By Jason DeRusha

By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

Tonight’s Good Question is challenging a statistic we hear often. A Women’s Foundation and the Humphrey Institute found that overall, women still earn 76 cents for every dollar a man earns.

It’s shocking. Offensive. Women and men should be getting paid the same amount for the same jobs, right?

House Republicans are looking to remove a requirement that women and men get paid the same in government jobs. They argue it’s a paperwork burden on local governments.  Democrats are outraged.  Pat Kessler’s covering that story for the 5 p.m. news.

But what does that statistic really mean? Do women really get paid less than men — for the same job? And why is there a disparity?

We’ll look at the factors tonight at 10.

What’s your experience with this — do you think women get a raw deal? I may use your comments in tonight’s Good Question.

Jason DeRusha

Comments (79)
  1. AndyG says:

    Uh, because we still live under Patriarchy? Just a hunch.

    1. PMG says:

      Ted F;
      The 1800’s called……

    2. cindy g says:

      Ha ha, it’s mentally not mental. Is that an example of you superior intellect?

  2. Kassie says:

    As a government employee in a union job, I do not get paid less than my male counterparts. Pay is based on job class and, mostly, time in class. While sometimes someone may come in from the outside at a higher place than someone else, mostly it takes away the gender differences. Also, takes away difference due to race, disability, sexual orientation and religion.

  3. Joey says:

    In my experience this hasn’t been the case. I’m a guy, so maybe that dilutes my perspective, but in the companies I’ve been a part of I’ve definitely seen parity in pay. Maybe it’s an industry- or company-specific thing?

    I wonder if the time many women are taking off to be at home with their kids (or even cutting back to part time) impacts this metric. My wife quit her job when we had our twins a year ago and probably won’t go back to work for at least another year. I’m sure that will set her back compared with those who’ve been in the workforce over the same amount of time.

    1. Tough Stanley says:

      Joey, you sound like a woman, I bet your wife makes you sit down to pee.

      1. Joey says:

        I have no idea what point you’re even trying to make.

  4. Joey says:

    Always a troll, especially on a topic like this!

    1. Kyle A says:

      You are the troll Joey, I agree with Tom

    2. Joey says:

      Kyle, you agree with gross over-generalizations about a lack of work ethic in an entire gender? Then we’re on two different pages.

  5. Tess of St Paul says:

    I would assume that part of it stems from the fact that women are more likely to take time off for the birth of children or cut back hours to raise children. This affects their ability to gain experience and move up the “corporate ladder.”

    It could also come from the fact that a woman with a stable partner (like a husband) might stop working full-time and take a lesser paying postion, so she can continue to gainer a wage/income but not need to pay the expensive of daycare.

  6. Jennifer Kane says:

    Two problems. First, we don’t always know we’re getting paid less, since you’re rarely ever sitting around with co-workers saying “hey…let’s all talk about how much we’re getting paid here.” This happened to me right out of college – two college grads w-similar experience and yet the guy they hired at the same time as me was making a lot more. Once I found out, I took it up with my boss and negotiated for more. And second, we don’t ask for it. I’m sure that other college grad was getting paid more because he asked for more and I didn’t. And I think there’s sometimes a wee bit of passive sexism at work with this issues. Rather than “right the wrong” and say, “hey we should pay these two employees the same for doing the same work,” I think some hiring managers are still inclined to think, “sweet. I just came in under budget. It’s not my problem that she asked for so little.”

  7. Bob Moffitt says:

    Beats me. I see no reason why a woman should get paid less than a man for the same work. I also see no reason why Republicans would question that, or work to overturn a common sense law. Keep it up, GOP. The Dems will be back in no time, at the rate you are going.

    Oh, and Tom P., I hope your boss is a woman, and reads your comment here. Good luck with that next raise….

    1. Joey says:

      I don’t think Republicans are questioning whether they should be paid the same. They’re trying to help reduce the administrative burden on local governments of complying with the requirement. Whether or not the burden outweighs the benefit is a separate debate, but I don’t think it’s fair to say Republicans are questioning pay equity just because they’re attempting to remove an administrative step. That’s my take anyway (and no, I’m not a Republican).

