The gender pay gap is a statistical delusion which doesn’t reflect the life choices of different sexes

Ilma Amin August 7, 2016 2
The gender pay gap is a statistical delusion which doesn’t reflect the life choices of different sexes

Claiming that women “earn less”, without explaining why, is misleading and dishonest. The leading role of women in some of the planet’s most powerful jobs, from Christine Lagarde and Hilary Clinton to Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon, should make that obvious.

While there are numerous studies regarding the pay gap, virtually all studies are misleadingly inaccurate. Such statistic looks only at raw averages and does not take into account factors such as educational background, skills, and hours worked.

The Department of Labor funded a study that showed the pay gap is mostly due to choices, not discrimination.

Further research in 2013 by Anthony Carnevale, a Georgetown University economist, showed that women tend to lean towards college majors such as arts and psychology that lead to lower-paying careers.

In contrast, the 10 highest-paying majors – in fields such as mathematics, computer science and engineering – are dominated by males. Meanwhile pharmaceutical sciences and administration are majority female.

When it comes to the job market, employers pay more for employees with strong quantitative skills and we can’t let that create a misconception that the gender pay gap is “discriminatory”.

Moreover, before women get married and have kids, they earn the same as men, and receive the same superannuation and healthcare. After having children, women make major adjustments to their career choices such as more flexible hours and less managerial positions which thus create a delusion of a “discriminatory” gender pay gap when in fact the reason behind it is purely due to biological constraints.

However, women have more options than men when it comes to being primary parents. In fact, over half of female graduates of Stanford and Harvard left the workforce within 15 years of entry into the workforce. This is not an option for most men.

The world we are living in now is less sexist than ever. But the pay gap narrative suggests otherwise — it’s a statistical delusion which doesn’t reflect the real life choices men and women make about work and life. This type of myth is decimating because it leads to unnecessary public policy changes that affect people’s lives.

At the end of day, all human capital is equal, so the only difference is the choices we make as individuals.

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