Do you believe the collective wage gap between American men and women is due more to subtle (or obvious) discrimination against women, or career/life choices made by women?
Being out of the work scene to go have a baby gives an inherent advantage to men to get promotions
Comparable jobs should equal comparable pay, THEY DO NOT. Corporate America doesn't know or care what pay equity is. Sure there are a few break throughs but they are minimal and the glass ceiling still exists.
Actually they do. They've done studies and the gap is almost exclusively due to the types of jobs women and men tend to have.
Woman are on average less likely to apply for jobs that they feel unqualified for, so they are less likely to be hired for these jobs. It's usually the careful nature most women have that holds them back.
Over-generalization to excuse not applying is not helpful. If it were true (and there's no proof that it is) then that'd be only an issue that's well within the grasp of women to solve.
I think the data shows clearly that there's no issue!
The wage gap does not exist. That story where women earn 75 cents to every dollar men earn is fraud. It's feminist propaganda. They added up all of the income from men, and subtracted all of the women's. There was a pretty big difference, but that's
Not discrimination, women tend to go for lower paying jobs, like social workers or teachers. Women also take maternity leave which account for a large difference. Men tend to go toward engineering which are higher paying jobs. You're welcome America
I do exactly the same job as a man, with better results in corporate America, we are similar in age, however he makes more money. Definitely discrimination. Also a downfall of not being unionized
Sher ... unionization is NOT the answer!
I've been there and the union is PRECISELY why 500 women & men were thrown out of work in 1981!
The union only cared about the dues, not the workers or the work, so they killed the 70 year old golden goose!
I've thought about this topic before and also realize that I've always been a terrible negotiator. I don't know if that's common with women but I am pretty certain I could have made incrementally more if I had negotiated better.
I think it is a result of choices made. However, those choices are often based in discrimination and society's image of masculine and feminine gender roles.
There would actually have to be a wage gap to answer this question.
I agree with your position, but recognize that there is a gap in choices. Men make different career choices than women, which leads to different levels of compensation.
There are few offshore underwater elders who are women and few men who choose to be daycare workers.
Society values those two positions quite differently -- as they should.
Actualy there is a deliberate wage gap women get paid more than men at younger age groups because there are so many government policies attacking us
Except in the Obama White House, where women are paid less for the same jobs.
This statement is not a matter of BELIEF. It is a statement of fact both statistically, by experience, and through experiential reports of others: women are still not awarded the same wages as men in almost all industries. Almost.
Aubie ... you couldn't be more wrong. The difference in gender income is based solely on career choices.
The only exception is the Obama White House, where women are paid less for the same work. Hypocrisy is a part of the Democrat psyche.
This is not an issue its just statistics. Women getting paid less because they are women is not happening anymore.
Untrue. Except in real estate where both men and women earn the same commission across the board
Very true! Show me a statistician and I'll show you a liar. All scientific studies show no what gap whatsoever
It may be choices, but women are discouraged from joining science and math careers
@Think, as a female med-student I have experienced this actually. More people have tried to discourage me in joining the medical field because of gender than those who encouraged it. Granted, that's just my personal experience.
Lorraine ... more people than what? Are you suggesting that "people" (whatever that means) don't discourage men from being doctors?
It's time to stop the excuses and recognize that women have opportunities just like men.
@Think, you misunderstood me. I'm only saying that I've encountered a large amount of discouragement from teachers, fellow students, family, and doctors to not join the medical field simply because I'm female.
@Think, besides that I'm not saying that I don't have the same opportunities as men, because I do. And I still believe I'll get paid the same amount as men because I don't think there is a wage gap between genders.
Lorraine ... I didn't misunderstand you.
A better question height be ... given that there are now MANY women practicing medicine, could it be that there was something other than your gender that led them to suggest you consider an alternative?
@Think, In my class there are far fewer females than males. Please understand that I'm not saying I have less opportunities or will have lower wages. My only point here is that there is a stigma against both genders in certain career paths.
Lorraine ... I appreciate your honesty. Please understand that we all have forces that tear us down.
Women in medicine is a wonderful thing. I wish you well and suggest that you look past those who say that you're incapable because of gender.
I thought this would turn into an ugly debate but good ending both of you
People should focus on what they do have instead of worrying about what they don't have. Be more thankful. We have turned into a society that focuses on the empty half of the glass instead of the full half of the glass.
So when we ignore it, the problem goes away? We should try that...
Form ... if only there was a problem to focus on, then you'd have a point. The problem is gone!
