Florida's Gender Pay Gap Isn't What It Seems

Here's an excerpt from the Sun Sentinel and my take on it. Florida pay gap: For every 85 cents a woman makes, a man makes a buck

Excerpt: Working woman in Florida makes 85 cents for every dollar a man makes. That's about $5,515 a year less than men. According to a new report released Monday by the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The report, which uses U.S. Census data, was released in time for Equal Pay Day, which is Tuesday. The date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

Nationally, women are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, which is an annual wage gap of $10,169, according to the group. Separate reports by jobs site Glassdoor and compensation software firm say the gender wage gap is narrowing. Glassdoor said last week that U.S. women are paid 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, which it says is a three-cent improvement from 76 cents in 2016. Payscale had the same number, 79 cents, but says it rises to 98 cents on the dollar when measuring for the same jobs and qualifications.

Bottom line: Let me start by saying clearly that any gender bias in compensation is wrong. Period. We can move forward with what you’re bound to hear but is mostly bogus. A narrative that in the US a woman will earn significantly less for the same work as a man because she's a woman. That’s a demonstrably false pretense. Credit to the Sun-Sentinel at least working in a couple of lines about reality from Glassdoor and Payscale which compare apples to apples. 

It’s a fact of life that women, not men, have babies. It’s a fact of life that more men are heads of households as a result. It’s a fact of life that more women put careers on hold for family considerations than men and it’s a fact of life that more women have chosen careers in fields that are often lower paying. Such as liberal arts career paths as opposed to the higher paying finance and STEM fields. Would anyone ever look at a woman who chooses to be a teacher and ask the question, why is she making over $25 million less per year than Giancarlo Stanton? Of course, not right? Apples and oranges.

What’s important for the sake of equitable treatment of men and women in the workforce is the adjustment for all of the variables. How are men and women being compensated for similar performance over a similar time for similar work. The answer empirically is that women now earn 98% of what men earn when accurately measuring these factors. That’s 1% better than a year ago and a new record. That doesn’t excuse the 2%, that potentially is gender bias-related. Unfortunately, there are always going to be bad apples but it’s a far cry from what would be outrageous like earning 15%+ less simply because of gender. 

This is another success story of progress for the country. Not a woe is the average woman in the workforce story.

Photo by: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

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