The one about the pay gap

Note: the odd capitilization is an intentional device to bring attention to keywords, not a sign of a mind gone off.

Today’s news feed includes President Obama’s desire to collect information about salary, race, and gender from companies. People everywhere are screaming “right on” or “unfair” depending on your side of it, but there’s a different sort of gap in that data.

When we are talking about two Anglo-Saxon, Protestant Males, here’s a statement you generally don’t hear: It’s unfair that ASPM1 is paid more than ASPM2.

When you are comparing apples to apples, pay gaps still arise. Gender, Race, Religion are not the only vectors that factor into differences in salary. Turns out, you are actually comparing Granny Smiths to Golden Delicious, and they are not the same thing at all. Experience, Time in Job, and most importantly Performance also impact pay rates. And they should. If you get paid the same as the 50 year old female intern that started two weeks ago after a long and glorious career as a top performer, male or female, you aren’t going to work there very long.

The problem with only looking at three components is that it makes the argument become noise. When the data is not properly analyzed, it becomes harmful to a cause instead of providing support. There are, how widely is hard to judge since the data is generally skewed by this lack of completeness, gaps that really do need to be addressed. If we aren’t treating the data right, and normalizing it according to the best scientific methods, we are setting the system up for abuse and perpetuating skews in other directions that will be equally as harmful to the workforce as the current status quo.

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.