Would you be OK making $400,000 less over your career simply because you’re a woman? I’m not and neither are my girlfriends! Yet that’s exactly what’s happening to women across the country.
The gender wage gap has been all over the news. An oft-cited statistic: Women make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, or 23% less. This is true only if you don’t adjust for occupation, hours worked, time off, overtime, and other factors. It’s deceptively used by some, yet the actual gender wage gap is big enough, and worrisome enough, to demand transparency and change.
What’s the “true” wage gap, after adjustments? Reliable studies, including the US Department of Labor’s, are consistent in showing an “unexplained” gender wage gap of 5% to 7%. That’s a significant disparity, and due to discrimination.
Conservatives generally deny that there’s any real wage gap. They oppose increased wage transparency and accountability. I’m a progressive, independent woman who believes in wage equality between the sexes. I’m here to tell you that a gap of 5 or 7%, over a career, is enormous. No one would want to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over a career—money to put kids through college, provide a secure retirement, or pay off a home mortgage. Yet that’s what a 7% pay difference can make.
Here’s a simple example: If a man makes $50,000/year, while the woman, in the same job with the same experience, etc. makes 7% less ($46,500/year), then over a 35 year career, at a 5% annual interest rate and 2% inflation, she’ll make $400,000 less. Amazing, true, and unfair.
Progressives are right—women make significantly less than men. Even if it’s only 7%, it is enough to alter one’s life choices. Progressives and conservatives should demand equal pay, no matter what sex you enter into this world as.