Women Don't Need a Fair Pay Act

Rant 63

businesswomanLast week, Republican Senators, along with a handful of their Democratic counterparts, rejected the Paycheck Fairness Act. Supporters of the bill claim that this measure would bring pay equality to women and minorities in the workforce. Whatever that means.

Despite the whining from the media and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, there is no need for another bill demanding equal pay for women. Overall, the average man in the workforce makes more than the average woman, but when you take everything into consideration, it’s actually women that make more.

Statistics show that when all factors are considered -- experience, education, time on the job, etc. -- women make more money than their male counterparts. So why are women as a whole earning about 80% of what men are making?

Many factors go into determining the wage of an employee, and thanks to the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, and Lily Ledbetter, gender is not one of those factors. Women are more typically the primary caregivers, and many choose to take time out of the workforce to stay home with the children. It’s an admirable choice, and one that definitely qualifies as work, but expertly changing diapers with one hand or making the perfect playdate snack from a recipe you found on Pinterest isn’t exactly something you’ll put on your resume.

Even moms that work outside the home are usually the go-to person when the kids are sick, daycare is closed, or the nanny calls in sick. On average among fulltime workers (those working 35+ hours a week), men worked 8.2 hours while women only worked 7.8. Funny thing about employers – they like to pay people more when they work more.

Women are also more likely to pursue ‘fulfilling’ career paths, rather than one that will land them in a high-paying job. Women dominate the interior design field, and the average pay is less than $40,000 a year. Compare that to electrical engineering, where nine out of ten people with a degree in the field are male, and the average salary jumps to almost $80,000.

It’s a great time to be a woman. We have so many options available to us; no one can keep us from getting an education, casting a vote, or choosing our own career paths. It’s preciously that freedom that leads to the supposed wage gap. We are free to work flexible schedules without sacrificing motherhood, or to forgo the workforce entirely to stay home with the kids.

We don’t need more legislation to combat paycheck unfairness, because the only thing ‘unfair’ about our paychecks is how much the government withholds for taxes.


Image via Victor1558/Flickr

corporations, discrimination, economy, feminism


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Flori... Floridamom96

Un uh, JP2010. The NYTimes is the biggest rag in the industry. Try again.

nonmember avatar AI

@billsfan: Actually, yes, we did have a conversation about it. The teacher in question taught World History (AP/honors) and my AP Human Geography class. Her husband taught Chemistry (regular level) and AP Environmental Science. I was very good friends with both, and we talked about it after class one day. It's not as far fetched as you imply. As for the engineering stats, my first major in college was Mechanical Engineering. I researched the stats. I'm not the type to create and propagate lies to help my cause. If the gender gap were a hoax, the data and history wouldn't be there. Women have only started to be taken seriously in the work force the past half decade. We've come too far to start pretending sexism and gender disparities completely nonexistent.

jocel... jocelynred

so who should do the care giving in our society? and don't say if you can't afford to have kids don't have them. because i mean ALL care giving. aging parents, a spouse that has a sudden accident or illness. it does generall fall on women to fill these roles. and as far as having babies, the government tells us "Breast is Best". with which I agree and fully nursed both of my kids. but, women have the breasts not men. we are way behind every other civilized country in paid maternity leave! many of us get zero sick leave to take care of even ourselves, let alone any one we love.

nonmember avatar Jim

Pretty alarming that the what the supposed "statistics show" is actually a link to Time magazine reporting on what one market research company found. One might be surprised that the findings of a single market research company does not actual mean that this is what "statistics show".

Further, looking at the "statistics" it's even more interesting that the author of this article linked to the article without mentioning that the article actually says that what this company found "applies only to unmarried, childless women under 30 who live in cities". Hardly the end of the gender pay gap, unless you have a very limited view of who qualifies for being a woman.

And this is the problem with people completely unqualified to speak about an issue spending a few minutes trying to gather up Google links that ONLY support their limited world views. They pass this laughably biased information on to the reader, and if this reader is also as misinformed and eager to base their opinions on the same biased information that information spreads. And before you know it these clueless partisan hacks have started another whopper like those fictional "death panels" or the "debate" over global warming in spite of a fairly unprecedented 97% of publishing scientists worldwide being in agreement on the data.

Leave the analysis to the experts, not to another political blogger who needs to rant about what they *think* they know rather than what the reality actually is.

dfcin... dfcinnamon

Women can take care of the home,the children, and work outside of the home.  Alot of women have to do this because they are divorced or just single.  We bust out butts and the man gets paid more to sit on his ass.

nonmember avatar Shannon

Al, you don't know what you are talking about. I am an engineer and when I first graduated college, the salary offers I received were higher than what my male classmates were getting. Even 7 years later, I make about 10% more than the average salary for electrical engineers in my area. You are obviously not an engineer. Female engineers make more than their male counterparts because we are more sought-after --- most engineers are male!

Heather Duso Johnson

Half the problem is "woman" careers make nothing compared to "man" careers.  The comparison in the article is ridiculous, an engineer has more education than an interior designer.  I'm a librarian, or hope to be if I ever get a job, and my husband is an electrician.   To work as a librarian you have to have a master's degree.  Mine cost me something around $40,000 on top of the bachelor degree, of course.  To be a journeyman electrician, they take 4 classes that total $200 or so, and do an apprecticeship.  I'm not saying my husband doesn't work hard and doesn't have to know a lot but if I get hired at the job I'm in the middle of interviewing for, he will make $13 more an hour than me.  

Even in comparable fields, OT vs PT, the PTs make more, though the jobs are very similiar and from my experience OTs have to do more and be more flexible on what they do for a patient.  Guess which one has more men?  

Todd Vrancic

However, Jenny, if you want a good government, you need to be willing to pay for it.  Or do you really want to be responsible for protecting yourself from crime, investigating any crime that affects you on your own, putting out any fire that might affect your residence or job, keeping the streets in good repair?  What?  You lack the skills to put fires out or repair streets or investigating crimes?  That's what taxes do in part.

jonnl... jonnlilithsmom

I was working security... I was a supervisor... the person who decided who worked what shifts on my site... the person who covered when people called in sick...

I saw another employee's paycheck once, a man... he was making $2 an hour more than I was...

he was 18, with NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE, hired a month before I saw his pay, on my site, under my supervision.

I had been working for the company for a year, knew the owner for several years before that, and had 10 years of experience at other companies before that one, and had gotten TWO RAISES in my year with this company...

my boss's "explanation" for the discrepancy...

it was danger pay... as a man, he was more likely to get hurt on the job

if that isn't gender discrimination, I don't know what is

Dani Gusto

Is there anything better than misogynist women? This article is beyond bullshit.


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