Pay Gap

The study is dry "Graduating to a Pay Gap, The Earnings of Women and Men, One Year after College Graduation" by The American Association of University Women (AAUW), but incitful.

The study came to me via the npr blog's article Equal Pay For Equal Work, Not Even College Helps Women,  even though it came from a mostly trusted news source something about it didn't sit right with me. I thought I'd go traipsing around on the internet to see what I could find in the news about the study.

Interesting nuggets I've found... that are inciting this post... different news agencies reporting on the study showcase different aspects of the findings. This is probably poor form, but here are my search results from searching on "graduating pay gap study". HuffPost focuses on student loan debt, others including ABC, USA Today nd the NY Daily News suggest women should be picking "better" majors and should pay attention to what they're being offered and suggests women should be better negotiators. NONE of them call attention hiring agencies for continuing to offer women lower wages than their male counterparts. ALL of the the reporting articles fall to blaming women for their choices.  I looked to the study to see if this language came from the original source. Nah, sure didn't.

I can't help but be irritated by the condescending tone of the reporting, I imagine finger waving when I read things like "women should pay attention to..." and "women should pick better majors." I call bullshit. The study reports that men are offered opportunities to work more than 40 hours a week and women are often restricted to working fewer (around 36) hours a week. Sometimes just under the minimum to qualify for benefits thereby broadening the pay gap even further.

I think the onus is on hiring officials not the qualified women - offer women and men the same wages for the same work. Offer women and men the same number of hours and the same compensation packages. To blame women for their educational choices is perpetuating outdated sexism.

Here's an interactive map that shows the gap state by state. Not a single state demonstrates paying equal wages.


Popular Posts