I'm a female who didn't make normal female choices. My pay is equitable to my male counterparts. I will say I have always had to work harder than my male counterparts to get here though .. But I'm not bitter
Nice post. It's choice. I have also seen, contrary to your experience, women advanced because they were women. There are all sorts of one off but I will stick with the studies which support the choices answer.
Darn .. So you are saying I could have just used my looks instead of all those long hours?? Clearly I'm not as smart as I thought
Not saying looks at all. More like affirmative action of a sort. There were incentives, rewards for buying from woman owned business. Just saying there is a mix.
From my experience, there is often discrimination against white males. When filling promotional positions, if no minority is available, the female with the "perky" personality is the next choice. White males only as a last resort...
Democrats, if this gap is because of sexism & evil capitalists will sell their souls for a dollar (outsourcing & off shoring), then why does any man have a job?
^^^ food for thought
Food for thought: Say a lot of women do choose careers that pay less (teacher, nurse, secretary, etc.) than that of their male counterparts. Could it because, as a society, we have "genderized" careers and discouraged women from STEM programs?
No. It's just you.
There has been a lot of effort to get women into STEM careers.
There may be effort now, but that still doesn't mean women aren't discouraged because "it's a man's job."
I am not talking now but 30 years ago. Please, read some of the studies also. I recommend the Harvard one from a year or two ago.
If you would so kindly provide me a link to your recommended study, I would love to read it. Thanks!
You are correct about gender roles influencing choices...but is that a bad thing that needs to be regulated? Oh, and here is the link you requested: scholar.harvard.edu/files/goldin/files/goldin_aeapress_2014_1.pdf
Its discrimination cause women teachers get paid less then men teachers.
Chris ... if only you had some valid data to support your wild claim.
One could ask, are the jobs paid at lower level because they are typical women jobs, or are they women jobs because they pay less?
Thanks Yoda ... LOL
Your words, they make one ponder.
Oh now the feminist are in an uproar about how women are discriminated against. Lolol I have no sympathy for your plight, when you have no sympathies about mine.
The question is not whether it's due to discrimination or choices, the question is whether you are educated or not on the proof multiple studies have shown about women getting paid significantly less for the same work.
Actually, the raw statistics support what you say but the vast majority of studies like the Harvard one lay the blame on many choices and uninterrupted work men tend to have, and hours worked.
How is this even a question? There are multiple studies that have proven in the majority of careers women are paid significantly less than men for doing the same exact job
Nope. You simply can't extricate the lower or choppier experience from an interrupted career. That being said, it isn't only about money, and women are successful monetarily or by their influence as mothers, or whatever.
estevens ... If only you had some proof ... if only these studies existed and had published Interrogatable data to show your point. Alas, they don't, so you're left making wild unsubstantiatable claims.
We can blame individuals for getting paid less, but it's really that we place less value on the traditional women's jobs (teachers/nurses) and more value on men's jobs (carpenters). Why should a teacher be paid less then a carpenter?
A carpenter has specific skills and a quantifiable outcome. Anyone can teach, a few teach well, but we're not allowed to differentiate. And nurses get paid pretty well.
Would you rather leave your child with just anyone to teach them? I feel that my kid is a far more precious commodity then my bathroom. Can you teach a class? Can you teach a room full of children a years with of subjects? I can hammer a nail.
I've wondered for some time why the single most idiotic posts consistently get the most likes on SOH. My theory is that they have an anesthetic quality, they're like little bits of anti-thought that make idiots feel good for being idiots.
Or it could be that you're wrong. Sometimes ya just gotta go with the numbers... ;)
I thought of that. That doesn't appear to be it. Many of the posts that get the most "likes" are also the ones most lacking in any meaningful substance. They're like tasty little dumb-dumb morsels (see, e.g. the most liked posts on this poll).
Again, it could be that you're wrong. The most-liked comment on this poll is that we have known for some time that it is choice. I contend that this is a substantial, valuable, and correct comment and well deserving of its forthcoming 92nd like.
I'd say before the 21st century it was discrimination, but now women are getting fair play. It is all about individual choices now.
Lol, dumbass liberals
The career/life choices argument does not explain why women who choose "men's work", and who would make the same choices if available, weren't traditionally offered those choices, and often still aren't. Or why they are ever paid less when they do.
Every study I have seen shows that positions at the same experience pay the same for women and men. It's only when you aggregate the entire workforce do you see a wage gap.
Every study. Except for the studies that don't. Like this one:
Not to mention the millions paid every year in EEO fines.
What do you mean "offered choices"? What choices am I being offered that women aren't?
