Nothing defines our modern times better than a cleverly-titled, market-tested phrase that urges us to be “aware” of something that simply does not exist.
Today is “Equal Pay Day.” The idea is that women are routinely paid less than men who are performing the same job. A couple of years ago, this so-called “wage gap” was placed at 23% by adherents. Today’s event is based on a 20% assumption. So I guess that’s progress, of sorts.
There are individual businesses today who are offering women 20% discounts on their wares and services. Even some national businesses are joining in the fun. Hey…more power to them. It doesn’t hurt business when you appear to join half the nation in solidarity for a cause…even if the cause is suspect.
The bottom line is this. There is no “Wage Gap.” Sorry. Not when you’re comparing apples to apples. Karin Agness with Forbes Magazine published an article today with the latest information on the Mythical Wage Gap. It unveiled what many other studies have shown in recent years. It does not exist.
“Modern feminists use the statistic that women make 82 cents on the dollar compared to men as evidence of rampant discrimination, but what the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is actually measuring with the 82 percent number is the median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs.”
That is an important distinction. *Median* earnings. A first-year Statistics course could explain the difference. And there’s more, according to Agness.
“This statistic does not take into account significant differences in labor choices. Specifically, the statistic does not factor in many of the choices that women and men make—including education, years of experience and hours worked—that influence earnings. For example, among full-time employees, men worked 8.2 hours compared to women working 7.8 hours.”
This is what we call comparing apples to oranges. It’s a common tactic when you want the research to match your pre-conceived conclusion. It’s great for marketing and politics but it sacrifices facts and the truth. Collateral damage, I suppose.
I have had several friends and acquaintances tell me stories of pay gaps that they witnessed first-hand. In some case, they claimed they WERE, indeed, paid less than a man for the same job. Guess what. We already have laws to address such actual cases of gender bias. The Equal Pay Act in 1963 made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination in the workplace based on sex illegal. What else, exactly, do you require? I know there has been legislation proposed in the past that would have put more teeth in these laws…but they also would have had the unfortunate effect of shifting the burden of proof in such allegations from the employee to the employer. That would be like forcing an accused thief to prove his innocence. Not gonna happen.
And I will close with the question I consistently ask with this red herring of an issue comes up. If the wage gap were real and legal, why would a business EVER hire a man? Why would they even bother interviewing one?