The Gender Pay Gap – A myth that persists

The Obama administration is in full force again. This time talking about the much often refuted gender pay gap that women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. It has been written about extensively here, here and here, but Washington officials and pundits keep hammering the same number over and over again.

Even if the gender pay gap was true then shouldn’t the White House be paying everyone the same amount? It has been widely reported that women earn less than men on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Since the matter has been beaten to death, here are some of the common facts that entirely repudiate the gender pay gap myth that should have been subsided by now but it’ll likely continue because it’s a politically correct notion.

Negotiations

Earlier this year, Toronto mayoral candidate and former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory got into a bit of trouble when he suggested women should be negotiating for better salaries if they wanted to earn more.

“The women don’t come as often to complain,” Tory told one news media outlet. “The men do, so my experience is a little different in that I do think that more men put a fuss up about their money.”

He was harshly criticized by the media, women’s rights organizations and his opponents, but facts are on his side.

First: a University of Chicago study discovered that men are much more likely to negotiate their starting salaries than their female counterparts. In addition, more than twice as many women conceded that they felt “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiating their pay.

Second: a National Bureau of Economic Research report also found that women were less likely to negotiate their starting salaries. In fact, men were a lot more aggressive than women in this area.

Occupations

Economists call it the danger wage premium, a term to describe a job that is dangerous and physically demanding but pays a lot higher. It’s a fact that more men take on these kinds of jobs than women. Women tend to take jobs in administration, childcare, education and psychology, while a man would work as a construction worker, truck driver, mover and jobs that are strenuous.

An American Community Survey discovered that the most common job for women is a secretary. For men, the most common job was a truck driver, freight mover and miscellaneous manager.

Hours

Women are likelier to work part-time than their male counterparts. What should be noted is that women – possibly because they’re a lot smarter than men are – will look for flexibility in their careers due to a variety of reasons, such as looking after a sick child, going to the doctor for the child or to take a number of days off to spend with the child.

Studies have highlighted the fact that this kind of flexibility has actually led to enhanced productivity.

“The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours,” said Harvard economist Claudia Goldin in a report. “Such change has taken off in various sectors, such as technology, science, and health, but is less apparent in the corporate, financial, and legal worlds.”

Marital status, becoming a parent

When a woman becomes a parent, she is quite likely to take an extended leave of absence and thus hurts her work experience, diminishes her job skills and potentially loses out on any career promotion and advanced pay. This attributes to the pay gap.

According to economist Thomas Sowell, if one were to compare a man and a woman with the same work experience, career, education and marital status then the pay is indeed equal.

There you have it: no sexism, no vast conspiracy. It’s just political opportunist trying to find a problem in society, justify their astronomical pay and enact legislation that would have no bearing but rather further unintended consequences.

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Comments

  1. As If Only Women Need to Work

    Since the 2007 Great Recession women have regained all the jobs lost while men have regained just 75 percent. In 1970, 94 percent of men worked, but by 2010 only 81 percent were working. The real earnings of the median male have actually declined by 19 percent since 1970 when the unemployed are included. Earnings for men with a high school diploma and no further education fell by 41 percent from 1970 to 2010. These numbers explain the destruction of family life with half the U.S. population losing 70% of their net wealth since 1995.

    The numbers can only be explained by reverse discrimination – but don’t expect workers in the personal department to admit it. After all, the law is now on their side.

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