  8. Chad Jones says:

    I am not really sure if Women get less then Men when it comes to the same type of job…. I do know that the kinds of jobs women can get without a degree pay less then the kinds of jobs men can get without a degree…. Example with a family I know…. the husband works as a pipe fitter and never had any experience before he had got the position that he is in…. But the wife could not walk in and get the same type of position with no experience…. she would have to go to college… and prove herself first…. For a uneducated woman the job potential in the same pay scale as men is a lot less….

  9. Shannon says:

    My husband and I graduated from the same program at the same time and are in the same field. Today, I make half the amount he does. Why? I’ve moved to follow his career, so I haven’t had the opportunities for advancement like he has…..and I’ve taken time off to have kids.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      So Shannon- are you upset about the wage disparity – or is it worth it for you?

      1. Shannon says:

        It irks me, but I wanted kids so it seemed like the right decision–and still seems it was the right decision. I would do it over again. But… still irks me. Is there a solution for equal pay? I don’t know.

  10. justin says:

    Having the same job doesn’t mean you should be paid the same. You have to factor in education, experience, tenure, etc. That said, all things equal, people should obviously be paid based on the quality of work they provide. Laying out a statistic like this with no backing information on how it was gathered isn’t a good idea.

  11. Jessica says:

    In my experience, it seems that it might have to do with how women negotiate for themselves (or in many cases don’t negotiate) when they first receive a job offer, how they present themselves at annual reviews etc… I see many women around me who do not fight for what they believe they deserve. My male counterparts are much more likely to share and show their worth openly while women tend to say things like “oh, it was a team effort” or “it was nothing” when in fact, they deserve recognition. I think this does affect the perception of the woman in the workplace. Confidence is key.

  12. robinmarty says:

    pay disparity is a fact, even when all other aspects of a job are weighed equally (job type, hours, etc)

    1. Carl says:

      Male doctors are more willing to work overtime, shift work and over night and ER positions.

      Female Doctors tend to work in clinics with business hours. One reason being they are taking care of their own children.

      Women are more likely to be awarded custody of children in among divorced doctors.

      1. hanna says:

        dear carl,
        do you have sources for this information or are these just opinions?
        using this logic, men doctors would hardly see their families. women take care of their own children, but is a man not required in the creation of a child? it should not be up to the woman in the relationship to always be there for the child. both partners should take equal amount of care of the child. it is unfair to place that responsibility on one person with a career and goals. also, careers are determined by the individual to fit their individual needs. if the individual was a woman working overtime shifts, would she get paid the same amount as her men counterparts? the statistics presented by jason and other commenters lead me to believe that assumption to be false.

  13. Carl says:

    Women often choose indoor M-F 9 to 5 jobs, over labor intensive or dirty jobs, overtime and shift work.

    Sometimes cubical jobs pay less because they have so many women applying for them.

  14. Bill says:

    If anything, my experience points in just the opposite direction. When I graduated from college (early 90’s), it was pretty well known and statistically proven that new women graduates in my field (engineering) could get, on average, a significantly HIGHER starting salary than men. The most-frequently stated reason? Businesses were wanting to have an appearance of being gender-neutral in hiring practices in positions which are typically thought of as “male”, and were willing to pay a premium to attract women to reinforce that appearance. Not sure if that’s still the case, but it does make sense. Women in technical fields remain a scarce commodity, and supply-and-demand creates premium pricing.

    As far as some of the studies indicating that men still get paid more than women for the “same work”–I haven’t looked at all the studies, but I do remember looking at some of them a few years ago, and their definitions of “same work” left a lot to be desired. Some of them said that all jobs which required a four-year college degree are equivalent and “same work”–when we all know that that’s not true. People with Engineering and Business degrees tend to make more than Arts and Humanities degrees–and men, for whatever reason, tend to gravitate to the higher-paying degrees more than women. If you look at pay job-by-job, experience-level-by-experience-level, etc., you’ll find far more equity than those reports state.

    Lastly, there’s still a perception among many people of men being the “primary” bread winners, while women’s income is secondary/supplemental. As such, when it comes time to determine which partner in a family is going to put in extra hours at work, or make the extra effort to earn a raise, it still tends to be the man who does this more often than not. And in that situation, it only makes sense that those who put forth those efforts are typically higher rewarded by employers.

    Want a great book to reference on the subject for your story? Check out “The Myth of Male Power”, by Dr. Warren Farrell. He’s respected enough on the subject to be one of the few males to ever be elected to the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women. Check it out!!!

