Is the Gender Pay Gap Real?


Good morning, Hank. It’s Tuesday So a while back I said in a video In the United States women make 77 cents for every dollar that men make in the workforce And a lot of people pushed back in comments You know, “the wage gap is a lie,” “That myth has been debunked,” “your an idiot” with no apostrophe, et cetera. Anyway, now after a lot of reading I am going to attempt to share what I have learned about the gender pay gap. Hopefully without inciting a flame war in the comments. This whole question is fiendishly complex and people far smarter than I am have spent their whole careers devoted to it, but I want to begin with a broad observation. There IS a gender pay gap among full-time workers around the world. But the size of the gender pay gap varies dramatically by country. Like, in New Zealand women working full time make on average 90 cents for every dollar that a man working full time makes. Whereas in South Korea, that number is just 62 cents. When it comes to calculating the pay gap in the United States, a lot depends on what exactly you’re calculating. Like, by hourly wage, the pay gap is about 16%. By weekly take-home pay, it’s between 18 and 19%. By annual earnings, it’s around 21%. The fuzziness here speaks to the complexity of what we’re about to get into, but basically men on average work more hours than women on average. Actually, nope, they don’t. But men work more paid hours. Right, but so, this 16 to 21% number just looks at all full-time workers. It doesn’t account for differences in education, or skills, or experience, or occupation. When you factor all that stuff in, the pay gap shrinks to somewhere between 4 and 8% depending on who’s doing the math. This is the so-called “unexplained pay gap” that is, there is no economic explanation for it and most nonpartisan analyses agree that this part of the pay gap is directly due to gender discrimination. By the way, you can find links to lots of sources in the doobly-doo. But yeah, that 4 to 8% number might sound low but even on the extremely conservative end, it would mean that women lose over 241 million dollars of pay every year to direct discrimination. I should add here that there is also a wide racial pay gap in the United States and as disccused in this Vlogbrothers video, there is overwhelming evidence that much of that gap is due to direct discrimination. Because race and gender affect people long before they enter the workforce, it’s difficult to disentangle causes here, but we do know that women of color are doubly disadvantage when it comes to pay regardless of skill level, experience, or education. Right, so a portion of the gender wage gap is attributable to discrimination in the United States, but most of it is ostensibly about choice. Choice of college majors, or flexibility when it comes to hours, or occupation. And this is what people generally mean when they talk about debunking the gender wage gap. Women, on average, work fewer hours and tend to work in less lucrative professions from school teaching to caregiving. Whereas men are more likely to work in higher paying fields like engineering or anesthesiology. And some of the pay gap can be found here, like in one study of more 120 professions, more women than men worked in nine of the ten lowest paying jobs. But of course that isn’t only about choice, it’s also about the expectations of the social order. Like, why are there more female nurse anesthetists but more male anesthesiologists? And then there’s the fact that even within almost all of these professions, the pay gap persists from computer programmers to teachers to lawyers. Some of this is the aforementioned “unexplained pay gap” but some of it is because men, on average, work more paid hours than women, which brings us to the question of unpaid work. The average adult American woman spends 167 minutes per day on housework or care for household members. For the average adult American male, it 101 minutes per day. And that work, even though it’s unpaid, is of course very real. Now, none of this is to criticize the many women and many men who work fewer hours or don’t work in the labor force at all to focus on childcare or housework. It’s only to say that women doing a disproportionate amount of the unpaid labor in the United States inevitably distorts the paid labor market. We see this especially clearly in studies of what happens to workers after they have kids. With each child a family has, women see their average income relative to men go down. It goes down about 7.5% after the first child. There have been a ton of studies exploring this, but I just want to highlight one. In 2007, a Stanford professor sent out fictitious resumes to various firms and found that female applicants with children were less likely to be offered positions and when offered jobs, were offered lower starting salaries. Men, meanwhile, actually seem to fare better after they have children in both employment opportunities and wages. This may also be part of the reason the pay gap gets worse over time. It’s near 10% from young adulthood until about the age of 35, when it suddenly jumps up. Like one study looking at business school graduates found that right out of school there was a relatively small gap but then 8 years later it was much, much larger. And interestingly, even in careers dominated by women men disproportionately advance to supervisory roles Like, most librarians are women, but male librarians are disproportionately likely to become library directors. And there are still large pay gaps within careers that employ mostly women, from nursing to librarianship. In fact, unless you really cherry pick the data, a real and consistent gender pay gap exists across almost all fields at all education levels at all ages. And at the current rate of change, this wage gap won’t close in the United States until 2058. In short, Hank, there IS a gender pay gap but it is not as simple as women making 77 or 79 cents for every dollar men make. Instead, it’s an extremely complicated web of interwoven factors. Some of the pay gap is attributable to positive, empowered choices that individual women make to work less or to work in fields they find more fulfilling. Much of it is due to direct discrimination against women, especially mothers. And much of it is also due to the way our social order constructs gender and our expectations of women. And that is something we can change together by, for instance, embracing the idea that there’s no reason for the social order to saddle women with most of the world’s unpaid work. And we can also examine the real personal and systemic biases that are distorting the way that we look at women in the workplace and outside of it. So the gender pay gap is complicated and it’s integrated with many other socioeconomic phenomena, but make no mistake – It is real. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.

