The Aquinas College Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center is having a bake sale to raise awarness of the fact that women are discriminated in the workplace by the fact that women earn just 77¢ for every $1 earned by men.
Here's Christina Hoff Sommers explaining the reasons for this difference in income between men and women.
The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents. And no one knows if the five cents is a result of discrimination or some other subtle, hard-to-measure difference between male and female workers.
Now, this is where I usually cue in the McDonald's Happy Meal theory for why women self-select into lower paying careers, but Hoff Sommers discredits even that.
Have these groups noticed that American women are now among the most educated, autonomous, opportunity-rich women in history? Why not respect their choices? For the past few decades, untold millions of state and federal dollars have been devoted to recruiting young women into engineering and computer technology. It hasn’t worked. The percent of degrees awarded to women in fields like computer science and engineering has either stagnated or significantly decreased since 2000. (According to Department of Education data, in 2000, women earned 19 percent of engineering BA’s, and 28 percent in computer science; by 2011, only 17 percent of engineering degrees were awarded to females, and the percent of female computer science degrees had dropped to 18.) All evidence suggests that though young women have the talent for engineering and computer science, their interest tends to lie elsewhere. To say that these women remain helplessly in thrall to sexist stereotypes, and manipulated into life choices by forces beyond their control, is divorced from reality—and demeaning to boot. If a woman wants to be a teacher rather than a miner, or a veterinarian rather than a petroleum engineer, more power to her.
I'm not conceding that Hoff Sommers actually discredits my theory, but she has a good point when she argues that we should respect the career choices women make. I have to admit though, that if find it a little ironic that the Aquinas College Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center chose a bake sale to illustrate the wage inequality between men and women?
HT: Marianne for the picture.