    1. Tom Pagenkopf says:

      Thanks Bill for your intelligent reply!

    2. robinmarty says:

      um – Farrell was a board member before he spawned his own “men’s rights” movement where he focused on the the idea that men were being demonized, mistreated and discriminated against because of the feminists.

      and the perception that men are the breadwinners stems partially from the fact that they get paid more, so if someone has to stay home it tends to fall to the woman.

      its a cycle

  15. Fiona says:

    Majority of executive-level positions, board positions are still held by men, they set compensation levels and are in positions of authority to grant raises. Even if a woman is in that position they can’t appear to give favoritism so often seem more harsh on fellow female employees to avoid appearance of impropriety. There remains institutional sexism.

    1. Bill says:

      First of all–in my experience, that’s constantly becoming less and less the case. New board positions in the companies I’ve worked with are approximately equal men and women.

      Second–yes, many top board positions are held by men–men who are 60-70 years old, who have been in their industries for 30+ years and have the experience and abilities to merit those positions. You don’t see nearly as many women in those roles, simply because the equality revolution is such a recent event, relatively speaking. The women who have entered the system since that revolution are still in their 30s and 40s. The women in their 50s and 60s were raised in an era where this sort of advancement simply wasn’t pursued by women, and therefore they never strove to achieve that level. As those older male executives retire, more and more of those roles will be filled by women, simply because more and more women will have the experience level needed to complete those jobs. For now, they’re being treated–and paid–as equals to the men of similar skills and experience. Nothing more–but also nothing less.

      1. robinmarty says:

        bill, please provide data to back up your comments. Thus far, women are not actually being moved into leadership roles as men retire, as you claim.

      2. Bill says:

        data–(And no, I don’t care to disclose on this board who my current and former employers are):

        Current employer–Board positions to become available since I started, either via retirement or attrition: 2. Quantity of those positions filled by women: 1.

        Previous employer–Board positions to become available while I was with the company, either via retirement, attrition, or board expansion: 9. Quantity of those positions filled by women: 4. Of the 9 positions, 3 were filled by men under 50, three were filled by women under 50, one was filled by a man in his 60s, one by a man in his 70s, and one by a woman in her 50s. Supporting my point–in the older generation, top positions are typically ‘old white men’, simply because those are the people from that generation who most typically have the necessary experience. But in the younger generation, the genders are basically equal.

  16. Bill says:

    OK, one other point–

    Take a look at any list of the worst jobs in America. Concentrate on those which take into account not only pay, but hours, opportunity for advancement, career longevity, chance of incurring job-related injury, chance of job-related death, exposure to weather/elements, job-related stress, etc. On most, you’ll find jobs like dairy farmer, fisherman, miner, pro athlete (yes, the money is good–but the career longevity and chance of injury are horrendous), garbage collector, lumberjack, roofer, sailor, EMT, etc. What do all these have in common? They’re all 95%+ male. Society still protects women from having to take these jobs.

    The point? The so-called ‘glass ceiling’ is, for the most part, gone. But the ‘glass floor’ remains. If women, as a whole, want a greater portion of the top-of-the-line jobs, they need to realize that they also need to take a greater portion of the bottom-of-the-barrel roles too.

    Taking the bad with the good–now THAT would be equality!

  17. Jeff Saari says:

    Jason, I think you need to understand how statistics are easily twisted. If you can deny the facts based upon the 15 years of research in this article than I would say go ahead with your argument. Otherwise, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    1. Bill says:

      Great reference, Jeff! Particularly interesting facts pointed out in the article:

      * women who have never had a child earn 113 percent of what men earn
      * there are some 80 fields where women earn more than men
      * about 80 percent of the jobs lost in the recession were lost by men
      * males are exponentially more likely to become incarcerated or homeless
      * males disproportionately sacrifice much of their prime years in service of the military
      * the male-to-female ratio on college campuses is now about 40/60
      * approximately 93 percent of workplace fatalities are men
      * among unmarried college-educated men and women between 40 and 64, men earn nearly 15 percent less

    2. AndyG says:

      Uh, Robin already pointed out that this “study” is BS. There’s no “twisting” of anything here. It’s a stone-cold fact: women make less than men, and there’s no reason that they should…especially since they make up (at least) half the American workforce. Of course, ‘American Thinker’ doesn’t have an agenda, or anything…

      1. Jeff Saari says:

        Did you bother to read the article to find the basis of why women earn less than men?

