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Happy Equal Pay Day

This may not be a news flash but MN Headhunter, me, I am a dude. I know the picture in the upper left corner of me holding a fish last fall is probably a give away but just in case you are using an RSS feed or are receiving this in some other form.

   

I am not sure that I have ever once worried about my pay in relation to my gender. I am not sure that in my years of being an I.T. Recruiter I have ever seen evidence of a woman making less than a man.

   

Maybe I have been naïve…

   

I was sent this article Now It’s Time For Women To Get Even (Washington Post) from a friend of mines wife who works in a mid-size, family owned company in Minneapolis. Turns out the first line female managers and under have been talking about a potential unfair pay situation based on gender.

   

I have to admit, I know very little on this subject and now knowing feel compelled to look more into it.

   

The article starts with this:

Tuesday marks a very special day: It's Equal Pay Day. Why Tuesday, you ask? Because that's how far into the year the average woman must work to earn as much as a man earned by the end of the previous year.

   

And this just infuriates me, I heard it was less but this much?:

It is 2006, and as has been true for about a decade, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men make.

   

A response to the reasoning behind it:

So let's just get this straight right now, says Murphy: That 23-cent differential is not because some women take time off to give birth or raise children. The pay-gap figure measures only women and men who work full time, for a full year. It does not include women who took time off during the year or worked part time.

   

The article uses the State of Minnesota as an example of unfair pay in the 1980’s and how it was resolved:

As a result, 8,500 employees received pay equity raises. In 2002, according to Murphy, women who worked for the state earned about 97 cents for every dollar men made.

   

So I hope in some small way I am doing my part. I could care less what race, gender, creed or whatever separates us as people. As long as they do what is expected pay and treat them well.

   

Check out the Wage Project web site for more information.

Comments

Jim Durbin

If it were true, it would be terrible, but several salient facts stick out.

1) Large portions of the female population want men to make more (check out mating preferences of single women and the difficulties experienced by successful women in finding men wealthier and more successful then they are)
2) Women are not as aggressive at negotiation. (they simply don't ask for as much - perhaps because of point 1)
3) Women are not as likely to compete (Even women in highly successful academic programs show a marked preference for cooperation over competition)
4) The presence of a large bloc of women who do not want or ask for higher wages causes severe problems with the numbers put by the wage project.

And the kicker
5) Unmarried Single women without children make more than unmarried single men in the same industries.

If anything, it is the single people who should be complaining, as married men make more than all other groups.

Of course, we want married men to make more, as then women who choose to stay home can afford to do so, which brings societal benefits to everyone.

The Wage Project is something that is easy to get steamed about, but it's not based on very good statistics or an understanding of the strengths of men and women.

The GAO study which just came out, http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/censusstatistic/a/womenspay.htm, says the problem is women are out of the workforce and more likely to take jobs that are part-time. That explains the 80 cents to one dollar gap.

There's a great book called Taking Sex Differences Seriously which follows a large number of studies to show that despite what is taught in schools now, men and women have different strengths.

The Wage Gap Myth, on the other hand, has significant reason to keep pushing the myth of women working more for less.

More resources:

Search "myth of the wage gap" on Google

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