The Truth About the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap, or the raw pay gap, is a pretty controversial topic that sparks outrage on a fairly regular basis, mostly by people who don’t seem to understand that the supposed gap is only a representation of a flawed analysis. Despite the fact that no credible economist takes it seriously, huge media companies persists on bringing it up as a fact. So in this video I’ll debunk the myth of the gender pay gap and show you what the numbers actually say.

I normally don’t really care about these topics as politics and government legislations doesn’t interest me one bit, but I came across a video, well a few videos, that tried to convince people that employees earn less solely based on gender. Next thing you know I have all these videos recommended to me trying to explain why the gender pay gap is real, while they’re pretty much debunking their own arguments when trying to explain it. It was the weirdest most conflicting little video binging I’ve been on for a while.

I’m sitting here listening to this absolute dribble, and mind you these are not posted by some random people but by huge, huge media and news organizations. So I decided to look into it myself and do my own research to see if there’s some truth to it, and let me tell you I’m pretty sure I won’t get hired by any of these news organizations based on what I found. So first of all the notion that you can pay people differently based on gender is not true and hasn’t been true for almost 60 years.

Because it’s illegal! The EPA, or equal pay act of 1963 was created to abolish any wage disparity based on sex, and it prohibits an employer to:

  1. Pay different wages to employees of the opposite sex
  2. If the employees perform substantially equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility
  3. And the work are performed under similar working conditions.

So if you’re a woman or man for that matter, and you find yourself in a situation where you earn less even though you work the same hours and have the same job, take them to court and sue them.

But here’s where things get weird – some people are even suggesting that there’s an unfairness in pay among people who are self employed. I came across some pretty extreme examples that displays the absolute ignorance of what some highly influential people make out the gender pay gap to be, and it’s shared and posted by large media companies. Lilly Singh who has almost 15 million subscribers as of right now is upset that she didn’t make it into the top 10 highest paid YouTubers list, and even more so because of the fact that no woman made the list, claiming she wants equal representation. 

Let’s be clear here, they don’t even have a boss but work for a company where the pay is solely based on performance and views. And she’s now concerned because she thinks YouTube treats women unfairly. What the heck?! How does anyone make this a gender issue?

YouTube doesn’t pay out in bonuses or give creators money to make videos, at least that I’m aware of. The money comes from the ads you see before or in the middle of a video and YouTube takes 32% of whatever that specific company paid to have their ad while the creator takes 68%.

Of course you can have equal representation on that list but getting into a top 10 highest earner list is not something that is given, but earned. You better be willing to work like never before to get there. It’s a mere representation of the hardest working most entertaining people that manages to get the most amounts of views. 

So a pretty interesting fact about business owners, such as YouTube creators, is that men and women seem to differ a bit in their motivations and values in running a business according to CBS News. 76 % of men’s primary motivation for running a business is to make money. Only 29 % of women share that primary motivation as they value shorter work weeks, safety and fulfillment higher. And more power to you if you can manage to run a business while pretty much valuing freedom and happiness higher than just making money, right it seems like a pretty great life. However this results in women earning less on average than men that owns a business, and this is of course independent of discrimination since they don’t have a boss. 

No credible economist take the gender pay gap seriously as it’s often explained as a single varied analysis, where they take only one factor in, which is sex, and then take the average or median of the earnings of men versus women and point out that there’s a gap of earnings. You might as well just say that long haired people make less money than short haired people based on that way of making an argument. A 95 page study prepared for the U.S Department of Labor concluded that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action because there may be nothing to correct. Yet media and influential people keep pushing this as facts.

There are around eighteen different factors you should take into account when making a credible analysis of the gender pay gap, and one of them is gender. If you factor in the other seventeen, it does in fact show that the gap doesn’t exist. The reason why women earn less than men on average seems to be mainly because of two things – choices and personality traits, which becomes evident in Scandinavian countries where equality of opportunity has gone further than anywhere else. And when people are left to make their own free choices, the disparity among men and women increase even more, something Jordan Peterson explains.

Men and women are extremely similar in a lot of ways, but also different in some ways. Women on average tend to be more interested in people, while men are more interested in things. This seems to be the main reason for why women dominate the health care and education industry while men outnumber women in stem fields such as engineering and technology. 

And as Elon Musk once stated “You get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of problems you solve.” And even though being a teacher is an incredibly important job, more people are able to perform that task compared to being a high level engineer, hence the difference in pay.

There’s also a physical difference between men and women which makes it more suitable for most men to take on heavier and often more dangerous jobs resulting in a higher pay. These jobs consists of fishers, loggers, aircraft pilots, iron and steel workers etc. These are physically demanding jobs with a high risk of injury or fatality, and something that seems to go unnoticed is that men stands for roughly 95% of all work related deaths, and so with high risk also comes high rewards. And just to be clear, these are all jobs women can get but the vast majority choose not to.

These are the main reasons for the pay gap while there are a few more reasons I could list but I want to keep my videos as concise and possible, but I’ll say this – I was kind of baffled when researching this topic as main stream media tries to convince people that women are some kind of victims of systemic discrimination and earn less solely because of their sex, which just isn’t true. The difference in average earnings comes down mostly to our own choices and values. So to all the women out there, you are way more powerful than you’re led to believe by the media and choosing freedom and shorter work weeks over more money seems like a pretty enjoyable thing to do.

Sources and references:

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