KARL: Jay, I just want to clarify, to come back to this inequality issue. The president cited census data that women on average make 77 percent of what men make. Why is that an example or evidence of discrimination in the workforce at large, but it’s not evidence of discrimination when women here at the White House make 88 percent of what men here at the White House make?
CARNEY: Again, Jon –
KARL: It’s the same measure, it’s the same metric, and there’s a big gab on both sides.
CARNEY: We are hard at work here at the White House in the most transparent of ways to make sure women compete for and earn senior positions, that women are recruited for more junior positions so that they’re put in the pipeline for senior positions in the future. In fact, virtually every woman who sits in a senior staff office today was promoted from within the White House to that position, which demonstrates the president’s commitment to a diverse workforce here at the White House and in the administration, and demonstrates his commitment to having the very best talent around him advising him. Because it’s not just a question of fairness, it’s a question of quality. And there have been great studies in the private sector about having more women in top positions of fortune 500 companies improves the performance of those companies and improves the bottom line of those companies. And I know the president feels that the quality of debate and discussion and advice that he gets within this White House and more broadly this administration is improved by the presence of women, and more broadly of a diverse body of advisers. So look, there's no question that everybody needs to do more to get this right. One of the reasons why, one of the factors that goes into the figures that exist here at the White House is an aggressive effort to bring in young, talented women and others to help the workforce here to be diverse, and to make sure that there are people in the pipeline to be promoted within this White House and future White Houses and administrations so that that talent base is here in the future. It goes to fairness, and it goes to quality.
KARL: But Jay, I'm asking about the metric here. You would say there's no pay discrimination here at the White House, right? There's no pay discrimination at the White House. Is that your --
CARNEY: It is absolutely true that there is equal pay for equal work at the White House.
KARL: OK. But you're using the same metric to argue that there's pay discrimination in the workforce at large. Explain to me why the metric works in the economy at large, but it doesn't work here at the White House?
CARNEY: Again, the fact that there is indisputable census data that women earn 77 cents on the dollar that men earn. A lot of things go into that discrepancy. Discrimination and lack of transparency and the inability of women to find out what they're paid vis-a-vis their male coworkers is part of the problem. That is something we, in the administration via the president's authorities, and Congress through legislation can address. That is what the president is saying today. That is why he took the action he took That is why he's calling on Congress to do what it can do to address those problems. I'm not disputing that there are a lot of factors that go into that, but the discrepancy is real. And the again, I --
KARL: But I still don't understand why you're saying that's evidence of discrimination outside the White House, but the same metric is not evidence of discrimination inside the White House. I mean, it's the same metric.
CARNEY: Again, Jon, what I'm saying --
KARL: Well, you're not going very well -- 88 percent?
CARNEY: Well, first of all, again, if you want to compare metrics, we're doing better.
KARL: So is that the goal, to do a little bit better than the outside?
CARNEY: No, the goal is to do absolutely the best that we can do and that what we're striving to do here. And that's what the legislation the president calls on Congress to pass would ensure that others are doing across the country. And what astounds me about this debate is the suggestion -- and you don't hear a lot of women making it -- is that there isn't pay discrepancy.
KARL: I'm not making a suggestion, I'm asking about the metric you use outside the White House --
CARNEY: I don't think we dispute anything you're saying except that we have transparency here, what this law, if passed, would provide would be greater transparency for women. It exists at the White House, it should exist everywhere. And women should have the protections and tools in order to fight for paycheck fairness and transparency. Republicans object to this strenuously using the same arguments that conservatives used when they objected to every bit of progress made on civil rights for women and minorities for his -- over the past many decades. And they were wrong then, and they're wrong now. But I want to have this debate. I want you guys to -- let's talk about this every day until they pass it. (transcript via Grabien)
There Is No Male-Female Wage GapA study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men.
By CARRIE LUKAS
Tuesday is Equal Pay Day—so dubbed by the National Committee for Pay Equity, which represents feminist groups including the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, the National Council of Women's Organizations and others. The day falls on April 12 because, according to feminist logic, women have to work that far into a calendar year before they earn what men already earned the year before.
In years past, feminist leaders marked the occasion by rallying outside the U.S. Capitol to decry the pernicious wage gap and call for government action to address systematic discrimination against women. This year will be relatively quiet. Perhaps feminists feel awkward protesting a liberal-dominated government—or perhaps they know that the recent economic downturn has exposed as ridiculous their claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy.
