The Atlantic: Gender Pay Gap Is A ‘Myth’
June 12, 2013 - 11:30 am
Alas, a left-leaning publication has admitted that the gender pay gap – long championed by the feminist left – is a lie. As Derek Thompson wrote in the Atlantic on May 30, when you compare men and women with similar education backgrounds, responsibilities, employers, and companies with likeminded staff, that gap virtually evaporates. In fact, in major urban areas, women out-earn their male peers by at least 10%.
Nevertheless, Thompson did note that wage inequality does exist concerning the top jobs in the United States. Nine of the ten highest-earning jobs in the country are dominated by men, and the data is further skewed considering that women are more likely to enter social work than engineering. Yet, that’s where Thompson exposes the fundamental truth in this debate, which is often ignored by the political left to keep the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants together: it’s about choices, not the same job.
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.
So, there’s no need for a Paycheck Fairness Act. There’s no need for government intervention at all. Women will continue to strive in this economy, especially as they continue to earn more higher education degrees than men. As with any societal shift, it’s going to take some time. In all, it seems that the erasure of the gender pay gap won’t be due to feminism, but women acting in their own right to shape their futures. So far, they’re succeeding, and that’s not a bad thing.