The reason the gender pay gap is b.s. is not because it is a myth, though it is. I’m going to pull “that” card and whip out a handy dandy dictionary definition. Myth: an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution. The keyword here is unproved.
The gender pay gap will probably always be unproven, just as it will probably always be widely believed in, and therefore forever a myth. The reason I say this is because there are too many different factors to be accounted for which all vary occupation-to-occupation.
Since many residents of the United States have attended some form of educational institution let us use our common knowledge of the expectations, duties, and roles of teachers. Using this knowledge, we can determine a few of the variables we must account for when investigating discrepancies in wages granted to male versus female teachers.
Do they teach at a public or private school? What grade level do these teachers teach? How many students do they teach? What subject do they teach? What degree do they have? How many years have they taught? How many years have they taught at this school specifically? How many classes do they teach? What kinds of classes do they teach; such as honors, gifted, special education, and so on? Do they coach any sports or sponsor any clubs?
This only touches on the surface of factors to consider. Other occupations will have different factors, and they all must be accounted for individually, as these are the types of things that go into a person’s salary.
The 23 cents gender pay gap doesn’t even begin to consider any of these factors.
So if the wage gap says nothing of pay discrimination in the workforce, what will? I believe the Equal Pay Act of 1963 speaks volumes. If you ever feel you are the victim of illegal pay discrimination, you should make like the Equal Pay Act and speak volumes about the injustice being inflicted upon you. We already fought and won this battle. To continue “speaking out” following the lead of such actors as Patricia Arquette and Barack Obama is counterproductive, ignorant, and is to spread dangerous misinformation.
“However, despite these gains the raw wage gap continues to be used in misleading ways to
advance public policy agendas without fully explaining the reasons behind the gap. The purpose
of this report is to identify the reasons that explain the wage gap in order to more fully inform
policymakers and the public.”
“While the BLS reports that full-time female workers earned 81% of full-time males, that is very different than saying that women earned 81% of what men earned for doing the same jobs, while working the same hours, with the same level of risk, with the same educational background and the same years of continuous, uninterrupted work experience, and assuming no gender differences in family roles like child care. In a more comprehensive study that controlled for most of these relevant variables simultaneously—such as that from economists June and Dave O’Neill for the American Enterprise Institute in 2012—nearly all of the 23% raw gender pay gap cited by Mr. Obama can be attributed to factors other than discrimination. The O’Neills conclude that, “labor market discrimination is unlikely to account for more than 5% but may not be present at all.””
“These gender-disparity claims are also economically illogical. If women were paid 77 cents on the dollar, a profit-oriented firm could dramatically cut labor costs by replacing male employees with females. Progressives assume that businesses nickel-and-dime suppliers, customers, consultants, anyone with whom they come into contact—yet ignore a great opportunity to reduce wages costs by 23%. They don’t ignore the opportunity because it doesn’t exist. Women are not in fact paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”
“Despite the trends of recent decades, women remain less active in the labor market than men.”
“The labor force participation rate of adult women (age 20 and older) was still significantly lower than that of adult men, 61 percent versus 75 percent in 2009. Moreover, on average, women at every educational level and at every age spend fewer weeks in the labor force than do men.”
“The differences between men and women in labor force attachment are much smaller among those with a college degree or more education.”
“In 2009, on the days that they worked, employed married women age 25–54 spent less time in labor market work and work- related activities than did employed married men in the same age group—7 hours and 40 minutes, compared to about 8 hours and 50 minutes.”
“Historically, women have been more likely than men to work part time (less than 35 hours per week). In 2009, 24 percent of employed women (age 20 and older) worked part time, compared to 11 percent of men.”