The unemployment rate is consistently higher among men than among women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 9.3% of men over the age of 16 are currently out of work. The figure for women is 8.3%. Unemployment fell for both sexes over the past year, but labor force participation (the percentage of working age people employed) also dropped. The participation rate fell more among men (to 70.4% today from 71.4% in March 2010) than women (to 58.3% from 58.8%). That means much of the improvement in unemployment numbers comes from discouraged workers—particularly male ones—giving up their job searches entirely.
Men have been hit harder by this recession because they tend to work in fields like construction, manufacturing and trucking, which are disproportionately affected by bad economic conditions. Women cluster in more insulated occupations, such as teaching, health care and service industries.
Yet if you can accept that the job choices of men and women lead to different unemployment rates, then you shouldn't be surprised by other differences—like differences in average pay.
Feminist hand-wringing about the wage gap relies on the assumption that the differences in average earnings stem from discrimination. Thus the mantra that women make only 77% of what men earn for equal work. But even a cursory review of the data proves this assumption false.
The Department of Labor's Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more. This one fact alone accounts for more than a third of the wage gap.
Choice of occupation also plays an important role in earnings. While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.
Men, by contrast, often take on jobs that involve physical labor, outdoor work, overnight shifts and dangerous conditions (which is also why men suffer the overwhelming majority of injuries and deaths at the workplace). They put up with these unpleasant factors so that they can earn more.
Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women's earnings are going up compared to men's.
Should we celebrate the closing of the wage gap? Certainly it's good news that women are increasingly productive workers, but women whose husbands and sons are out of work or under-employed are likely to have a different perspective. After all, many American women wish they could work less, and that they weren't the primary earners for their families.
Few Americans see the economy as a battle between the sexes. They want opportunity to abound so that men and women can find satisfying work situations that meet their unique needs. That—not a day dedicated to manufactured feminist grievances—would be something to celebrate.
Ms. Lukas is executive director of the Independent Women's Forum.
By STEVE TOBAK
According to all the media headlines about a new White House report, there's still a big pay gap between men and women in America. The report found that women earn 75 cents for every dollar men make. Sounds pretty conclusive, doesn't it? Well, it's not. It's misleading.
According to highly acclaimed career expert and best-selling author, Marty Nemko, "The data is clear that for the same work men and women are paid roughly the same. The media need to look beyond the claims of feminist organizations."
On a radio talk show, Nemko clearly and forcefully debunked that ultimate myth - that women make less than men - by explaining why, when you compare apples to apples, it simply isn't true. Even the White House report: Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being explains why. Simply put, men choose higher-paying jobs.
Here are 8 reasons why the widely accepted and reported concept that women are paid less than men is a myth. The timing couldn't be better - today's International Women's Day 2011. What better time to empower women with the truth instead of treating them like victims. And, in case you're wondering, Nemko's source of information is primarily the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - rock solid.
Why the Gender Pay Gap is a Complete Myth
Men are far more likely to choose careers that are more dangerous, so they naturally pay more. Top 10 most dangerous jobs (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics): Fishers, loggers, aircraft pilots, farmers and ranchers, roofers, iron and steel workers, refuse and recyclable material collectors, industrial machinery installation and repair, truck drivers, construction laborers. They're all male-dominated jobs.
Men are far more likely to work in higher-paying fields and occupations (by choice). According to the White House report, "In 2009, only 7 percent of female professionals were employed in the relatively high paying computer and engineering fields, compared with 38 percent of male professionals." Professional women, on the other hand, are far more prevalent "in the relatively low-paying education and health care occupations."
Men are far more likely to take work in uncomfortable, isolated, and undesirable locations that pay more.Men work longer hours than women do. The average fulltime working man works 6 hours per week or 15 percent longer than the average fulltime working woman.
Men are more likely to take jobs that require work on weekends and evenings and therefore pay more.
Even within the same career category, men are more likely to pursue high-stress and higher-paid areas of specialization. For example, within the medical profession, men gravitate to relatively high-stress and high-paying areas of specialization, like surgery, while women are more likely to pursue relatively lower-paid areas of specialization like pediatrician or dentist.
Despite all of the above, unmarried women who've never had a child actually earn more than unmarried men, according to Nemko and data compiled from the Census Bureau.
