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Unequal Pay for Equal Work?
January 12, 2005
by Carey Roberts

There is no better example of how radical feminism hoodwinks women than the gender "wage gap" controversy.

For years, the Gender Warriors have been on the war path over this issue. Their argument is simple: On average, female employees receive 76 cents for every one dollar paid to male workers. And that difference equals discrimination.

It's time to blow the whistle on that nonsense. And a just-released book by Warren Farrell does exactly that. Why Men Earn More is chock-full of government wage data and research findings which show the feminist-driven "pay gap" is an ideological con-job.

I feel a little silly making such an obvious statement, but I guess it needs to be said: the work patterns of men and women are different.

First, the sheer amount of work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time men clock an average of 45 hours a week, while women put in 42 hours. Men are more than twice as likely as women to work at least 50 hours a week - that's why most CEOs are male.

Only in a socialist economy do employees get paid the same, regardless of the number of hours worked.

Second, men tend to gravitate to the socially-unrewarding but lucrative fields like computer programming, tax law, and engineering. And women select professions such as teaching, nursing, and social work that pay less, but offer more job flexibility.

Third is job desirability. Recently the Jobs Rated Almanac rated 250 jobs based on income, work environment, physical demands, stress, and so forth. These were the five worst jobs: seaman, ironworker, cowboy, fisherman, and lumberjack.

Does it come as a surprise that all of these jobs are male-dominated? The only way these companies can attract men to do the dirty work is to increase their paychecks.

Finally is the difference in job hazards. Men represent 92% of all occupational deaths. Why? Because if you look at a list of the most hazardous occupations - fire fighting, truck driving, construction, and mining - they have 96-98% male employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Shouldn't men who risk their lives on a daily basis be paid something extra?

Warren Farrell then takes aim at the dishonest depiction of the wage gap issue by the media. He cites one shrill headline that read, "Study of TV News Directors Finds Discrimination Against Women." And it's true that the female TV news directors were paid 27% less than the men.

But take a closer look, and it turns out the male directors had an average of 14.8 years of news work experience, while female directors had only 5.6 years. In other words, the men had almost three times more work experience, but were paid only about a quarter more.

This study of TV directors raises some lingering questions. First, why did the female directors have an average of 9.2 years less work experience than their male counterparts? And were qualified male candidates being passed over because of their sex?

It turns out that TV directorships aren't the only place where something fishy is going on.

Why Men Earn More presents information about beginning salaries for newly-minted college grads, broken down by their college major. In Table 5 we learn that women who major in computer programming, physics, agricultural engineering, or computer systems analysis receive substantially higher salary offers than men. By "substantial," I mean men in these fields are paid $4,000 to $7,000 less in the first year alone. That's a lot of pin money.

And in Table 6, we learn about the 10 occupations in which women with bachelor's degrees receive starting offers that are at least 10% higher than men: Investment banking, portfolio management, urban planning, financial analysis, distribution, finance policy, fundraising, religious occupation, communications production, and dietetics.

For example, if you are a female dietician, your starting salary is $23,160. But your male counterpart is only offered $17,680 - a whopping 30% difference.

This information comes as a bombshell.

I'm going to predict that when word of these disparities leaks out, American companies will be faced with a tsunami of complaints, grievances, and lawsuits from men alleging wage discrimination.

Because men deserve equal pay for equal work.

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