Debunking the Wage Gap: We Are Not Victims

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We have so many opportunities in the workforce, yet women are often still told that we’ve got to run ourselves ragged and forego balance in order to break through the glass ceiling. Why?

Part of the reason work-life balance is difficult to achieve is because our society places so much weight on the financial success of one’s career.

For women, this has been particularly difficult because of the claim that we are underpaid compared with men and the notion that we have to work twice as hard to get to a level playing field. The ubiquitous statistic that women earn seventy-seven cents for every dollar men earn is a compelling story that points to systemic discrimination against women.

The problem is that it’s untrue. In reality, in our twenties women are paid better than men—by eight cents on the dollar. And overall, 72 percent of women say they have about the same opportunities to advance to top executive and professional positions in their companies as men. We are now as likely as men to be company managers.

Now, it is true that on average men earn more than women, and they also hold a greater number of executive positions. Yet this wage gap is usually not the product of workplace discrimination but rather is the product of the choices and needs of both women and men. Here’s a radical thought: Women are different than men, and our priorities, demands, and career paths differ in most cases because of our own choosing.

When we take into account things like education, hours worked, industry, experience, and career choice, the wage gap disappears.

Rather than pitting men and women against each other and using simplistic numbers to suggest that women are victims, we ought to acknowledge these differences and embrace the choices we make, understanding the different salaries that may result.

Click here to read the rest of this excerpt from Feisty and Feminine on The Daily Signal.