"A woman doing the same job as a man should be paid the same," she said. "But we are often told that the man has to support a family."
Several men in the audience nodded emphatically: that was what they always said.
"But what about the woman who has to support a family?"
This brought murmurs of agreement from the women.
"Last week in Acton I met a girl who is trying to feed and clothe her five children on two pounds a week, while her husband, who has run off and left her, is earning four pounds ten shillings making ships' propellers in Tottenham, and spending his money in the pub!"
"That's right!" said a woman behind Ethel.
"Recently I spoke to a woman in Bermondsey whose husband was killed at Ypres--she has to support his four children, yet she is paid a woman's wage."
"Shame!" said several women.
"If it's worth the employer's while to pay a man a shilling apiece to make gudgeon pins, it's worth his while to pay a woman at the same rate."
(Ken Follett, Fall of Giants)
The parsing is very hard. On one hand, ‘employer’s while’ and ‘his while’ seem noun phrases but they make no sense to me. On the other hand, I suspect 'employer's' and 'his' have some meaning but I'm not sure. How do I understand the sentence, semantically and syntactically?