CNN put up a headline article today, “Who says women don’t care about wages?”
A significant gender pay gap still persists. That’s why we cannot be passive as we acknowledge Equal Pay Day, which marks the day when a woman’s earnings catch up to what her male peers earned in the previous year. To millennials, it’s startling to see that women still earn just 77 cents to the dollar of what men earn. Women of color are hit especially hard: African-American and Hispanic women earn 70% and 61%, respectively, of what white men earn.
Why exactly would someone mix the gender equality gap with the racial equality gap? Hmm….
Even after accounting for occupation, hours worked, education, age, race, ethnicity, marital status, number of children and more, a difference of 5% still persists in the earnings of male and female college graduates one year after graduation. After 10 years in the workplace, that gap more than doubles to 12%.
Ta-da! The real gap is closer to 5% for gender. When you level the playing field, the gap dramatically lowers. Another major problem is that this study doesn’t address the issue of seniority which is a major factor in long term pay. Women who are graduating college in their 20’s and working into their 30’s are also in the same exact age range where they get married, have children, move from place to place, etc. With a lot of families still emphasizing the father’s employment, families often move based on the father’s job because women often make the career sacrifice to benefit the family.
What’s the real problem? What’s the real disparity? Instead of launching into extremely biased information, let’s figure out the real problems and fight those problems. There’s no doubting equality issues exist, but is gender equality as big of a problem as people make it? Will it continue to be a problem when the majority of the current and previous generation college graduates are women?