Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Gender Wage Gap

While riding the bus home from work yesterday, I was listening to the Tom Leykis radio show on my walkman, and he did an hour of his show based on the latest news being reported by the American Mainstream Media regarding the American Association of University Women - i.e. the continued promotion of feminist propaganda that the gender wage gap is caused due to discrimination.

Leykis brought on a guest for his show to discuss the latest news and the guest proceeded to point out the obvious flaws and claims of the AAUW's hypothesis and conclusions. This guest was Dr. Warren Farrell, and I was impressed with his story and his arguments about how the Gender Wage Gap is all about the choices women have the opportunity to make with regards to career, rather than the continued claims of the feminists that it is due to male discrimination.


The basic premise of the AAUW report is this:

The pay gap between female and male college graduates cannot be fully accounted for by factors known to affect wages, such as experience (including work hours), training, education, and personal characteristics. Gender pay discrimination can be overt or it can be subtle. It is difficult to document because someone’s gender is usually easily identified by name, voice, or appearance. The only way to discover discrimination is to eliminate the other possible explanations. In this analysis the portion of the pay gap that remains unexplained after all other factors are taken into account is 5 percent one year after graduation and 12 percent 10 years after graduation. These unexplained gaps are evidence of discrimination, which
remains a serious problem for women in the work force.


Dr. Farrell quite forcefully refuted this on Leykis' radio show and has written more than a few articles on it. Here's the gist of his position from a New York Times Op Ed he wrote:

Nothing disturbs working women more than the statistics often mentioned on Labor Day showing that they are paid only 76 cents to men's dollar for the same work. If that were the whole story, it should disturb all of us; like many men, I have two daughters and a wife in the work force.

When I was on the board of the National Organization for Women in New York City, I blamed discrimination for that gap. 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.

After years of research, I 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.

High pay, as it turns out, is about tradeoffs. Men's tradeoffs include working more hours (women work more around the home); taking more dangerous, dirtier and outdoor jobs (garbage collecting, construction, trucking); relocating and traveling; and training for technical jobs with less people contact (like engineering).

Is the pay gap, then, about the different choices of men and women? 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.)

Does this imply that mothers sacrifice careers? Not really. Surveys of men and women in their 20's find that both sexes (70 percent of men, and 63 percent of women) would sacrifice pay for more family time. The next generation's discussion will be about who gets to be the primary parent.

Don't women, though, earn less than men in the same job? Yes and no. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps together all medical doctors. Men are more likely to be surgeons (versus general practitioners) and work in private practice for hours that are longer and less predictable, and for more years. In brief, the same job is not the same. Are these women's choices? When I taught at a medical school, I saw that even my first-year female students eyed specialties with fewer and more predictable hours.

But don't female executives also make less than male executives? Yes. Discrimination? Let's look. The men are more frequently executives of national and international firms with more personnel and revenues, and responsible for bottom-line sales, marketing and finances, not human resources or public relations. They have more experience, relocate and travel overseas more, and so on.

Comparing men and women with the "same jobs," then, is to compare apples and oranges. However, when all 25 choices are the same, the great news for women is that then the women make more than the men. Is there discrimination against women? Yes, like the old boys' network. And sometimes discrimination against women becomes discrimination against men: in hazardous fields, women suffer fewer hazards. For example, more than 500 marines have died in the war in Iraq. All but two were men. In other fields, men are virtually excluded - try getting hired as a male dental hygienist, nursery school teacher, cocktail waiter.

There are 80 jobs in which women earn more than men - positions like financial analyst, speech-language pathologist, radiation therapist, library worker, biological technician, motion picture projectionist. Female sales engineers make 143 percent of their male counterparts; female statisticians earn 135 percent.

I want my daughters to know that people who work 44 hours a week make, on average, more than twice the pay of someone working 34 hours a week. And that pharmacists now earn almost as much as doctors. But only by abandoning our focus on discrimination against women can we discover these opportunities for women.

In short, Dr. Farrell was once on the board for NOW and was a firm believer in the feminist propaganda that the gender wage gap was due solely to male discrimination...but common sense and logical reasoning actually brought him to question the feminist assumption that simply accepting discrimination as a catchall explanation for the gap. After ruminating on the different factors involved, Farrell came to the inescapable conclusion that the discrimination explanation simply didn't add up.

He has since gone on to write a book about the topic called "Why Men Earn More" and he has broken it down to 25 differences in the work-life choices of men and women as the primary cause for the Gender Wage Gap...none of which have anything to do with discrimination. He has even gone so far as to write an article to point out 11 tips on How Women Can Earn More.

His overview for that article really says all that needs to be said about the so-called Gender Wage Gap "Problem."

Power is not about earning money; power is about controlling one's life based on one's values and priorities. Pay is not about power; pay is often about giving up power to get the power of pay. Power and pay are about trade-offs. If you're getting paid less than a man, before you assume discrimination, look at the 25 things men are more likely to do to get paid more. Women tend to trade income for fulfillment, flexibility, family, and safety. Rather than focusing your binoculars on discrimination, focus them on opportunities, such as the more than 80 fields that pay women more than men, or the 39 large fields that pay women at least 5% more than men. Based on my research for Why Men Earn More, I believe that while men earn more for different work, women today earn more for the same work--when they work in the exact same job for the same type and size of firm, same number of hours, travel and relocate equally, produce equally, have equal years of experience, and so on. You do not live in a world in which men have stacked the deck against you. Both sexes discriminate for and against both sexes.
Good to see this former NOW Board member actually speaking the truth: all things being equal, the true Gender Wage Gap comes from affirmative action quota requirements actually make Women the higher paid gender for the same amount of work.

So the only way we can truly end gender discrimination is to end affirmative action that creates incentives for companies to pay women more than men for the same skills, experience, and work.

Does anyone truly believe the feminists want to end that?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the early 90's, some mangina wrote a guest column in my local newspaper, stating how bad it was that women made much less than men did.

I wrote a response that I wasn't going to ask anyone to prove the national figure. No, all I was going to ask them to do was show me ONE woman in our city doing the same exact job; working the same hours; with the same tenure as a man, yet making one cent less.

After I mailed it, I got kind of nervous, because the local newspaper wanted to smear my face if they could. So, if they found one woman who made less under exactly the same conditions, my name would be mud.

Of course,as I suspected, they didn't find any single example. They were quiet about women facing pay discrimination for a few months, then back to normal.

Anonymous age 65

Hawaiian Libertarian said...

It's funny Anon 65, 'cause no one bothered to answer your challenge... I'm quite confident that it shouldn't be a problem to find a woman who has the same exact job working the same hours with the same tenure as a man who makes more than the man simply because companies are afraid of the federal govenrment penalizing them for not hiring "enough" woman and minorities -- making women in higher demand for particular professions simply because they have vaginas.

julie said...

HL,

This is a good post. Can I please copy it and paste it onto other sites and copy it and send it around? I do this quite often BTW. That is why I appreciate you and other MRA so much. I want to share it with others since we have a Women's Affairs lobbying this and that means all groups connected which is rape groups, womens groups and parent groups. That is how powerful they are. We are not as powerful yet we do have control of radio stations and pro family groups as well as media interest and so forth. Not meaning to brag but Yin and Yan.

Anonymous said...

Well when I start my business I'll hire only women. With the extra savings on labor I'll undercut the competition, and make a mint. Now would be the time to invest, guys. Guys?

Hawaiian Libertarian said...

Absolutely not a problem julie, copy and paste as much as you like.