      2. Jeff Saari says:

        and the American Thinker’s agenda is to disprove liberal falsehoods. Empirical data goes much further in an argument than wishful thinking.

      3. Jeff Saari says:

        I’m going to have to resort to stealing a quote from somebody else but I think it fits the argument here. If women were paid less than men then WHY would ANY company hire another man if they could reduce their payrolls by 20%.

  18. Bill says:

    AndyG, sure, ‘American Thinker’ doesn’t have an agenda.

    Just like the site Robin is using to refute it, ‘’, is also agenda free…

    1. AndyG says:

      Yeah, they have an agenda: equal rights for women.

      What’s American Thinker’s agenda? Advancing an ideology. Totally on par, Bill.


  19. MinnObserver says:

    Part of it in the secrecy surrounding salaries in the private sector. In the public sector (as well as many unionized jobs), there is a transparency – everyone knows what the rate of pay for a journeyman is going to be. In a non-unionized private employment setting, salaries are secret and everyone is kept in the dark. I suspect we’d see a move toward more pay equity if women knew what the men around them were earning. It’s one thing to know that men earn a certain percentage more in the workforce as a whole; it’s something entirely different to know that the equally qualified – but annoyingly lazy – goof-off in the next office is earning more than the women in the office.

  20. Carl says:

    Male doctors are more willing to work overtime, shift work, over night and ER positions.

    Female Doctors tend to work in clinics with business hours. One reason being they are taking care of their own children.

    Women are more likely to be awarded custody of children in among divorced doctors.

  21. Bill says:

    Even Jason’s linked report was by the “Women’s Foundation of Minnesota & the University of MN Humphrey Institute’s Center on Women & Public Policy”.

    Yeah, no agenda or bias there….

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      Bill – if you have problems with the study, I’d love to hear specifics.

      1. Jeff Saari says:

        Jason, if you’re going to present a fair debate then why don’t you include studies from outside the Center on Women & Public Policy. Don’t try to piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining. It’s akin to letting the Tobacco companies do their own studies on the effect of cigarettes. Really? Most of your readers seem naive enough to buy your garbage but thank goodness there are people like Bill around.

      2. Bill says:

        To be honest, I have yet to read this specific one in any detail, and definitely won’t have time to do so before your 10pm broadcast. (I suspect that’s why you’re asking the question–to get a sound bite.)

        But for obvious reasons, there is a tendency for groups like NOW, any women’s political group or foundation, any college/university’s women’s studies program, etc., to employ people, fund studies, and generate reports which take a predominantly “woman-as-victim” stance.

        My comment wasn’t so much to say that the “Women’s Foundation of Minnesota & the University of MN Humphrey Institute’s Center on Women & Public Policy” isn’t credible, so much as to point out that there’s no legitimate reason for RobinMarty and AndyG to dismiss either Dr. Farrell or as being biased, but to then claim that either or the study you linked are “stone cold fact”, simply because those sources happen to agree with their cause while the other sources don’t.

      3. Jeff Saari says:

        Jason, if you were interested in real journalism you’d bring both sides to your argument instead of relying on the Center on Women & Public Policy. That’s akin to letting the Tobacco companies perform their own analysis of what effects cigarettes have and just going with that. Don’t pee on our legs and tell us it’s raining. Most of your readers appear as naive as you are but thank goodness there are people like Bill and me out there that don’t buy your load of garbage.

      4. Jason DeRusha says:

        I will say the vast majority of studies indicates there is a gap. As to why there’s a gap – that’s up for debate.

      5. Jason DeRusha says:

        Jeff, you’re a sweetheart.

  22. Bill says:

    The smartest thing the women of America ever did was get the ERA defeated in the early 70s. If it had passed, they’d have had to accept equality–both the good side and the bad. Now, they can strive for equality in situations where that’s a legitimate improvement over the status quo, but in cases where things are discriminatory in their favor, they can claim victim status to assure the continuation of the status quo. They get their cake and can eat it too.

  23. Victim Du Jour says:

    John Stossel tackled this question on 20/20 a few years back, and interviewed a founder of the National Organization for Women.

