Monday, August 4, 2014

What Gender Pay Gap?

More information about the "Gender Pay Gap" reported this week.

We have all heard about the difference in pay for men and women. Even the President is getting in on it by paying his women staffers less than the men staffers ($.77 on the dollar at last count). It seems that everyone agrees that men are being paid more than women.

I have not read any arguments that men should earn more for doing the same work but this is no road block to politicians, feminists, academics, and others that call for "financial justice". In the UK last week the headlines were that women in London earn 13% less than men, and according to the story the pay gap is widening.

Well, I do misspeak a little here. Not everyone is saying this.

A report from the UK Department of Culture, Media, and Sports did a little checking and found that since 1997 the pay gap has shrunk. Men's pay increases have been about 57% while women's have increased by 75% over the same time period.

Of course this still means that there is a pay gap if you just look at the statistics that add in the earnings of women of all ages, all occupations, and women working part-time and full-time. In reality, for people under 40 and working full-time, the gender pay gap is about zero and starting in 2009 women in the age range of 22 to 29 have actually earned more than men. Now the evidence shows that the pay gap falls first for younger people and this stays with each group as they age.....Other facts to remember when reading about the pay gap is that wages vary according to the job (maybe we should be asking why women choose to take more jobs such as nurses rather than physicians) and why women that have children choose to change from full-time to part-time work.

As stated by Joanna Williams, "... if current trends continue, the pay gap should be a thing of the past in the space of some 20 years."

Yes, there is still a gender pay gap (which is decreasing). The thing to consider is that when occupation, contracted hours and most significantly, age are taken into account, it all but disappears. In fact, the youngest women today, even those working part-time, are already earning more each hour than men.


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