Women business owners make less than half of what male business owners make, which, since they have no boss, means it's independent of discrimination. The reason for the disparity, according to a Rochester Institute of Technology study, is that money is the primary motivator for 76% of men versus only 29% of women. Women place a higher premium on shorter work weeks, proximity to home, fulfillment, autonomy, and safety, according to Nemko.
It's hard to argue with Nemko's position which, simply put, is this: When women make the same career choices as men, they earn the same amount as men. As far as I'm concerned, this is one myth that has been officially and completely busted. Maybe you should celebrate International Women's Day 2011 by empowering women with the truth instead of treating them like victims ... which they're not.
Update 3/18/11: A reader was kind enought to send me a link to "An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women" prepared, under contract, for the U.S. Department of Labor in 1/09:
"This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers."
Kay Hymowitz: Why Women Make Less Than Men
In studies from the U.S. to Sweden, pay discrimination can't explain the disparity. Women earn less because they work fewer hours.
By KAY HYMOWITZ
First, the Atlantic magazine announced "the end of men." Then a Time cover story in March proclaimed that women are becoming "the richer sex." Now a Pew Research Center report tells us that young women have become more likely than young men to say that a high-paying career is very important to them. Are we really in the midst of what Pew calls a "gender reversal?"
One stubborn fact of the labor market argues against the idea. That is the gender-hours gap, close cousin of the gender-wage gap. Most people have heard that full-time working American women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Yet these numbers don't take into account the actual number of hours worked. And it turns out that women work fewer hours than men.
The Labor Department defines full-time as 35 hours a week or more, and the "or more" is far more likely to refer to male workers than to female ones. According to the department, almost 55% of workers logging more than 35 hours a week are men. In 2007, 25% of men working full-time jobs had workweeks of 41 or more hours, compared with 14% of female full-time workers. In other words, the famous gender-wage gap is to a considerable degree a gender-hours gap.
The main reason that women spend less time at work than men—and that women are unlikely to be the richer sex—is obvious: children. Today, childless 20-something women do earn more than their male peers. But most are likely to cut back their hours after they have kids, giving men the hours, and income, advantage.
One study by the American Association for University Women looked at women who graduated from college in 1992-93 and found that 23% of those who had become mothers were out of the workforce in 2003; another 17% were working part-time. Fewer than 2% of fathers fell into those categories. Another study, of M.B.A. graduates from Chicago's Booth School, discovered that only half of women with children were working full-time 10 years after graduation, compared with 95% of men.
Women, in fact, make up two-thirds of America's part-time workforce. A just-released report from the New York Federal Reserve has even found that "opting-out" by midcareer college-educated wives, especially those with wealthy husbands, has been increasing over the past 20 years.
Activists tend to offer two solutions for this state of affairs. First is that fathers should take equal responsibility for child care. After all, while men have tripled the number of hours they're in charge of the kids since 1970, women still put in more hours on the domestic front. But even if we could put a magic potion in the nation's water supply and turn 50% of men into Mr. Mom, that still leaves the growing number of women with no father in the house. Over 40% of American children are now born to unmarried women. A significant number—though not a majority—are living with their child's father at birth. But in the next few years when those couples break up, which is what studies show they tend to do, guess who will be left minding the kids?
Which brings us to the second proposed solution for the hours gap: generous family-leave and child-care policies. Sweden and Iceland are frequently held up as models in this regard, and they do have some of the most extensive paternity and maternity leave and publicly funded child care in the world.
Yet even they also have a persistent hours and wage gap. In both countries, mothers still take more time off than fathers after the baby arrives. When they do go back to work, they're on the job for fewer hours. Iceland's income gap is a yawning 38%—that is, the average women earns only 62 cents to a man's dollar. Even Sweden's 15% gap—though lower than our 23% one—is far from full parity.
All over the developed world women make up the large majority of the part-time workforce, and surveys suggest they want it that way. According to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, in 2008 only 4% of the 70% of Dutch women who worked part-time wished they had a full-time job. A British Household Panel Survey interviewing 3,800 couples discovered that among British women, the happiest were those working part-time.
A 2007 Pew Research survey came up with similar results for American women: Among working mothers with minor children, 60% said they would prefer to work part-time, while only 21% wanted to be in the office full-time (and 19% said they'd like to give up their job altogether). How about working fathers? Only 12% would choose part-time and 70% wanted to be full-time.