Diknak share sources or they don't exist.
Offered the choice between this high-paying position, or that one. Or offered the same position as a male would be, based on having the same experience and education. Offered the choice between a transfer with a promotion or staying put.
Yeah no one ever offered me that. You get what you negotiate
Zod - I agree that there is still gender bias in pay but studies like the one you referenced are still not good science. I would like to see one that only discusses statistical differences when factors are equal.
One of the reasons I like this study a little better than the 2015 version, is the part of it concerning college graduates one year after graduation in various fields. The chart, Figure 5 on page 14, paints a picture that can't be explained away.
Interesting articles about gender bias here:
Zoe, back to figure 5 that you refer to, it is exactly what concerns me about this study. Please compare to figure 8 on p17. Figure 5 shows difference in wages for F/M engineers but fig8 shows this is not statistically significant.
I fear fig5 and earlier comments were put in for good takeaways but science says these are footnotes to using the statistics. Given what they have shared you cannot tell why it is statistically insignificant, it may be too few samples.
Figure 5 is by undergraduate major, figure 8 is by occupation. It seems to show that fewer women that men who graduate with engineering degrees find work in that field, without saying why. Those who do are paid on par with male engineers.
Sod, you are correct about degree vs occupation. Also in degree they combine engineering and eng tech, which are not anywhere near the same in pay. This part of what I have trouble with this report.
What wage gap?
Here is a study that I believe sounds a little more accurate and places it at 87%. Pretty close to the WSJ.
Thing progress is not real.
You are correct rons, I fat fingered that link. I meant to grab the Pew Research link. I apologize.
The reason women overall make less is they are more likely to choose lower paying jobs. The study that says women make less money doesn't take into consideration different jobs
Please cite your study, I would be interested in seeing that. While I agree, the oft used 77 cents on the dollar does not take into account some outside factors, neither the WSJ, Bloomberg or Slate could make it even, they varied from 87 to 96%.
I'm retired. I do a fair amount of volunteer work, unpaid. Money being out of the picture, the women volunteers are far more dependable, organized and capable than any of the men.
Just an observation on my part.
If a woman was making less than a male for the same job, nothing is preventing her from dinging another job. It is still a free country.
Mostly choices but society factors into the decisions we make, there's a reason little girls want to become teachers and little boys don't (for the most part) and in the future that will change and the wage gap will decrease.
What "choices" would entitle women to less pay.
Women choose to take time off when having kids resulting in less experience.
Choices, and those of you arguing that women are still being discriminated against are either just looking for something to argue about our are simply not paying attention to real life.
The wage gap is a result of a poorly advertised average of the collective total sum of money earned by men versus that of women.
Within the same job, there is legally required equal pay, and even without the law, men still usually pay for dates, etc.
Pay for dates???? OMG!
I put the 'etc' because I didn't have enough room for more text. It is generally socially expected for the man to have the money and be willing to pay for clothes, dates, etc. Even alimony, and all this is despite having equal pay and 'equality'.
Looks like that group who can't recognize white male privilege strikes again! They seem to be white, male, Republicans and Libertarians. Livin' life in the bubble....
Are you a troll, or just stupid? Lol
I would be proud to be called stupid if it meant disagreeing with the racist, sexist, idiots on this post who shout their ignorance and prejudice every time any hint of injustice to"not them" is in a question! Evolution seems to be reversing itself!
So I am a racist, sexist idiot for not thinking that straight white males are the unspoken rulers of the world, and are not so advantageous as you pretend?
I guess I'm a "racist, sexist, idiot," from the guy who shouts about white/male privilege
To be fair tractor, those people are the same ones who don't believe in evolution
I believe the wage gap theory or whatever it is, is flawed. Men don't make more than women for the same job. It's just when you average both wages separately, men make more because we account for more millionaires and billionaires. Just saying.
So then why can't we say that there is a gendered pay gap between jobs? That is, why not ask why there are many more male than female millionaires and billionaires?
And actually, this wage inequality is maintained at all wage levels, not just millionaires and billionaires
Choices. Women choose different occupations than men on average.
Lol, it's not a debate, it's been factually proven that it's due to choices, it was a made up lie from democrats to gain female voters.
Please cite your facts, I am interested to see that.
U.S. labor relations are such that women have been more likely to be consigned to low-level and low-paying positions in large corporations as a consequence of the expectation that they alone care for the home and receive primary income from a man.
In a system constructed on domination, this works to keep women financially dependent upon men. After men returned from WWII, many women lost their jobs at the factory, for example. The remnants of this retrograde system persist today.
