November 4, 2019

Three Questions About the Gender Wage Gap

Does the average woman in the United States earn about 80 cents on the dollar of what the average man earns?

Statistics don't lie, right? There is admittedly truth to these statistics that we should consider.

Before we assume too much, we need to ask these three questions to figure out how to interpret the data:

  1. What are the preferred college majors and jobs for the average man and woman?
    Not all college degrees and jobs are created equal. Do career choices naturally lead to a difference in salaries?
  2. What are the working preferences of the average man and woman?
    Do working preferences such as type of work and flexibility lead to lower pay? Is raw salary the only factor in a job that commands a price tag?
  3. What roles in the family do that average man and woman perform?
    Can childbearing and rearing reduce the average woman's earnings compared to the average man? Can we consider a husband's earnings part of the wife's "income"? Is this difference of career earnings really a concern about "injustice" or is it a matter of design in nature?

 

Articles Cited:

"The narrowing, but persistent, gender gap in pay"
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/03/22/gender-pay-gap-facts/

"Pay equity panel examines persistent gender wage gap"
https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/10/pay-equity-panel-examines-persistent-gender-wage-gap

"Women Dominate College Majors That Lead to Lower-Paying Work"
https://hbr.org/2017/04/women-dominate-college-majors-that-lead-to-lower-paying-work

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