|...but the fact that women make beyond less than men in America is a big deal ....
This one always interests me.
Generally if you look at average pay for a woman vs. a man working full time over the course of a year, the difference is around 23% less on average. Yet, if you reduce that to a difference in weekly earnings, it drops to about 18% less. This is more accurately reflective of the pay difference seen because on average women tend to take slightly more time off that accumulates over the year.
18% is still a lot though right?
Well, depending on what study you look at, the average length of work week for women is 52 hours vs 58 hours for men. That's a roughly 10% difference. If you want to look at it by day, another study suggests that its 7.75 hours (women) to 8.14 hours (men). That's closer to a 5% difference. Lets average that out at 7%. (statistics refer to those with business degrees)
So that still leaves an 11% difference in pay.
Add to that that men work an average of 2.15 hours overtime weekly, compared to 1.65 hours for women. Many offices pay double for overtime hours (though not all), further decreasing the gap. (again, statistics refer to those with business degrees)
A large portion of that can be explained by seniority at a position. Women tend to take more time off than men. 40% of women tend to take off 6 months + during their working lives, compared to 10% of men (NOTE: this excludes maternity and paternity leaves). While this certainly does not apply to all women, it does skew the average downwards, accounting for a portion of the remaining gap.
When you ad in maternity leave, this accounts for an even larger proportion of the difference.
It is also worth noting that while women in the top quarter of their class have a higher GPA than men in the top quarter of their class, on the whole, women who graduate college have a lower average GPA. This difference may also explain a portion of the wage gap, but is harder to quantify.
Does that completely account for the wage gap? Probably not. With all those factors included, most studies still suggest that it is about a 5% wage gap on average.
Yes, that's definitely an issue that needs to be corrected, but its not nearly as bad as is often suggested. Like many things, people look at a specific raw number (total pay difference), yet fail to look at anything underneath it.
One study that I read a few years back, but can't find currently actually found that when adjusted for seniority (with the same company), years worked (total), hours worked, and education/GPA, a little over 50% of companies payed women less than men (averaging 93% of the value), around 30% payed women roughly the same as men (98%-102%) and between 15 and 20% payed women more than men (averaging 110% - these were usually health care and CEO positions interestingly enough).
Now an open question to everyone else, are those 20% of companies guilty of reverse sexism? Or is that not an issue?
Similarly, the US population is 49.2% male, yet nationally, university enrollment is 43.6% male. Again, reverse sexism? or a non-issue?
I would just like to note that I strongly support equal pay. But only when adjusted for years and time worked in a job.