What is the Pay Gap and How Can We End It?
Justine Bunis
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  1. Women don’t enter STEM fields, but they have equal access. There’s no sign on the door saying ‘Men Only’, just as there’s no sign on the door to sociology lectures saying ‘Women Only’. Men can become sociologists just as women can become engineers — it’s about choice.
  2. In your image you’re comparing entrepreneurs and early computer administrators— that’s a little misleading. Why not have a picture of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook? Female coders are still rare today unfortunately, and only a celebrated few join our ranks, but access is identical for both sexes. In fact, it’s easier for women to get into it, and fun too!
  3. Women are conditioned not to negotiate for higher salary. An adult woman is just that, an adult — it is her decision how much she negotiates for, this is not systemic sexism, it’s personal desire. I encourage my female friends to hold out for more, they are reluctant at first, but they get the bump in the end. It’s their choice, treat women like adults, not defenceless children.
  4. Lack of paid leave for women, almost no paid leave for men. The best thing for women in the workforce is to increase paternity leave, and encourage men to take it. More time-off for men means employers won’t find them more attractive candidates. Equal parental leave for both parents, irregardless of sex.

The gender pay gap and the 79% figure has been debunked by economists time and time again. Once you control for externalities you find that women make between 1–3% less than men on average (in the West), and in some fields they make more than men. Compare female and male entrepreneurs per capita, or oil-rig workers, or sex-workers.

There’s anecdotal proof of what I’m saying: if women, on average make 21% less than men, then why would any employer, big or small, hire men? If I hire 10 workers at 100k each, I would save 210k by having a purely female workforce. All CEOs are sexist? Are they all racist when they ship manufacturing to Asia? They are business people, and a 20% reduction in labour-costs would not be ignored.

Or put it a different way, if the 79% ‘pay gap’ were to disappear, we would effectively be saying that women, despite on average having less work experience than men (because of child-birth) should be paid the same as men. You might think: “yes — that sounds fine”.

But let’s flip it: assume conscription for men was still in force, and after 18 months doing military drills, the men return to their jobs in the civilian workforce. Should the women, who have stayed in the workforce and gained vital experience in some new processes or software, and who, on average, are of greater economic value to the company, not be deserving of a wage increase?

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