Wages In America – The Gender Gap

Gender Pay Gap

As reported earlier, there is a gender wage gap:

On this day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the in an effort to abolish wage discrimination based on gender. Half a century later, the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, designed to make wage differences more transparent.

After 50 years, it turns out that laws can’t change things like facts.  And economics; at least that science that describes incentives and pay-offs.

Though we are getting closer:

Some dispute the frequently cited figure that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. But even those who argue the gap is narrower agree it’s most prominent when a woman enters her childbearing years.

In 2010, an analytics firm called Reach Advisors crunched Census Bureau numbers and found something surprising: The median salary of single, childless women under the age of 30 was 8 percent higher than their male counterparts. That’s largely because more women are going to college than men.

What made that number noteworthy is that it’s the only group of women who have a pay advantage. In fact, different numbers from Reach Advisors show that that early advantage vaporizes later in women’s lives — especially if they have children.

“Studies have shown for over a decade that what is really killing women economically is motherhood,” says Joan Williams, professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law. She popularized the term “maternal wall,” referring to discrimination against hiring or promoting mothers based on the assumption she will be less committed to her job.

All valid, of course.  When a priority ranks higher than a job, it stands to reason that the job will suffer.  This is not surprising.  However, it would appear that even this isn’t enough to satisfy some:

A study out of Indiana University found that “overworking,” or working hours above and beyond the standard 40-hour full-time work week, contributes to the persistence of gender segregation in occupations, with the main result being that woman are frequently pushed out of male-dominated careers.

Study author Youngjoo Cha, a sociologist at Indiana University, noted that the proportion of employees who work long hours (and are pressured to do so more frequently) has continued to rise over the past 50 years, and further, that overworking is generally praised and rewarded in the workplace. However, because women are still expected to carry the brunt of housework and child rearing, men’s and women’s ability to meet these expectations must necessarily differ.

Hard work pays.

Women want to raise families.

Men suck.

 

2 responses to “Wages In America – The Gender Gap

  1. All valid, of course. When a priority ranks higher than a job, it stands to reason that the job will suffer.

    Do you value your kids more than your job? What about your marriage? Why is it presumed that a mother will be less committed to her job than a father?

    • Do you value your kids more than your job? What about your marriage? Why is it presumed that a mother will be less committed to her job than a father?

      A woman is less committed to her career than a man is.

      A man is more willing to sacrifice family time for office time, for travel time. For women, that isn’t as true.

      Now, is it societal pressure? Is it true that women are “forced” to tend to the families? Or is it something more innate, more in the makeup of a female vs male in our species?

      My only point is that it’s not discrimination.

      You once pointed out that the reason women are earning more degrees than men is not due to sex discrimination on campus, but rather that women make different life choices.

      Why is that a valid explanation for the phenomenon of gender gap in college degree attainment but NOT a valid explanation in the phenomenon in career selection and commensurate compensation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *