Decrease the gender pay gap

Jennifer Thurau, Guest Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story


Dear Editor:
Many think getting a college education is the key to closing the wage gap, but it is not. In fact, the wage gap actually widens as women pursue jobs requiring higher education. That is why Equal Pay Day, celebrated on April 12 this year, is important as it brings to light many economic issues women face because we are not compensated for the same work as men.
The gender pay gap is an issue for all women, but especially Millennial women. Young female college graduates experience a wage gap right off the bat, earning less on average in our first job compared to men.
Also, high student loan debt continues to be a major hurdle in the fight for equal pay. The American Association of University Women notes that, among full-time workers repaying loans one year after college graduation, 53 percent of women were paying more than what they could reasonably afford toward their debt — compared with 39 percent of men. This creates financial instability for many women entering adulthood.

Ultimately, Ohio women lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars of income over the course of their careers because of the wage gap. This is not OK and should be changed immediately. It is time to support economic policies such as the Paycheck Fairness Act that would ultimately help Millennial women in Ohio like me succeed. Please contact your congressional representative and encourage them to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act!
Jennifer Thurau
Public Health
Undergraduate l University of Toledo
Resident Adviser l International House
Campus Ambassador l Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • Many of America’s most sophisticated women choose to earn less than their male counterparts:

    “Female physicians worked about 5 hours fewer per week than their male counterparts through age 54….”

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.”

    “…[O]nly 35 percent of women who have earned MBAs after getting a bachelor’s degree from a top school are working full time.” It “is not surprising that women are not showing up more often in corporations’ top ranks.”

    “Compared to men, women view professional advancement as equally attainable, but less desirable”

    More in:

    “Salary Secrecy — Discrimination Against Women?”


  • Teddy Edwards


    Women in the US and in Western Europe are the freest and most liberated in human history.

    In many ways, they are not merely doing as well as men, they are doing better.

    Women’s emancipation is one of the glories of civilization. And one of the great chapters in the history of freedom.

    So why then are those in the women’s movement such as the leaders and members in activist groups like the National Organization for Women (NOW), the professors in women’s studies departments at our colleges, and many women in the media — why are they still so dissatisfied?

    These feminists hardly acknowledge any of women’s progress. Yes, they can see that some advances have been made, but the fact that most women reject their activist brand of feminism and think of themselves as free — for this crowd — is proof of just how entrenched patriarchy and inequality really are.

    “Women are so oppressed, they don’t even know it.”

    Year after year, these activists make claims about women and violence (2002), women and depression (2005), women and eating disorders (2008), women and workplace injustice (2011) to support their views. Over the years, feminist professor Christina Hoff Sommers has looked carefully at these claims. And what she has found is that much of the supporting evidence — mostly victim statistics — is misleading and often flat-out wrong.

    Consider the issue of the so-called gender wage gap. How many times have you heard “For the same work, women receive 77 cents for every dollar a man earns”? This charge is constantly repeated by feminist activists and their supporters. Yet it is so deeply misleading it borders on outright falsehood. A 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men minus the average earnings of women working full-time. It does not take account of differences in occupations, positions, educations, job tenure or hours worked per week.

    Now wage gap activists in groups like the American Association of University Women or the National Women’s Law Center say, “No, no. Even when we control for these factors, women still earn less.”

    Well, it always turns out that they always omit one or two crucial data points.

    Take the case of doctors. On surface it looks like female physicians are clearly victims of wage discrimination. They appear to earn less for the same work. But dig a little deeper beneath the surface and you begin to see that women are far more likely than men to enter lower-paying specialties like pediatrics, family medicine than higher-paying cardiology and anesthesiology. Women physicians are also more likely to work part-time. And even women who work full-time put in about 7 per cent fewer hours than men. Women physicians are also more likely than men to take long leaves of absence, usually to start a family.

    Now there are exceptions, but most workplace pay gaps narrow to the point of vanishing when one accounts for all of these relevant factors.

    How do the women’s advocacy groups react to this? They insist that women’s choices are not truly free. Women who decide to, say, stay home with their children, or to work fewer hours, or to become pediatricians rather than heart surgeons are “held back by invisible barriers” or, get this, “internalized oppression”. According to the National Organization for Women, “Powerful sexist stereotypes steer women and men towards different education, training, and career paths and family roles.”

    But is it really social conditioning that explains women’s vocational preferences and their special attachment to children? Perhaps in the pursuit of happiness, men and women take somewhat different paths. And isn’t more than a little patronizing to suggest that most American women are not free and are not self-determining human beings?

    And here is common-sense proof that the male-female wage gap is untrue. If it were really true, then an employer could get away with paying Jill (e.g. $12) less than Jack (e.g. $15) for the very same work, wouldn’t employers fire as many of their male employees as they possibly could and replace them with females, and thus enjoy a huge market advantage?

    As a regular campus lecturer, I routinely encounter dozens of female college students who have accepted the feminist propaganda. American college women are arguably the most fortunate liberated beings on the planet. Yet in their feminist theory class, they’re likely to learn they are put-upon and tyrannized by men. And the more elite the school, or advanced the degree, the more likely they are to take the feminist propaganda seriously.

    But this doesn’t have to continue. The time has come for young women to take back feminism.

    Reform it.

    Correct it’s excesses.

    Repudiate the victim propaganda.

    Get rid of the “Women are from Venus, men are from Hell” storylines.

    And begin the arduous task of correcting almost three decades of feminist misinformation.

    And women who are plagued by workplace injustice and sexual violence and domestic violence will be best helped by truth and solid research — not by hysteria and hype.

    And as a final piece of personal advice from Christina Hoff Sommers for young women, “Appreciate and make good use of the unprecedented freedom that you have.”

    – Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute


  • bobbyt2012

    As the other comments have noted, this is a complete falsehood. You can read more about it here. Or in most academic papers detailing the wage gap.

    The Paycheck Fairness Act is pure political posturing. When someone running for office can tell you that they are essentially going to “give” you extra money, of course people will want to vote for them.


Serving the University of Toledo community since 1919.
Decrease the gender pay gap