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A few unpopular thoughts on equal pay and equality


2017-04-14 03:44:28
Equal pay for men and women is a no-brainer. Same goes for people from different races and religions. However...I do have a problem with the activists claiming there's a huge gender pay cap while in reality the issue is far from what it is made out to be. The pay gap is most likely way smaller than you'd see in any official statistics, and additionally the reasons for the cap are not what the are said out to be either.

Obviously, I'm currently talking about Western countries, and I also agree that genders have not always been equal. There's no question about that either, but when it comes to different pay to men and women in 2017, things are different.

Gender jobs

While the activists try to make us believe that there are no jobs that men can do better than women or women can do better than men, it's simply not true. There are, and most likely always will be jobs which are better suited for men, or better suited for women. Maybe because of the muscle needed, maybe the female brain and different kind of thinking. And no, the fact that some women can do some mainly men's job better than men and some men can do women's jobs better doesn't mean it applies to everyone. Rather, it shows that there are exceptions.

And before some of you start shouting, saying that cleaning the house is not women's job, you're absolutely right. I don't disagree with you here. The jobs I am talking about are occupations where one gender has a major advantage over the other. Be it big muscle mass need, slimmer fingers, or whatever else.

Additionally, when we forget the physical differences, there are also jobs which mentally work better for one gender in a sense that they attract either men or women more simply because. Of course, the reason why they attract one gender more can come from history, but at this point this is irrelevant.

Now, coming to the issue of equal pay. As I said, the general idea that men and women should earn the same amount for the same set of skills and same job....well, there is no question about it.

However, there are a number of things to think about here, and if there is a cap in pay, the reasons behind it might not be as straightforward as you might think.

You get what you ask for

For starters, studies have shown that if a man and a woman with the same set of skills apply for the same job, and they are asked about their salary expectation, women often ask for lower salary. You might want to say that they ask for a lower salary because they are afraid to ask anything higher, or that they might not get the job otherwise. That's true, but the same applies to men. The only thing here is that men are often (not always obviously) more arrogant in many ways, and the same idea applies when they say what they want to earn. They might not get the job, but it doesn't mean they are not willing to ask for what they want.

So if a man asks 2500 a month and a woman asks 1500 a month, if you were the employer, and you hired them both, why in the hell would you offer someone more money than they asked themselves? Yes, if business is good, and the new employee seems a perfect match, you might sometimes raise it to 3000 instead. But that's again an exception. Businesses are there to make money, but often they can't afford paying people more than they want. Often they can't even pay as much as is being asked.

In here the pay cap is not based on inequality, but simply on different asks. If two men apply for the same kind of job and they are both hired, and their initial salary ask was different, chances are they will end up earning different wages as well.

The statistics

The statistics say that there's a huge gender pay cap. But if you think about it, it often can't be measured in the current way for two main reasons. Reason number one being the gender jobs issue - you can't compare different jobs usually. For example, take construction workers and kindergarten teachers. One profession mainly men-run, the other one largely female. One 'sponsored by' businesses, the other one by government and tax payers. It's clear that there's going to be a big pay cap between the two.

And the reason number two is that even if you are working on the same job and earning different amounts, the reason is often different asks as explained above, not purposely pushing different pay to different genders.

PS: There obviously are exceptions. The story you heard about the friend of a friend who's earning less than her counterpart for the same job, even though they both asked for the same amount, it's probably true. But that's an exception. These things happen as well. No doubt.




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