Equal Pay Day is a farce (and frustrating) – evil HR lady

This is an old post that I found today.

today (modified note: When this was originally posted in 2019!) It is Equal Pay Day and although it is supposed to be a day where we focus on reducing pay inequality, it does not represent reality. “This date symbolizes how much a woman must work in a year that she must work to earn what a man earned in the previous year,” according to the National Equal Pay Commission.

The problem is that this claim is based on completely wrong assumptions. And when you put the wrong numbers into your equation, your answer will always be wrong. But if you ask, people will say at the top of their lungs that women are underpaid and everyone knows that – even the experts!

The reality of the wage gap

The 80 cents on the dollar comes from taking the average salary of the men and then taking the average salary of the women and comparing the resulting number. But, in fact, when you factor in the choices women make, the wage gap almost completely disappears. It is a travesty to say that women are paid unfairly compared to men.

What is true is that women tend to work in lower paying jobs. They hold 58 percent of jobs that typically pay less than $11 an hour. In addition, women work fewer hours than men. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes: “Even among full-time workers (who typically work 35 or more hours per week), men worked longer than women—8.2 hours compared to 7.8 hours.” This adds up over a year.

Women are also more likely to take on caregiver responsibilities. Now, we could argue that this is a societal problem that we must solve by encouraging men to take care of children or elderly parents. But it is not a problem with work to encourage couples to make different decisions. Do you want your boss to tell you if your wife can stay home with the kids or ask you to give up your flexible schedule? (Women tend to prefer flexibility over money, when given a choice.)

Attempts to fix the wage gap

The idea that women earn less than men bothers many people and everyone aims to fix it. Sexism has been illegal for longer than I’ve been alive. Now, new legislation is once again trying to address it.

The problem is that you can’t eliminate gaps until you abolish free choice. A recent Harvard study of bus drivers in Massachusetts found that while men outperformed women, the appointments were all based on seniority with drivers having the highest rank in their schedule selection. Women constantly choose the easier ways that pay less and stop working overtime.

Unless you force women to work more or men to work less, you have to deal with the choices.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortex (D-NY) also addressed a better solution than the new legislation, though she didn’t speak specifically about one. “the The wage gap The wage gap persists through secrecy. “

If you want to stop pay discrepancies, make sure everyone knows what everyone else in the company is earning. The only people who benefit from salary secrecy are the bosses. Be open, and you will reduce discrimination across the board.

Telling women—especially young women—that things are stacked against them and that they will never make as much money as their male counterparts is not only false, it also encourages failure and anger. Instead, teach them that if they want to make more money, they need to make different choices. Study engineering instead of English literature. Take shifts overtime instead of coming home early. Be a doctor instead of a nurse.

So, no, I am not advocating the introduction of an equal pay day. I’m all for Promoting Choices Accountability Day. If you don’t like your salary, make different choices.

This post originally appeared on Inc.

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