Some counter that the hours gap would shrink if employers offered more family-friendly policies, such as flexible hours and easier on-off ramps for moving in and out of the workforce. We don't know if there is a way to design workplaces so that women would work more or men would work less or both. What we do know is that no one, anywhere, has yet figured out how to do it. Which means that for the foreseeable future, at least when it comes to income, women will remain the second sex.
A version of this article appeared April 26, 2012, on page A15 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Why Women Make Less Than Men.
Why the U.S. Economy Is Biased Against Men
By Marty Nemko
That women earn 77 cents for every $1 earned by a man is a popular refrain. But look closer. Prejudice against guys in the economy is real and widespread.
Update: Also see the response column, Why the Economy Is Not Biased Against Men]
You've just landed on Planet Zuto.
The Intergalactic Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (IEEOC) has sent you to determine whether Zuto's economy is fair to its two sexes: vozems and zems. Your boss suggests you'll probably find sexism against the vozems.
But your first discovery is that 60 vozems graduate from college for every 40 zems. You discover clues as to why. Despite the under-representation of zems, many scholarships are set aside for vozems, few for zems. The curriculum accentuates vozems' accomplishments, zems' failings. Student groups are funded to encourage vozems, for example, Future BusinessVozems, far fewer for zems.
You beam your first report back to the IEEOC: Zuto U's appear to be sexist against zems, not vozems.
Next, you examine the Zuto Bureau of Labor Statistics and find that the unemployment rate for vozems is 20% lower than for zems. You are shocked to discover that rather than trying to help zems land work, the government deliberately exacerbates zems' deficit: vozem-owned businesses get special preferences in landing government contracts and taxpayer-backed small-business loans are set aside for vozems.
You beam back your next report to the IEEOC: More signs of sexism against zems. Your boss responds, "But vozems earn 77 zits for every 100 zems earn!"
Unless you really are from Planet Zuto, you know that the preceding was about men and women. Indeed, every statement made about Zuto is true of the U.S. And so are these.
The 77-cents-on-the-dollars statistic is calculated in a way that is biased against men. For example, while among all physicians, men earn more than women, men are more likely to be in specialties requiring longer training, high-stress, and irregular hours, for example, surgery and cardiology. In contrast, women are more likely to be pediatricians. Despite that bias, across all careers, surveys report that childless women under 30 make more than men. More than 90 percent of workplace deaths, military deaths, and severe workplace injuries (e.g., amputations, black lung disease) occur to men. Such dangerous work justify higher pay for men.
Visit American workplaces, especially major corporations, and you'll find that anti-men practices are not only tolerated but routinely imposed by employers. Women but not men are encouraged to form committees and caucuses to advance their sex's causes in the workplace, often at men's expense. Examples:
• Mentor programs for women only
• Special training for women only
• Fast-track-to-executive position for women only
In honest conversation, most people will agree that, on average, men are more often willing to do the things it takes to get promoted, for example, to make time to take advanced technical courses by forgoing recreation such as sports or shopping. Men are more likely to be willing to move to a God-forsaken place (Montgomery, Alabama, anyone?) for a promotion, and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to work longer hours.
Most people will also agree that, on average, women are more eager to have children and to be deeply involving in their upbringing. So women's committees and caucuses, with the help of outside advocacy groups with close ties to the media such as Catalyst, NOW, and AAUW, have pressured workplaces to institute programs for employees' children, for example:
• On-site child care, which diverts money from all employees' salaries and/or raises company products' prices, which ultimately costs jobs.
• Formal or informal policies that allow parents to leave work early, for example, to attend their kid's soccer game, leaving non-parents of both sexes to pick up the slack. And those non-parents, especially men, dare not raise a peep of objection lest they be dubbed sexist, which can hurt their career.
• Women's advocacy groups also were successful in pressuring the government to create The Family and Medical Leave Act*, which allows employees to--usually with minimal verification of need--take up to 12 weeks every year(!) to care for a relative, with a guarantee that their job will be held for them until they choose to return. (Women take the majority of FMLA days.) Now those advocacy groups are pressuring employers to make FMLA days-off paid days.
• For parents (again, disproportionately women) who wish to take years off to raise their offspring, many corporations have established on-ramps to help them get their career back despite having lost their technical and Rolodex's currency, and now often being less committed to work than are their non-parent coworkers.
