Here are the comments that have shown up under the November 12, 2012 My Turn I wrote about paycheck fairness.They post under the cloak of anonymity, but I think it's important to share what they think of the issue of equal pay. I wish I could bring Lilly Ledbetter to town to talk about The Lily Ledbetter Act and her book "Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond". (http://www.lillyledbetter.com)
I need to add an important correction. Brian Holst called me today (11/13) to let me know that the Juneau Economic Development Council did indeed print the earnings by gender in their 2012 Alaska and Southeast Alaska Economic Indicators (pages 21 and 22), just as they did in the last report. The report says, "Alaska men earned, on average, 37% more for full-time year-round employment than Alaska women."
I apologize to Brian Holst and his staff. I thought I had checked that out beforehand, but I made a mistake.
You can find the graphs at: http://www.jedc.org/sites/default/files/03%20Employment%20and%20Earnings...
Now for the feedback:
Latitude58 11/12/12 - 07:17 am
Barbara doesn't touch on it, but it would be interesting to hear the employer's side of the story. I would like to hear their explanation why they're paying a female employee less for the same job. Presumably if they could pay the male less too, they would. Theories about negotiating skills are interesting, but still just theories.
ken dunker II 11/12/12 - 07:27 am
Sure would like to hear some instances where 'negotiation' comes into play in Juneau's workforce. Does not reflect any workforce I've ever applied for. Call me naive, but, if it is so illegal and identifiable why is the Department of Labor not moving on this?
Paul Nowlin 11/12/12 - 08:31 am
...but I agree with Ken, if this is so "illegal and identifiable why is the Department of Labor not moving on this?" I had often wondered that while studying the subject. The statistics are nigh meaningless, because there are so many factors that could be involved. However, a gentleman getting paid differently than the lady next to him is a good place to investigate. At the same time, I have seen places pay individuals differently, but on those occasions it was actually all men and they were not paid equally to each other; this was all based on experience and the likes. I have never witnessed a company pay the females lower. If there are companies doing this, why can they not be stopped by the government? It is illegal, and disgusting, to discriminate against women (or race, creed, religion, etc.). Can anyone answer why this is not simple to prevent?
Teachers? Something smells in the data. That is a union only job in most of the country so the unions must have a dual scale.... one for females and one for males.
In the Private sector, there is no presumably about it. If a business can hire females to do the work cheaper than males you will not find any males in the workforce. IT IS all about the bottom line. Any board of directors would send a ceo packing if they found out that a readily available 20 percent savings in labor expense had been passed up.
I spent many years working for a company that used "performance metrics" and a merit based system to calculate pay. I doubt if any of us made the same money and it was very easy to see what your last raise was based on. I have never personally seen an example of females being paid less than males for the same work and suspect that it's actually extremely hard to find a specific case.
Ever notice that when you hear of this, it's always "WE" are getting paid less not "I" am getting paid less?
Paul Nowlin 11/12/12 - 10:45 am
That is what I was thinking as well. It is the same for the glass ceiling; heard about it, never have seen it in action. And I have worked for some questionable companies that cut corners, and they didn't practice this; so I am not sure who would be the lowly company that would give it a try. There are women in the highest ranks of business, and yet they still teach about it in schools.
My opinion is that it is that it may be bad feelings carrying over by the older generations from the days of women being treated differently. Some of the statistics are likely a by-product of this as well; in that, when there was separation, the men would have been gaining experience where the women would have not. Now, if those older gentlemen (who gained experience before things were equalized) are being included in the stats of what is happening in our modern times, they would skew the figures; because of course they are paid more, they have more experience.
I think we are all on the same page these days, that it is unacceptable to discriminate. People who do not get what they want often find scapegoats to explain why it is that they are not being given this whatever-it-may-be; e.g. higher pay in this case. It is because I am this or that. When in reality we often cannot see ourselves as the problem. If I am wrong about this I apologize; and if there are women out there that are truly being paid less because of gender, then I encourage you to step up and let the authorities know.
Calypso 11/12/12 - 02:10 pm
"A federal law, the Equal Pay Act (EPA), requires employers to pay men and women equally for doing the same work -- equal pay for equal work. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act and can be found at 29 U.S.C. § 206."
So if you lowly, whining "women" feel that you're being treated unfairly, sue. Maybe Obama will come to your defense like he did for Lilly. Is anyone else sick of the agenda driven lies by the left that do nothing more than further divide our country?
Persnickety Persimmon 11/12/12 - 03:26 pm
Ever notice how the loudest and most confident commenters on gender issues are usually men? I find it kind of interesting. Not sure if it's naivete or willful disregard for the facts, though. I guess it would all boil down to to whether the commenters in question are aware of cultural biases against women in the workplace (they're so gossipy! And they just aren't as career-minded as men!), or how child rearing is penalized in our society (hey, it's her choice to have kids! She could just choose not to have them, like men, who don't have to carry a baby and aren't expected to take time off work to breast feed, pick the kids up from school, or take care of them when they're sick), or how women are raised in such a way as to make them worse at negotiation (which is why jobs in the public sector, where one typically does NOT get to negotiate a starting wage and is given raises on a fixed schedule, tend to pay men and women much more equally).
So of course the glass ceiling is a myth. I say this with the utmost certainty because I, as a man, have never experienced it.