See Dick and Jane (fictional characters). Dick and Jane are the same age, earned the same college degree, have four years of work experience, are employed by the same company and hold the same jobs (same title). The only difference? Dick makes $50,000 per year and Jane makes only $39,500.
Tomorrow is Tuesday, April 12 – also known as Equal Pay Day – and it symbolizes how far into this year that Jane must work to earn the same amount that Dick earned in 2015. Her education, skills, experience and job responsibilities are the same as Dick’s, but Jane makes 79 cents for every dollar that Dick is paid. Why? Because Jane is female and Dick is male.
Did reading this story about two fictional characters make you angry? It should, because for many women, this isn’t a fictional story, it’s what they live through every day.
Here’s a list of occupations and what the wage gap is between men and women:
- Farming, Fishing, and Forestry 9.4%
- Installation, Maintenance, and Repair 7.6%
- Production 5.9%
- Construction and Extraction 5.2%
- Management 4.5%
- Sales and Related 4.5%
- Transportation and Material Moving 4.1%
- Business and Financial Operations 4.0%
- Life, Physical, and Social Science 3.9%
- Protective Service 3.3%
- Education, Training, and Library 3.2%
- Computer and Mathematical 3.0%
- Food Preparation and Serving Related 3.0%
- Healthcare Practitioners and Technical 2.8%
- Legal 2.5%
- Office and Administrative Support 2.5%
- Healthcare Support 1.9%
- Architecture and Engineering 1.7%
- Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media 1.7%
- Community and Social Services 1.6%
- Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance 1.6%
- Personal Care and Service 1.4%
This article offers terrible suggestions to fix it…
Eliminate salary negotiation for entry-level and early-career type jobs. Employers could level the playing field pretty quickly, simply by introducing negotiation-free job offers, similar to when Saturn introduced negotiation-free pricing for their cars. This could work especially well for entry-level jobs.
Teach daughters how to negotiate. If employers aren’t willing to eliminate salary negotiation for entry-level jobs, it will be important for parents (especially fathers) to teach their daughters how to negotiate. Then, provide guidance and emotional support as they negotiate their salaries at the beginning of their careers.
Teach salary negotiation in college. Include salary negotiation training for both women and men as one of the requirements for undergraduate college degree completion. Here are eight tips to negotiate your starting salary.
Tomorrow we observe Equal Pay Day – the date in the current year that represents the extra days a typical woman working full-time would have to work just to make the same as a typical man did in the previous year. Since taking office, President Obama has made equal pay a top priority and has taken a number of steps to fight for pay equity. In addition to signing his first piece of legislation as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, President Obama has created the National Equal Pay Task Force, called on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, issued an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees who discuss or inquire about their compensation, and worked with the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to better target enforcement of equal pay laws though enhanced employer reporting of pay data.
The facts here are simple…
First of all, the wage gap is based on inappropriate use of data and statistical analysis. In the U.S. the 77% number is calculated by looking at the median yearly earnings of women to men. The median is defined as the middle value of all the wages in a given sample. Using the median is useful if we are comparing winter temperatures between New York and Tampa, where one dimensional data has validity, but applying it to humans that have free will and biological differences proves nothing except that demagoguery works.
Is the median wage lower for women? Absolutely it is, but the statistic is not an apples to apples, job for job comparison and thus has nothing to do with “paying women less than a man for doing the same job.” Using the median without taking into consideration specifics of individuals in the workplace is intentionally misleading or ignorant.
So what causes the variation in pay? Personal and workplace choices account for much of the gap. Labor Department research shows that men choose more dangerous and high stress jobs. Men choose higher paying career fields. And men hold more full time jobs, work longer hours, weekends, and nights than women. All these factors lead to higher wages regardless of gender.
Sowell backs up these findings, “comparing never-married women and men who are past the child-bearing years and who both work full-time in the twenty-first century shows women of this description earning more than men of the same description.”
Basic economics tells us that it makes no sense for an employer to pay a man more than a woman, if they can get the same productivity out of hiring the woman; unless the employer likes discrimination more than profits. To believe that women are paid 75 percent of what men receive for doing the same work is to believe employers can afford to pay 3 male workers the same as they pay 4 female workers that would produce 25 percent more output, and stay competitive in a economy that sees most businesses last less than ten years.
I have a plan to fix this…
- Pay women a stipend to study engineering
- Refuse to provide women with college loans/grants/scholarships for education
- Pay men a stipend to studying education
- Refuse to provide men with college loans/grants/scholarships for engineering
Overall student body at Alabama?
- 55% are women
- 45% are men
At the University of Alabama’s engineering school?
GENDER (Undergraduate Only)
Male – 76 percent
Female – 24 percent
1986: Male 31
2011: Male 16
Draw your own conclusions… unless you are a woman, in that case, have a man help you.
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