This system works to the compounded exclusion of women of color and non-heteronormative folks (for whom the gendered pay gap tends to be much higher).
And the point I would add, if I may, is that no one is blaming "you" personally for creating this system. But "we" do have a responsibility to acknowledge reality and not perpetuate discrimination just because it is going to painful or difficult.
I couldn't agree more. Even if one doesn't care about social justice (and they should), institutionalized inequality makes for systemic inefficiency (white men more likely to be compensated for crappy work as a consequence of double standard).
I am a firm believer that you can make just as good an argument economically as morally for doing the right thing, as long as you are willing to look beyond the short term. That applies to every social justice issue I can think of.
Life choices can still be made based on the effects of subtle or overt discrimination.
You can also say that a woman's biological make up to be a caretaker also drives career choices (nurse, teacher, social worker, etc). There are many factors that account for the wage gap.
FlipFlop, the literature regarding "biological makeup" and corresponding occupation is flimsy at best. Many of the claims have long been debunked. Fact is that many women would prefer a non-heteronormative career path and are prevented from doing...
so simply because of the expectation that they pursue a heteronormative career path (because of statements like, "they're wired for it.")
@Euger Couldn't have said it better.
31% of respondents are believe in something that is factually incorrect. It has been illegal since JFK to pay men and women IN THE SAME JOB differently. The entire "wage gap" is because of what jobs men and women have. And it's changing fast...
It's illegal to do lots of things. That doesn't stop them from being done.
Then please cite that case specifically and we can bring charges against that company.
So much stupidity.
I grew up in the past decade too so please speak for yourself. By the time I hit fourth grade everything I said IS true. There were no female leader role models in society for me to aspire to be besides my teachers. And nearly all the shows on tv
Sorry ignore this everyone, it was supposed to post as a comment below.
I believe that it's all based on choices, because men most of the time negotiate wages, and state problems that they have. Women can do the same exact thing, but most don't, and instead they call it sexism.
Not saying this applies to everyone.
I agree. Feminists and pop culture would have us believe there are companies & CEOS sitting around, conspiring how they can pay women 23% less than men for the same job. I don't do it. My company doesn't do it. The majority of companies don't do it.
I can't say correlation equals causation, but we were talking about it in one of my prerequisite Econ classes a while back. We did a survey of the majors each of the students had (about 50% each gender) every male in the class was either an
Engineering, Econ, Accounting, or Finance Major (all with high median salaries) while every woman was either a PolySci, History, Journalism, Education, or Management major (very low median salaries. Now I don't know if that's because society
Pressure each gender to follow certain fields. But of those in the class and my personal belief feels as if men are just attracted to math related positions and women more cultural. Also it costs more to hire a woman who wants children.
But is that innate or culturally influenced? Ive had multiple advisors try to talk me out of computer science. Doing fine.
Also- lets not assume each woman wants children. Should i have to be sterilized to avoid being treated as if im going to get pregnant any second? Cuz that kinda sounds like discrimination...
Well the highest paid demographic is single women who do not want children. So if they don't want kids than they're more apt to succeed. In regards to innate v. Social influences, I believe it's both. I do believe our culture pushes each gender
In certain directions, but I also think it's strongly innate. I think it's biological personality differences between the two that influences where the median's interests are. Of course there are outliers. Not all women aren't interested in
Engineering and not all men aren't interested in literature. But it's just my personal view that Id say 60% is innate 40% is culture.
Also to place this in econonics terms (basically how I communicate) is that for every employee their is a price of labor. Price of labor can be calculated by the future return they project to earn by an investment in your time. It calculates total
Opportunity Cost of each employee. So when hiring a woman they must calculate the possible future costs of pregnancy as part of the OC, men generally don't include this possible expense so therefore it's cheaper for men. Is it right? IMO yes.
Not because I think women should suffer because they are unluckily (or lucky) responsible for pregnancy, but because costs are what in a free market determines cost of production which is calculated into wages.
Why 60-40? Thats really specific for no concrete info.
*Cough* equal pay act of 1963 *cough*
Wow, so many awful comments. Kind of funny maternity leave gets brought up so much, as if all women will have multiple kids or kids at all lol. Its die to who gets pushed into what jobs. I think why thats happening is still important. Also know some
Is due to women not negotiating higher wages. Its still a problem, but has more to do with culture and gender roles than outright discrimination.
The women who make the same as men often don't marry and almost never have children -- either that or they find homemaker husbands. It's each woman's choice what she wants out of life.