100 thoughts on “Is the Gender Pay Gap Real?

  1. So…that undetermined 4-8% youre talking about. Just because the cause is not determined, means that its discrimination by default? Sounds like faulty logic to me.

  2. How would women like if we gave them all a 23 cents per hour pay rise. Oh yes please they all say taking no regard of the men who actually get paid less even though they are more skilled

  3. Wait I thought there were more than 2 genders and that your genitals don't define your gender? And with that said, wouldn't Men and Women make more than the other genders? Where are the representation for the other genders?

  4. Staying at home cooking and cleaning is not inherently a female's role but there's a lot of innate different qualites in men and women that can help to shape their preferences and desires.

    https://youtu.be/tiJVJ5QRRUE

  5. If you do same job, same hours it same pay. I’ve never made more than a woman doing the same job and can’t find anyone else that has either. You can cry gender all day but IT DOES NOT EXIST.

  6. Here is where i am, i agree its real and there is lots reason for it. I am a factory worker however and in any job ive ever had it has been illegal, punishable by law 2 pay people different wages for the same job. So it seems that the pay gap might be more pronounced in higher income wage brackets, I've also had a lot of construction jobs scaffolding mostly and i was getting paid in a country town 24 dollars an hour in Australia to risk my life every day no safety just deadlines and ur fukin fired if its not done. That this is like 1 dollar more than people stacking shelves. But if u go work on shutdowns then the pay doubles so it seems to me it depends mostly on where u are and wat u are willing or able to do to find work for lower income people.

  7. Watching the fight here

    I just think men and women need mutual respect .
    We should not ignore the fact that how both genders are emotionally harrased no one is perfect we all need respect ,one should also earn it

  8. Ok… Those statistics are just on average do men make more than women, which is true. But that is not because of sexism, that is because men on average ask for more promotions, work more hours, and women get pregnant, which then gets her fired because shes underperforming at her job, or she takes more time of so she makes less. The statistics also leave out the specific jobs. If you took into account hours worked, same company, same job, sane experience, same performance, and the same promotion, they would be paid the same.

  9. 1. If women were cheaper, we wouldn’t be hiring men
    2. On average men work 43h a week, women work 37, most high paying jobs such as oil rig managers, corporate managers etc. are covered by men, 45% of women leave this culture because it’s a “bro culture” even though they have the same opportunity in this job. It’s not easier for men. It’s fucking hard for me to get that job too.

    3. Then comes promotions $: women might need to work less when they have kids and other obligations, and considering promotions take years to achieve, they probably won’t have enough time. You can’t have the money without the hours

    4. Then there is also area level, different places pay different amounts, let’s say both are accountants, but at different companies, in turn paying different.
    5. Then there’s family. An extremely high percentage of women say they prioritize family over work at least one or more per week. Women also make different life choices between ages 30-39. (Family choices). Many women also divorce men who do not conform to their conventional role as a meal ticket, men aren’t given long holidays like maternity leaves.

