8 Reasons Why The "Gender Pay Gap" Is A Total Sham
By Steve Tobak | March 8, 2011
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.”
3. Men work in less desirable locations.
Men are far more likely to take work in uncomfortable, isolated, and undesirable locations that pay more.
4. 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.
5. Men are more likely to work on weekends.
Men are more likely to take jobs that require work on weekends and evenings and therefore pay more.
6. 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.
7. Unmarried women who don't have children actually earn more than unmarried men.
Unmarried women who’ve never had a child actually earn more
than unmarried men, according to Nemko and data compiled from the Census Bureau.
8. 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.
The 10 Worst Jobs in America 2011
What makes a job the worst?
"To be at the bottom of the list, you really have to have a lot of things working against you," said Tony Lee, the publisher of CareerCast.
CareerCast , which put together the list of the 10 best jobs and this list of the 10 worst jobs, used five main criteria: The work environment, physical demands, outlook, income and stress.
There are two things that a lot of these jobs have in common; they’re dangerous or involve strenuous working conditions and they don’t pay very well, even though the usual rule of thumb is the more dangerous job, the bigger the paycheck.
Also, the entire bottom 10 list doesn’t require a college degree.
10. Construction Worker
Average Salary: $29,211
Key Factors: Work environment, stress, salary
Construction workers have a tough work environment that’s physically demanding and for low pay.
To top it off, demand for both commercial and residential construction slowed tremendously during the recession. In the latest jobs report from the Labor Department, another 16,000 construction jobs were lost in December.
Demand is expected to improve, however, when the real-estate market recovers and old infrastructure is replaced. Still, the tough working conditions and low pay may keep it on the worst list.
9. Meter Reader
Average Salary: $34,171
Key Factors: Hiring outlook, physical demands
Meter readers, the people who monitor public utility meters and record consumption by customers, are a dying breed as companies are increasingly automating this task. In fact, the hiring outlook ranked a negative 30.
Not to mention, the working conditions are tough – if the building is 100 degrees, or it’s minus-10 outside, they’ve still go to do their job. They can’t put on a sweater or complain to management like their cubicle-dwelling counterparts. Plus, given the outlook, if a meter reader loses his or her job now, it’s a lot tougher to find one.
“In another 10 or 20 years, this profession will probably be obsolete,” Lee said.
Average Salary: $34,152
Key Factors: Hiring outlook, work environment
Painters took it the hardest this year: The profession tumbled 32 notches on the list to the eighth worst job! The reason is simple: Construction activity fell off so much during the recession, whether it was new construction or renovations, that there wasn’t much demand for painters.
Plus, the pay is low and the conditions are tough – be it the temperature, or holding your hands over your head all day while standing on a ladder and inhaling paint fumes.
Construction activity, and therefore painting, will eventually improve but the increased use of automation for painting will continue to dent demand.
Average Salary: $30,168
Key Factors: Hiring outlook, physical demands, salary
Welders, the guys who repair metal surfaces using heat, typically work in factories and the job is very physically demanding, not to mention dangerous.
They suffered a drop in demand during the recession and, like their painter counterparts, have to battle an additional factor – automation.
The good news is that welders can shift from industry to industry pretty easily so there will still be some areas of strong demand like the oil and gas industry. Underwater welders, for example, can make over $100 an hour
6. Emergency Medical Technician
Average Salary: 30,168
Key Factors: Stress, salary
EMTs, the first emergency personnel at the scene of an accident or injury, basically help save lives just like doctors, with the same stress as doctors, but without the big paycheck.
Until the pay improves, this job will probably always be among the worst. This year, it fell nine spots, likely due to local government spending cuts.
On the upside, EMTs have “considerably better hiring prospects” than other jobs on the list. There will always be accidents and there will always be the need for first responders.
5. Taxi Driver
Average Salary: $21,127
Key Factors: work environment, stress
The big factor here is that the risk level is very high for taxi drivers. The crime rate for taxi drivers is higher than any other profession, Lee said.
Plus, they’re stuck in a car all day and contrary to popular belief, they don’t have more freedoms than the rest of us. If they work for a company, which most do, they are assigned a schedule, assigned pickups and have to report back to home base for everything, including bathroom breaks.
“It’s not a particularly nice job,” Lee said.
Average Salary: $34,168
Key Factors: Hiring outlook, physical demands
This job tumbled 18 notches on the list to the fourth worst job of all.
Roofers work in tough conditions, balanced on sloping surfaces much of the day, in all kinds of weather. Plus, the pay isn’t that great.
To top it off, the recession put a damper on all kinds of construction-related jobs, including roofers as everything from new construction to repairs got put on hold.
Average Salary: $32,109
Key Factors: Physical demands, hiring outlook
This is a great job for those who like the great outdoors but it is incredibly physically demanding and dangerous.
Lee said after lumberjack made the list last year, he heard from a lumberjack who said he loved his job but his list of injuries sounded like the curriculum for a med-school class: He’d lost two fingers, had a broken shoulder and a broken collarbone.
To boot, it doesn’t pay well and the business is starting to become more automated, clipping demand for actual lumberjacks.
Average Salary: $34,127
Key Factors: Hiring outlook, physical demands
Ironworkers do much of their work up high in girders at the top of buildings or out on bridges, making it extremely dangerous and stressful work – with a low salary.
On top of that, demand dropped during the recession as new construction and maintenance activity slowed.
The good news is that as companies and governments ramp up infrastructure spending, the outlook for ironworkers will improve.
Average Salary: $32,143
Key Factors: Work environment, salary, hiring outlook
This is the second year roustabout has earned the distinction of the worst job in America.
It’s interesting because roustabouts, who perform routine maintenance on oil rigs and pipelines, may be the only people in the oil and gas industry not sharing in its vast wealth.
It’s a dangerous job as was evident by the BP oil spill last year, and it too has a low pay scale. Not to mention, workers are isolated from their families. And now, thanks to the seven-year suspension on offshore drilling in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coastlines, the hiring outlook is weak.
you notice they didn't put fucking "blogger," "ballet dancer" or "elementary school teacher" on the list.
Men work more hours than women in both full-time and part-time jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS study, using data from 201,5 shows employed men, on average, work 42 minutes more per day than women. Men worked 8.2 hours per day compared to women’s 7.8 hours.
Great read. I love it when bull shit is flushed down the toilet.