    It’s too easy to over-simplify statistics to push a political agenda.

  24. Jeff Saari says:

    So i read a little more into the Womens Foundation and their Mission and Goals. Never here them stand up for the likes of women like Sarah Palin, Condi Rice, Michelle Bachmann, etc. Its not a unified women’s movement, it’s all politics. If they really cared about women’s rights they would be more concerned with the way some of the women in this country were treated as compared to others, say, the former Speaker of the House.

  25. Jeff Saari says:

    Here Jason, you’ve got a few more hours to prepare for a fair journalistic review, rather than an activist approach. Another source for you:

    Quote: In the United States, men earn more, on average, than women. The median man working full time in the United States earns $741 a week, compared to $600 a week for the median woman.[1]

    This gender gap is not the result of rampant discrimination. Rather, it exists because men and women often work in different jobs and have different qualifications. When work experience, education, and occupation are taken into account, the average woman makes 98 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      Hey Jeff– no one is arguing that the pay gap is due to rampant discrimination. Check out the story at 10!

  26. Johnny says:

    Hey folks this is not rocket science. This is PUBLIC information. If anyone wants they can simply contact the dept of employee relations or equivalent request the records of pay and time in service. It’s a simple request. Trust me with a little SQL it’s easy easy. Oh… Just to rock the boat… who thinks everyone is equal? Other than identical twins (which are not equal) most people are different, some work harder, some work smarter, some faster, some with more detail. Just because men may or may not make more or less doesn’t mean it’s necessarily wrong. It may be they really do deserve more or less? It’s like saying that all people should weight between 120-160. It’s only ONE metric. Before you can even begin to argue you would have to have some serious metrics and data to back the quality of work. Sorry I don’t buy off on the idea that all is equal and there should be some magical sliding scale that benefits one over the other that is not related to work performed.

    1. Jeff Saari says:

      Thank you for probably the most insightful comment yet. It’s all about putting people into a box for some…

  27. Pam says:

    Jason, I think you should contact Ms. Bonnie Nelson, who works in the Financial Dept. at the City of Princeton. I believe she was one of the women involved in getting this law into effect due to pay disparity. It would be good to have some history to understand why this law should NOT be repealed.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      I think the issue with the law isn’t about whether there should be pay equity or not… it’s more about the unfair paperwork/reporting burden, as perceived by the local units of government.

    2. J. S. says:

      Pam, I sure wish the same rules applied to the private sector as they did to the people in the public sector. Equal pay, pensions, government holidays, guaranteed healthcare, and other various perks depending on the position. But you know what? Someone’s gotta work to pay your bills. While government workers pay their taxes we also pay ours which pay your wages and your pensions all the while we are having to pay our own 401k’s. So in essence, we’re paying for your wages, your taxes, your pensions while doing the same for ourselves. Beware Pam, once government grows too large, and becomes too filled with beuracracy to the likes of what you’re talkiung about there will be no one left to pay the bills. Get ready for your grey jumpsuit.

  28. Kathy Burland says:

    HI Jason,

    As the topic questionwas ” If women really get paid less then men” I would like to know how WCCO, it self answers the question. As your CO-Anchors Frank and Amelia are performing the same job daily, do they get paid equally? and of course we all know they are married, so how does that play into the equation.
    Thanks Kathy Burland

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      I would assume that Amelia makes more than Frank.

  29. Kathy Burland says:

    Do then we assume that WCCO pays all their female employees more than the male employees? Or do you have factual statistics to back your comments up? I think if my memory serves that Amelia has been with WCCO longer but I’m sure Frank has been in the businesss and has had his own credited reasume so, with that theroy, how does WCCO insure the equality of perfesionalism between men and women?

    1. J.S. says:

      i like kathy’s arguments. where were you earlier?

    2. Jason DeRusha says:

      Kathy, what does WCCO have to do with any of this? If Frank and Amelia want to share their salaries- they certainly can – but I don’t think it’s any of your business, nor is it really germane to the story we just put together.

  30. Kathy Burland says:

    A little slow in response as I didn’t catch on until I heard the actual newscast but the comments should still be effecti as the entire segment is less than 60 min old..

