Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gender Pay Gap

It happens every fall and this year is no different. We’re being told that women earn about 80% of what men earn. This alleged pay gap is reported by so-called non-biased groups and underscored by government research. I say nonsense. Actually, I say something a little more profane but I try to avoid that sort of language here.

My evidence, you ask...

Sure. I looked that the pay scales for the military and I saw no asterisks that suggested women would be paid at a lower rate than their male counterparts. I saw the pay scale that pays based on years of service and rank. I saw that a few, in the lower officer grades were paid more than some others, but that was based on service in enlisted grades and not gender. The pay is equal.

I looked at some school districts and saw the pay scales based, not on gender, but on length of service and education. Those with graduate degrees were paid more than those who did not have graduate degrees. The pay was not based on gender.

I will note right here that there seem to be more males in the administration of the school districts, but I saw nothing to suggest that the women holding similar positions with the same educational background and length of service were paid less.

In the recent past, I have noted a couple of stories that show women, at some entry level positions are paid MORE than their male counterparts. This means there are fewer women for those jobs and the companies and corporations get "brownie points" from the government for having female employees in those jobs. Since there are fewer women available they are paid more... and I hear no one complaining about this disparity in pay. The pay is based on gender and who is available.

I’ll even take this a step farther. I know of one company that promoted women over men based solely on gender rather than on longevity, education, or performance. They wanted a female manager and it made no difference that their choice was based only on gender.

I’ll even bet that if you looked beyond the statistics, you’d find reasons beyond gender. The male might have been with the company longer, though they are now in the same job. Maybe the male has a higher level of education. Maybe the woman took three or five years off to raise a family.

No, I’m not offering excuses, but reasons. If you just look at who holds what job and what they are paid, you might not be getting the whole story. Your results would be skewed, but you would be reinforcing the common myths about these unfair practices.

And if the woman learned that she was being underpaid by her corporate bosses, then doesn’t she have grounds for a lawsuit? Aren’t there supposed to be laws that prevent this sort of thing?

No, I just don’t believe this without some substantial proof that women in the work force are being unfairly treated... Yes, some are. Sexual harassment is still a problem, but none of this is as blatant or widespread as it was last century. Maybe we can get another story broadcast about the success of women in the work force...

Oh, that’s right. That isn’t the storyline we want to follow. We want to believe that women are being universally mistreated and unpaid. That gets the viewers.

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