Good morning Dinks. In a recent issue of Marie Claire magazine there were some shocking statistics about women, wages and the workplace. Did you know that in 2014 women are still not equal when it comes to the workplace? In all fairness I think we could say that women are also not equal in the home, but that’s a whole other topic.
It took me a few days to digest the information that I read in the article and then I listed to President Obama during the State of the Union Address. He confirmed that women hold jobs of lower paying wages. I’m not sure exactly what that means. Maybe it means that women are hired in jobs that pay less wages than other “male dominated” professions. Or maybe it means that a woman hired in the exact same job as a man makes less money. I’m not sure which one it is, but either way it’s not right.
Let me give you an example. The wage gap in Denver, Colorado is $0.19, the wage gap in Austin, Texas is $0.17 and the wage gap in San Francisco is $0.16.
Equality in wages equals equality in skills
I like to think that I am just as qualified as a man to be a financial planner, but maybe I am not as qualified as a man to be a Firefighter. I don’t necessarily think it’s because I’m woman. I think it’s because I am only five feet tall, have a birth defect in my lower back and I’m not very strong. If I was burning in a building I wouldn’t want my life resting in my hands and I definitely wouldn’t pay myself to do so. I also don’t have a killer instinct and the need to be a hero two qualities often found in men.
Men and women should have equal wages, if all other things are considered equal. However if being a woman brings a disadvantage to a job then she should earn a lower wage or not even get the job. The same thing goes for a man who brings the same disadvantage to a job. I don’t think that anyone, of any sex, should be paid less (or more) for doing the same amount of work as someone else.
Equality in job opportunities
Let’s go back to my example of being a Firefighter. If a woman has the same build as a man, has the same strength as a man and has the same lack of hesitation then I think a woman is just as qualified to be a Firefighter, a Police Officer or even a Mail Carrier. However I don’t think that women (or men) should get a job just because the position has a gender quota. That’s ridiculous.
All things being equal both men and women should have the exact same job opportunities. Of course there are always professions that are historically female dominated such as dental assistants and nurses (anyone thinking of Meet the Fockers right now?) and there are also historically mal dominated professions such as insurance sales and car dealerships. But then again, that is just historically.
As the workforce changes hopefully men and women will earn equal wages and have the same opportunities. Next time you go somewhere and see a man and woman working in the same position ask yourself, are they making the same wage?
Photo by supermicah