  31. Board Chair Beth says:

    Please reference Arvonne Fraser’s story in the Star Tribune, which states, “That “costly mandate” that worries the Chamber of Commerce costs, on average, less than 2 percent of payroll for local governments.”

    Just to clarify, Bill, the ERA was defeated in the early 1980s, not 1970s, and we haven’t given up. It’s also not a “women’s” issue. State ERAs have worked to prevent “gender discrimination” and have benefited men greatly in expansion of father’s rights and redefining male stereotypes leading to reduction in stress and healthier lifestyle. Maybe some day, men will have a longer life expectancy when the genders find greater balance.

    Just to share my personal experience as a supervisor: I had conducted performance reviews for all of my employees. I had to present my salary recommendations based on those reviews to the Vice-President of my division. He had already approved and agreed with the performance reviews, so I didn’t expect any surprise because I used the company required formula to calculate the percentages. Instead, he said, “You’re giving a larger raise to Linda instead of John? But he has a family to support!” I reminded him that they both had families to support, and that isn’t what raises are based on. The quantity and quality of her work surpassed his, so the raise needs to be based on performance. A light went off in that old dinosaur’s head that he might get sued if he fought me on this, so he gave in, but not every manager is willing to fight their VP. And I’m afraid that a lot of the decision makers are still dinosaurs in terms of making decisions based on gender stereotypes.

    1. Bill says:

      Just to clarify, Beth, the time frame that the federal ERA was “defeated” is a matter of perception. Yes, there were still some battles in the 80s, but for the most part, the main momentum had passed in the early 70s, so it can be fairly stated that that’s when it was defeated. Further, every year a new proposal to implement the ERA is again submitted to Congress, even though it’s known to have almost no chance of passing. So from that perspective, it wasn’t defeated in the 80s, either.

      When you correctly pointed out that various state ERAs have benefited men greatly in some areas such as father’s rights–that’s the point I was attempting to make when I pointed out that a federal ERA would likely hurt many of the objectives of many women’s groups far more than it would help them. A federal ERA would help women in some areas–but it would also eliminate many of their inequal protections they now receive. Yes, father’s rights have improved in some states–but they still have a long way to go in many states, and are in need of improvement even in the best father’s rights states.

      Here’s another relatively simply sexist establishment that would have to change in men’s favor with an ERA–Why don’t women need to register for the draft?

  32. Kathy Burland says:

    Aa I have read through most of the blogs here, I have heard intelectual references, personal experiences etc; and read the responses. but as I am asking a specific question to those who presented the question in the first place, I am requesting a reasonalbe and not a comic easy way out response, as I recieved before .Again, How does WCCO deal with the answer to thier own question in regards to thier own employees?

  33. Kathy Burland says:

    Ok Jason,

    Maybe Frank and Amelia were just the familiar and easy icons that WCCO feature every day as your star anchors; but the same question is still in play remember your the ones that presented the question in the first place, and I’m just presenting the same question to the origintors “How does WCCO pay thier emplpoyees in regards to men and women, are they paid equally? Any answer other than an upstanding honset one, will be construed as nothing than an attempt to avoid the truth.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      As I’m an employee, not a boss, I have no idea what other people make. Reporters, producers, and photographers are in labor unions – so most of the wages are on a scale. Also, my news director told me that our corporation requires gender equity audits every year – so the managers have to analyze this issue to make sure there are no gender pay gaps.

      1. Bill says:

        And, assuming what Jason said earlier is correct (that Amelia likely outearns Frank), it makes sense, simply from an experience standpoint. Amelia has been anchoring for longer than Frank, and is likely considered to be a greater demographic draw. Those should equal more pay, regardless of gender.

        Which explains why Amelia was willing to give Rosie a kidney last night, but didn’t even mention whether she’d be wiling to give Frank one. Rosie has more experience and higher pay. 🙂

    2. Sherri says:

      Looking for Kathy Burland that lived on yates avenue in Chicago. email me at if you’re that person. I lived across the street from Judy Nathan and we were all friends! – Sherri Roman

  34. Bill says:

    Jason, after all the pre-story comments I made yesterday, thought I’d give some feedback on the story from last night now that I’ve seen it. I have to say, in most aspects, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed. It did a better job of pointing out the differences in the type of jobs typically chosen by the different genders, and the impact that has on their pay, than I was expecting based on what you wrote here.

