In the book, Feisty and Feminine, Penny Young Nance, wrote that the “ubiquitous statistic that women earn seventy-seven cents for every dollar men earn is…simply untrue.” She went on to explain that the wage gap—which she had just denied existed—was not due to discrimination but rather to personal choices made by the women themselves concerning as to whether or not they should pursue management positions.
Studies do show that 50% of employees—either female or male—in any given company, do not aspire to management positions. But Young’s blanket statement, about women in general not being interested in climbing corporate ladders, is far from true.
Concerning the wage gap, Nance is not the only one to deny the existence of wage discrimination against women. So which is it? Is there a wage gap or isn’t there?
According to a recent press release from careerbuilder.com, 1 in 5 human resources managers admit that women earn less in their companies than men for doing the same work, and “a significant number of employers agree with 20 percent of human resource managers admitting that women do not make the same wages as their male counterparts at their organizations.”
The evidence is overwhelming that a wage gap between men and women does indeed exist, so to deny it is ludicrous
Another claim made by Young, the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, was that women are just as likely as men to be company managers. This may be true of lower management positions but does not jive with a CNN Money report that there is a paucity of women at the top. The report admitted that, “Many successful women end up in roles in human resources and investor relations that are important yet don’t serve as a gateway to the top…”
And that brings us to the recruiting and hiring process itself, which has been found to be steeped in traditional discrimination favoring men. An article published by the Harvard Business Review showed that “Male and female managers were twice as likely to recruit men, based on paper applications,” and that, “…even when provided with data that the women were just as capable, the managers still preferred men.”
And this in spite of the fact that companies with more gender diversity in top management and executive positions actually make more money. The CNN report states that, “Companies with a high representation of women board members significantly outperformed those with no female directors….”
The gender wage gap is real, and smart companies admit that they are not only taking steps to close that gap but are actively looking for and grooming female talent for their highest positions.