‘Wages and Gender’ – Continued…
There has been a lively debate here at TMV on men-women wage inequality.
This issue is presently being debated nation-wide with equal vigor.
The New York Times had an Editorial Board piece Wednesday on “The Truth about the Pay Gap,” including the oft-cited and “controversial” claim that women on average make 77 cents for every $1 earned by men.
Whether it is the “truth and nothing but the truth” or not, will be debated ad infinitum.
This author happens to think that, even if not one hundred percent accurate, it is a rather shameful statistic for America and Americans.
The editorial itself admits that it is a rough, albeit important “measure of overall workplace inequality.”
It is not a comparison of what men and women are paid for performing the same or comparable jobs. But, in representing the full-time wages of a working woman against that of a full-time working man, it reflects overt discrimination as well as more nuanced gender-based factors, like the fact that women are disproportionately concentrated in the lowest-paying fields and not well-represented in higher-paying fields. Of course, 77 cents is not the only measure. But there is no doubt that the pay gap is real.
The editorial quotes other studies that confirm the pay gap and adds:
Even controlling for hours, occupations, marital status, and other relevant factors, college-educated women earn less than their male counterparts, according to a recent study by the American Association of University Women. And a study issued this month by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported that women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly every occupation, including the most common occupations for full-time working women, like elementary- and middle-school teaching and nursing.
As to some Republicans pointing out that female White House staff members make 88 cents on average for every $1 male employees earn, the editorial says that, “instead of becoming defensive and trying to explain away the discrepancy, Mr. Obama should simply say the White House has to do better and present the lag for what it is: more evidence that the problem persists even in workplaces committed to equal treatment.”
As to Wednesday’s Republican spectacle of blocking consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, the editorial finds the outcome “entirely predictable” and concludes, “…wage injustice matters to all Americans, regardless of party, and those who stand in the way of fairness do so at their political peril.”
Read more here.
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