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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"As Long as They Don’t Have Children"

The gender pay gap has narrowed, but it hasn't been eliminated:

A Market Punishing to Mothers, by David Leonhardt, NY Times: ...Men and women are not identical, of course. Many more women take time off from work. Many more women work part time at some point in their careers. Many more women can’t get to work early or stay late.
And our economy exacts a terribly steep price for any time away from work — in both pay and promotions. People often cannot just pick up where they have left off. Entire career paths are closed off. The hit to earnings is permanent.
The fact that the job market has evolved in this way is no accident. It’s a result of policy choices. As Jane Waldfogel, a Columbia University professor who studies families and work, says, “American feminists made a conscious choice to emphasize equal rights and equal opportunities, but not to talk about policies that would address family responsibilities.”
In many ways, the choice was shrewd. The feminist movement has been fabulously successful fighting for antidiscrimination laws that require men and women to be treated equally. These laws have not eliminated the blatant sexism of past decades — think “Mad Men” — but they have beaten back much of it.
As a result, outright sexism is no longer the main barrier to gender equality. The main barrier is the harsh price most workers pay for pursuing anything other than the old-fashioned career path.
“Women do almost as well as men today,” Ms. Waldfogel said, “as long as they don’t have children.” ...

    Posted by on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 12:24 AM Permalink  Comments (14)


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