Is there a wage gap between men and women? Despite the rhetoric, there is little, if any, difference between salaries for men versus women. This truth has been uncovered by an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Study, an organization which seeks to advance "equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research."
The study entitled, "Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation," seeks to determine if the gap exists between men and women. Although the study declares that, "one-third of the gap remains unexplained, suggesting that bias and discrimination are still problems in the workplace," the American Enterprise Institute took a close look at the data. They implore the reader to "bypass the verbal sleights of hand and take a hard look at the numbers."
AEI explains that the AAUW has
"now joined ranks with serious economists who find that when you control for relevant differences between men and women (occupations, college majors, length of time in workplace) the...gap narrows to the point of vanishing."
The AEI also refers the reader to a 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Labor, which examined more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and found that the 23-cent gap "may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers." Although the "Binder Full of Women" meme took off during the town hall style debate with Mitt Romney and President Obama, the author cringed at the question. It seemed to be a question based in politics, and not solid evidence of wage discrimination.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
The question gave President Obama the opportunity to tout his support of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. How many people really know what this act is? Many may be surprised to learn that the Act is not about equal pay for women, but gives the plaintiff the opportunity to use existing equal pay laws after the statutory limit.
Watch it explained by Joe Biden here:
Since most people file their claims within the statutory limit, the law has had little impact. Equal pay for equal work was federal law before Obama became president. Listen to Mark Levin discuss the Lilly Ledbetter Act here.
Interestingly, a report on White House staff by Politifact revealed that women made a median salary of $63,240, while men made an average of $72,876. Of course, the site explains this away by saying that the "Obama White House has more equitable pay rates than the economy as a whole." Really? Perhaps the women staffers in the White House may beg to differ.
The truth is that enterprising employers, if such a wage gap existed, would surely only seek to hire women and therefore, reduce their overhead expenses, right?
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons