Girls And Women Need Our Support: Part 2
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Girls And Women Need Our Support: Part 2

Is the wage gap just a myth?

Girls And Women Need Our Support: Part 2
Wikipedia, C.C. 2.0

In Part One of my mini series I briefly discussed the wage gap between men and women in the workforce. In this section I would like to continue the discussion of the wage gap. Some people outright deny the wage gap existing, these people are almost impossible to reason with. Others make up excuses or regulate "facts" about the wage gap to discredit it, these people can be reasoned with. Now it's time to debunk some wage gap myths.

Myth 1: Women choose different jobs that happen to pay less.

While this may be true in some cases it does not discredit the wage gap. This is because the wage gap is compared with men and women who do the SAME job at the SAME or SIMILAR companies with the SAME or SIMILAR education and background. Wage gap studies do not compare a male lawyer and female teacher. It would compare a male and female lawyer with similar education and background. Or a male and female teacher with similar education and background.

Myth 2: The wage gap is small and closing fast.

Many people believe the wage gap is smaller than it is. I've heard men tell me the gap is only about 5 cents instead of the 20 cents I cited in my earlier piece. This belief plays into another belief, that the gap is closing quickly. This has been found false. It will take until the late 2050s to close the wage gap between men and women. I cited it in my earlier piece and National Organization for Women supports this claim by citing other research programs including the UN.

Myth 3: Men make more in male-dominated careers and women make more in female dominated careers.

This is partially correct. Men DO make more in male-dominated careers. They also tend to make more in female-dominated careers. This article cites a study done on elementary and middle school teachers. This career field is about 70% female and 30% male and the men still make $6,720 more per year. The wage gap grows as the career becomes more prestigious and therefore, more male dominated.

This trend of male-dominated careers paying more is repeated in history. When women started to become secretaries in the 50s, pay went down. When women started to take over teaching in schools, pay went down. Medical field jobs that are female dominated (like nursing) are lower paid than male dominated jobs like physicians. Now this is partly due to the education difference and partly due to the female/male split. And a male nurse will still make more than his female counterpart. While society continues to underpay and undervalue its female workers, it also blames women for their lesser pay. It only takes a quick search to find countless articles claiming that women are lazier and not as smart as men. I could have included these in my myths but they seemed too outrageous to even to give that much attention to. To anyone who thinks that women are lazier than men, I want to tell you that I work in a male-dominated workplace and my laziest co-workers are all male.

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