    There were still some things I had to question–for example, you ran with a $27,000 pay difference between certain surgeons straight out of med school, but didn’t give any information on other jobs, or any indication of any research as to why that’s the case in that job. (As I stated in an earlier comment, in my profession–engineering–the exact opposite was the case when I was graduating. I have no reason to suspect that has changed. It would have been more fair for you to also present such an example where women are paid more than men when they graduate.)

    I definitely noticed how the women from the Women’s Foundation in your interview had to catch herself to try to disguise her bias. She started talking about how many women will make choices between career advancement and other things like family, and says that we don’t want women to have to make those choices. She then tries to catch herself and say that we don’t want families to have to make those choices. But the bias was already clear–her first thought was not to what would be best for EVERYONE, but only what would be best for women–the rest was an attempt at P.C. coverup.

    Besides, why DON’T we want people to make choices? For example, if someone (of either gender) takes significant time away from their job to raise a family, the result is that they end up not having as much job-related experience under their belt over the same time period as someone who doesn’t. That’s a choice. If we say that we don’t want them to have to choose between time with the family or higher pay in the career, that’s basically saying that they shouldn’t be paid less for doing less. And if that’s the case, you’re now taking away the choice for the person who doesn’t want to pursue a family, by saying that even though they’re putting in more time and effort, their compensation is going to be the same as the person who doesn’t. (This already happens by way of employee benefits–companies pay significantly more to employees who have families by way of things like health insurance premiums.) By saying that people shouldn’t have to make the choice, you’re unfairly punishing people who do make the choice.

    All that said, though, it was a decent and relatively fair report. It glossed over a few things–but that’s to be expected when you’re limited to 3 minutes. Well done!


  35. hanna says:

    i have to say that i believe that it is an atrocious idea for this law to be repealed just so that corporations don’t have to submit paperwork.
    sorry companies, paperwork is a part of being a company.
    eliminating this law would give employers who do truly believe that a woman’s work is not as good as the work a man does ability to discriminate. these laws were put in place to eliminate sexism and discrimination, which they are only slightly upholding. personally, if i learned that the work i was doing in the same position as a man colleague was earning me less money, i would be extremely offended, and i would definitely call out the practice. sex should not be a factor in determining pay.
    additionally, jason’s “good question” has not addressed the wage difference between white men and minority women.
    the wage difference between Native American women earned 69 cents to the dollar, African American women 61 cents and Hispanic women earned 51 cents to the dollar.


  36. The Trend says:

    and men comprise 97% of workplace fatalities- don’t hear any women complaining about that.

  37. Steph says:

    I’ve been working in the automotive industry for 15 years selling auto parts. I started in a very small town when minimum wage was $4.25 then I moved to the twin cities where I was paid $7 and hour then within 2 years I was up to $11 an hour. 3 years ago I moved back to that small town and am now making only $10 an hour. I have more experience and training than the most of the people I worked with in the cities, yet being in the small town brings my pay down. I know cars inside and out, I’ve worked on vehicles, done some auto body and done detailing. With all of this PLUS an ASE certification I’m only at $10 an hour and guess what, its NOT because I’m a girl, its because of where I chose to live. Each situation is different folks. And take it easy on Jason, geez!

  38. Courteney says:

    People should be paid on skill level, effort, loyalty, knowledge, etc. If you leave work (for WHATEVER reason) you should get paid less than the person who doesn’t leave work. What I mean by “leave work” is leaving early, coming in late, taking weeks, months, or years off, taking more sick days, etc. I don’t care what the reason is behind the leaving work. It doesn’t and shouldn’t matter. Everyone has important stuff going on in their life so we should promote/give raises to the people who work the hardest/smartest.

    I see many people (mostly women) who leave early for their kids, go on maternity leave, take sick days when their kids are sick, etc. I think that this kind of stuff should 100% effect their job and pay. The person who doesn’t leave early, take off for months, etc should be rewarded for that through better pay and promotions. It is only fair.

    But to pay someone differently just because of their sex is stupid and should be criminal. It’s wrong and sexist. I am a female that comes in early, stays late, works weekends, has had to cover 3 women on maternity leave and that better show up in my paycheck and be deducted from their paycheck. That is what fair pay is about. Equal pay for equal work. When it isn’t equal work, there shouldn’t be equal pay.

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