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"What Gender Gap?"

We still hear a lot of hooey about the gender pay gap.  We see that if you look at hourly instead of "gross" pay; and in executive positions, adjust for age, tenure, and company size -- the gap is no more than 5%.

Now that we know this, how about fixing the REAL gender gap, where only about 40% of men have equal rights to be in the family and 60% have been systematically denied their social rights as fathers and husbands.

Now, I ask again, "What Gender Gap?"


What Gender Gap?

By Melynda Dovel Wilcox

Despite the numbers, women's earnings are about equal to men's -- and legislation won't affect the difference.

After narrowing throughout the 1980s, the so-called gender wage gap actually widened a bit in the '90s, with women earning only about 75 cents for every dollar that men make. But that doesn't mean that wage discrimination is rampant, or that it even explains why the gap exists.

In recent years, studies have consistently pointed to a number of legitimate reasons women earn less. For one thing, women tend to work fewer hours. Not only do 27% of working women work part-time, but those employed full-time put in 92% of the hours put in by men who work full-time. If you compare the earnings of men and women on an hourly basis, rather than weekly, almost one-third of the wage gap disappears.

Women also tend to make educational and occupational choices that will give them flexibility if they interrupt their careers for child-rearing -- even though they may earn less. Women without children make about 95% as much as men with similar jobs and experience.

Among corporate executives, a simple comparison of average compensation packages indicates that women earn 45% less than men. But once you adjust for age, tenure and company size, the gender gap virtually disappears. Very few men or women ever get to the top of corporate America, but women are paid fairly once they get there, says Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the American Enterprise Institute, who co-authored Women's Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America.

Only about 5% of the wage gap is unexplained, says Furchtgott-Roth, and legislation to set pay guidelines isn't the way to eliminate it. Instead, she says, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission should investigate discrimination claims in a more timely fashion. It takes two to three years to resolve a claim, and the long timeline discourages women from bringing complaints.


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