The workplace cultural practices more often preferred by men have largely been replaced by approaches more often preferred by women. Individual initiative is now usually deemed inferior to teamwork, competition often replaced by collaboration, "push through to get the job done" with "process feelings," decision-making by leader with decision-making by committee. Men are more likely than women to throw all of themselves into work than to demand worklife balance, for which they are often dubbed with pathologizing monikers such as "workaholic" and "unable to relax" rather than "heroic" for being so contributory, even if it costs them their life. Men die 5.2 years earlier than women, a major cause being stress-related illnesses such as heart attack and stroke.
True, the occasional old boy still unfairly promotes a man over a woman, but despite unemployment being higher for men than women, today, "Sisters help Sisters" is not denigrated let alone sued as sexist, but encouraged. For example, Madeleine Albright said, "I have always said, there is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." And such statements have broad impact. For example, Google that quote and you'll see 43,000 references to it.
Men's efforts to organize into groups have largely been ridiculed, for example, portraying men's groups as troglodytes tromping into the woods to beat tom-toms. And men's organizations have been pressured to admit women, for example, the service clubs: Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions. Further limiting men's ability to organize, men's groups don't get the enormous free advertising the media gives to women's groups.
Making it more likely that the next generation of men will do poorly compared with women, the aforementioned women's advocacy groups plus others such as Girls Inc. and Soropotimists, have instituted Take your Daughter to Work Day in many more workplaces than Take your Son and Daughter to Work Day. A Google search is not comprehensive here, but it gives you a good indication of cultural emphasis: "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" revealed 570,000 links. A search on "Take Your Daughter and Son to Work Day" yielded only 14,000, and "Take your Son and Daughter to Work Day," 6,000.
The media influences how men and women are treated, and how boys perceive themselves relative to girls. Whether in commercials, sitcoms, or movies, even in non-fictional media, men are disproportionately characterized as sleazebags or doofuses shown the way by wise women. Don't believe it? Just turn on your TV. And have you not seen "Girls Rule" tee shirts? How do you think that makes boys feel?
When I started as a career counselor 25 years ago, my male and female clients seemed equally optimistic about their future. Now, the females mostly feel that their world is their oyster and the males more often feel depressed and/or angry. As you know, so many young men are often back living with their parents, often stoned and/or playing shoot-em-up video games, while the young women are launching their career.
Yet ironically, America is making yet more efforts to exacerbate the anti-male sexism in our economy. Last year, President Obama created a well-funded Council on Women and Girls but rejected one on men and boys. Here is that rejected proposal. (Bias alert: I am a member of the commission that created that proposal.) And in Obama's April 6, 2012 speech at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy, he reiterated that he wants to focus yet more on women: "(I) look forward to continuing the important work we are doing to promote the interests of women." After all, women earn 77 cents on the dollar.
*Updated: This originally read "Family and Marriage Leave Act."
Are women discriminated against in the workplace? Looking at the data, women on average earn an annual wage that is approximately 75% that of men, which many people believe is the result of discrimination. However, when Prof. Steve Horwitz analyzes the data more closely, he finds that women make certain choices, such as career selection and raising children, which tend to result in lower wages than men. These choices could be the result of personal preferences or sexist cultural expectations for women's work, though the relative influence of these two factors remains unclear.
Cities Where Women Outearn Male Counterparts: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/09/01/cities-where-women-outearn-male-cou...
An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women: http://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender%20Wage%20Gap%20Final%20Report.pdf
Diana Furchtgott-Roth's testimony before the Joint Economic Committee in 2010: http://jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=2a1f8ad4-f64...
The Wage Gap Myth Differences in average pay for women and men are apparently due to the life and work choices they make, say analysts. Many organizations are protesting wage discrimination on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 -- Equal Pay Day -- but the reality is that when women behave in the workplace as men do, the wage gap is small.
Women's wages hold up quite well to men's wages when comparing specific job categories (see figure I):
Despite these and other factors, over the last 20 years women's earnings have jumped at least 12 percentage points relative to men's earnings.
Source: Denise Venable, "The Wage Gap Myth," NCPA Brief Analysis No. 392, April 12, 2002, National Center for Policy Analysis.
For text: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba392/
Victim Feminist Central
Christina Hoff Sommers