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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nonmember avatar Brandi

As a former employment lawyer, and now stay at home mom, I could not agree wiith you more. Your article is spot on. Thanks for having the guts to write it.

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

I do believe there are many instances of unequal pay. More rampant in some areas than others. I also thank God the bill didn't pass - would be horrendous for women. I also agree with Manderspanders. As a hiring manager, I've also seen that men will negotiate a lot more up front. Women will usually take what's offered.

Hamst... HamsterandCow

If women actually were paid the same as men for doing the exact same job, with the same qualifications, we wouldn't NEED more laws. But then again, if everyone just did what was RIGHT all of the time, we wouldn't need many laws. Companies do NOT want employees discussing their salaries...I wonder why???? It's because of the discrepancies!

Saphi... SaphiraJFire

disagree.


 On the big end of the pay scale I see your point somewhat, but on the shorter end of that same scale your wrong. You seem to be out of touch with the poor working class and our struggles.

Tom Williamson

Thank you for a rational, sensible take on this issue!

nonmember avatar Julia

I know I've benefited from the opposite situation. I'm a university professor and get paid about $10,000 more than my more experienced male colleagues. Why? Because I'm a woman and the college wants more women professors! If, like Elizabeth Warren, I'd thought to say I was also Native American, I'd be making about $30,000 more than my more-experienced male colleagues.

nonmember avatar OhMyGod

Wow. Just..... Wow.



So should we all just be barefoot and pregnant? I mean, if we are all just at fault anyway because we make poor decisions by chooshing girly professions.... You're a disgrace to women.

kateco2 kateco2

Uh, no.  I'm an architect (typical male profession) with 15 yrs of experience, and I definitely make less than some of my junior male coworkers.  What excuse would you like to make for that?

zandh... zandhmom2

I agree with you Jenny.  Working in an office, I can tell you that women who have children lost a lot more time at work (myself including) than the men. My husband left for work at 5 and worked over an hour away while I left at 7 and worked 15 minutes away so I took care of the kids in the morning and if one of the kids was sick when they woke up, I stayed home.  If one got sick in the middle of the day, I left work to get them because I was closer. I did all the doctors appointments, stayed home on snow days, school holidays and any other time it was needed. I don't understand why some of these people on here get so upset and say things like "So should we all just be barefoot and pregnant?" I know that is not the point you are making and I think if most women who have kids thought about it, they too would realize that they most likely are also the one who handles issues with the kids more than their partners.  Truth be told, I always felt lucky to have a boss who was always understanding of me needed time off.  I don't know if it was ever taken into consideration when my reviews came up but I do know it was never held against me.

acrog... acrogodess

My S/O makes more money than me because he works more hours, but I make more per hour. Even if I worked for the company he works for, I would still make more per hour and I'd be more likely to get a promotion because of the differences in our education. 

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