literally everyone has more money than us. Because of this concern, 26% of millennials were spending more than they could afford on gifts for their coworkers, and even then 17% still felt judged for the amount of money they spent. 

Then of course there’s worrying about whether or not the person will actually like their present.

Psychologists are actually on board with this too. Dr Ashley Weinberg, a psychology lecturer at the University of Salford, has said that “it’s worth remembering that where this involves financial contributions, not all colleagues have the same disposable income.”

I will never be able to do this

The good news is that she reckons that there’s a dead simple solution to this – spending limits. Whack a $5, $10, or $15 spending limit on the Secret Santa for the year, and this will take away a lot of the pressure to match the amount of money spent by your boss who drives a super fancy car.

We’re all anxious wrecks, we know that. If you think that the worst part of the silly season is the annual Secret Santa, rest easy in the knowledge that you’re definitely not alone.

Grab A Wine Ladies, You’ll Need It For These Godawful Gender Pay Gap Results

Actually, grab the bottle.

It’s been almost 50 years since the 1972 Equal Pay Decision that said Australian women had to legally get equal pay for equal work. I imagine that if we asked them what they thought the gender pay gap situation would have been like in 2019, they would have predicted it would be totally gone by now. Sadly, they would have been wrong.

The newest data about the gender pay gap in 2019 has shown that men working full time made an average of 20.8% more – or $25 679 more – than women over the last year. So yep, that’s just great.


The breakdown of the data has some pretty fun statistics, and I use the word ‘fun’ very loosely here. 

The amount of women in boardroom positions has stayed the same for the last six years – fluctuating between 24% and 26%, but never higher. 

Of the companies that were a part of the report, 75% said had gender equality strategies, which sounds great on paper! But only 32.2% were actually doing anything about it, by introducing gender KPIs. So that’s not as great. 

And guess what? In Australia’s most female dominated industry, healthcare and social assistance, the pay gap has actually gotten worse. In 2014/15, men were being paid 14.7% more, and that has risen to 15.9%. Even in an industry that is 79% women, men are still being paid more.

Libby Lyons is the director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the agency that put the report out. 

She’s said that “We would like to see the gender pay gap drop more quickly but we need to understand that the gender pay gap, along with all the other things that we measure, is cultural change – and cultural change always takes time”.

Basically the gender pay gap isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and I haven’t even touched on the racial pay gap, disability pay gap, or LGBTIQ+ wage gap.

So much for the land of the fair go.

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