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The Biggest Myth About the Gender Wage Gap

May 30, 2013

wage gap

NCFM NOTE: For MRA’s this is old news. We see articles like this, smile, and wonder what took others so long to see the truth. It’s all about disenfranchising men while empowering women… fortunately more and more people are starting to figure that out. Feminist notions of equal treatment gave way to elitist feminist demands for government guaranteed favorable and unequal outcomes, all at the expense of out society, culture, and, in particular, our men.

The Biggest Myth About the Gender Wage Gap

By Derek Thompson – The Atlantic, May 30, 2013

It might be the most famous statistic about female workers in the United States: Women earn “only 72 percent as much as their male counterparts.”

It’s also famously false.

A new survey from PayScale this morning finds that the wage gap nearly evaporates when you control for occupation and experience among the most common jobs, especially among less experienced workers. It is only as careers advance, they found, that men outpaced female earnings as they made their way toward the executive suite.

So, women aren’t starting off behind their male counterparts, so much as they’re choosing different jobs and losing ground later in their careers.

wage gapThe irony is that as women advance in their own careers, they might be more likely to fall behind, but they are also more likely to negotiate. That popular refrain that women don’t know how to ask for a raise? That’s bunk, too, the researchers concluded. Nearly a third of women — and 29 percent of men — have asked for raises, and even more female executives have done the same. In female-dominated sectors like health care and education more, half of women have negotiated for salary, benefits, or a promotion .

Still, inequalities persist. Comparing men and women job-by-job conceals the fact that men still dominate many of the highest-paying jobs. PayScale studied more than 120 occupation categories, from “machinist” to “dietician.” Nine of the ten lowest-paying jobs (e.g.: child-care worker, library assistant) were disproportionately female. Nine of the ten highest-paying jobs (e.g.: software architect, psychiatrist) were majority male. Nurse anesthetist was the best-paid position held mostly by women; but an estimated 69 percent of better-paid anesthesiologists were male.

The highest-paid job in PayScale’s controlled set is anesthesiologists, who are 69 percent male and 31 percent female — creating a 38 percent percentage-point “jobs gap.” Here is the jobs gap for the ten highest-paid positions.

wage gap

PayScale’s study is a necessary chaser to BLS and Census data, because the government “compares all weekly earnings, even though women and men do different things,” said PayScale chief economist Katie Bardaro. “We’re trying to compare men and women with the same education, same management responsibilities, similar employers, in companies with a similar number of employees.” After controlling for these factors, “the gender wage gap disappears for most positions,” she said.

In one job, they had enough data to show a statistically significant wage advantage for female workers. That is “dental hygienist.”

But even if the gender gap disappears after controlling for experience and job selection, it’s hard to imagine that men thoroughly dominating the highest-paying positions is a good outcome. For example, the expectation that women more than men bear the responsibility to raise children gently nudges thousands of highly educated women out of full-time work.

There is a wage difference. But it might not be the wage difference that you thought. The real gap isn’t between men and women doing the same job. The real gap is between men and women doing different jobs and following different careers.

That gap should continue to tighten. Women have earned the majority of bachelor’s degrees for the last few years. They’re well-positioned to benefit from a growing professional service economy, and working moms are already the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households with kids, an all-time high. But if women are more likely to go into health care than manufacturing, more likely to work in human resources than software, and more likely to leave their careers early to start a family, the gaps will persist.

Ideally, some day soon, it won’t take a statistical “control” to show that men and women are fundamental equal partners — and equal competitors — in the work force. It will just be the obvious truth.

Republished under the Fair Use Doctrine.

wage gap

So much for the wage gap… spoof.

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One Response to The Biggest Myth About the Gender Wage Gap

  1. Shaikh Abdul Hameed on June 25, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Okay so according to Katie Bardaro the wage gap disappears for most professions when controlled for specific variables, but what if feminists counter that and tell us, “yeah, but what about the remaining other jobs where women are paid less what about that?” What do we as MRAs do then?

    However, I think there is more to it and if all variables are controlled the wage probably disappears completely.

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