Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Myth of the Gender Pay Gap

Marty Nemko wrote this the other day as he is perpetually confounded that this lie - that women are only paid 77c vs men - maintains itself ("a bad statistic is hard to kill than a vampire" was how Barbara Kay characterized it - although in reference to a different issue).  However he blames the news media and notes that it is usually trotted out on Labour Day. Here were the useful links:
Then I asked myself, "If an employer has to pay a man one dollar for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?".

Perhaps, I thought, male bosses undervalue women. But I discovered that in 2000, women without bosses - who own their own businesses - earned only 49 percent of male business owners. Why? When the Rochester Institute of Technology surveyed business owners with M.B.A.'s from one top business school, they found that money was the primary motivator for only 29 percent of the women, versus 76 percent of the men. Women put a premium on autonomy, flexibility (25- to 35-hour weeks and proximity to home), fulfillment and safety.
He discovered 25 differences in the work-life choices of men and women. All 25 lead to men earning more money, but to women having better lives.
Not quite. It's about parents' choices. Women who have never been married and are childless earn 117 percent of their childless male counterparts. (This comparison controls for education, hours worked and age.) Their decisions are more like married men's, and never-married men's decisions are more like women's in general (careers in arts, no weekend work, etc.) .
She even made mention that The Economist had published a piece put the lie to death at the beginning of the year. In addition here is article that points out the women do not opt out but are pushed out - which would happen to their husbands double quick if they tried to do it.
Ferrel again: Finally, we perceive men who earn more money as having privilege but we are blind to dads who sacrifice their own dreams because earning more, even if the job is disdainful (e.g., traveling widget salesman) better helps their children live their dreams. When we view men's higher earnings only as discrimination against women, our anger blinds us to his mid-life crisis when he realizes he will never be the writer or artist he once hoped to be. And more important, it blinds us to how his love for his wife and children made him make the enormous sacrifice of giving up his dreams. In turn, our blindness deepens his crisis of meaning and often, his depression or anger.

Men, you have the right to be more than a beast of burden, the right to have open-non-manipulative discussions with your spouse about such issues. Each couple should decide for themselves, without gender-based expectations, the appropriate division of income-earning and domestic responsibilities.

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