    6. Then you have most common jobs for men: software developer, project managers, lawyers, engineers, all highly paid. Most common women industries are: nurses, teachers, secretaries, cashiers , waitresses, all lower paid on average.
    7. Then there’s death on the job which of 92% are men, of course these positions are gonna get paid more. Paying someone differently for the same job is illegal. If women are paid less, we wouldn’t be hiring men. Examples like Hollywood salary is stupid, because your image is everything.
    8. Most of the wealth, made my capitalism, if tied up with men, over night you cannot just transfer jobs to women, in capitalism people need to work up the ladder which would take time for women to come to

  10. TL;DW:

    Apprx 95% of the wage gap is explained by career choice.
    The other 5% is unexplained.
    But it’s probably sexism…
    Because women make choices…
    That cause them to not get higher paying positions…

    So it’s not discriminatory… but it definitely exists… and is discriminatory…

    Yeah… sounds like he realized he was caught in the biggest lie in feminist history and tried his hardest to still sound smart… big yikes

  11. Question. Do you thing women might be getting paid less because majority may not be negotiating their salaries and men do?

  12. “we shouldn’t jump to the easy assumption that in a perfectly equal world, men and women would show up in equal numbers at every level of every profession. Surprisingly, we find that in more gender-equal societies, certain professions are mostly populated by men and others mostly by women. In those countries, the gender skew does not reflect inequality but rather differences in personal inclination.” – Aurora Solá, “The science of sex differences is nothing for feminists to be afraid of”
    : https://qz.com/1218680/the-science-of-sex-differences-is-nothing-for-feminists-to-be-afraid-of/

  13. "A new study explores a strange paradox: In countries that empower women, they are less likely to choose math and science professions. (…) So what explains the tendency for nations that have traditionally less gender equality to have more women in science and technology than their gender-progressive counterparts do? (…) women in countries with higher gender inequality are simply seeking the clearest possible path to financial freedom. And often, that path leads through stem professions. (…) The upshot of this research is neither especially feminist nor especially sad: It’s not that gender equality discourages girls from pursuing science. It’s that it allows them not to if they’re not interested." : https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/the-more-gender-equality-the-fewer-women-in-stem/553592/

  14. Could it be that women want flexibility and purpose (working with people) instead of risk? Agree, some is also from negotiation tactics, as men are more aggressive in demands. This is true in sociological studies for- like it or not- true for women vs men in most every culture. To be honest, women are better at family needs and in seeing the needs of each- while guys tend to compartmentalize, instead. If women were paid less (which has been illegal for a long time), surely they would be given these other jobs, so businesses could save money.

  15. It's refreshing to see a video that puts more true than false about the gender pay gap. The statistics of annual earnings irrespective of job or hours worked is so absolutely flawed that shouldn't be brought in any serious discussion. It just makes the person who brings it to a debate to appear clueless or dishonest.

    Said that, I still think that it's still a huuuge leap to automatically assume that the 4% to 8% of the remaining unexplained gap is about discrimination. I didn't expect this automatic assumption from you. Unexplained data is unexplained data. And if it is about discrimination, so let's try and prove it in a scientific way.

  16. stop just stop, that 4-8% pay gap was found due to "negotiation" factor, so disappointed in you, you are falling for confirmation bias

  17. I’m pretty sure women work different sorts of jobs generally because of temperamental differences and it happens that the jobs men are more likely to take are more lucrative

  18. I work at a factory in kentucky where i learned to read blueprints learned to setup, and operate brake press machines passed my lvl 0 brake press operator test i train new hires and help them out with their machines… the girl who started at the temp agency the same day as me she only knows how to operate one machine and doesn't know how to set it up or anything she failed her lvl 0 test twice and got hired in 2 months after me and she gets paid a dollar more. this kind of shit has happened to me multiple times I work harder than the woman next to me and the women always paid more I will never believe this crap

  19. You completely lose the plot with the unpaid work bit. That's not the question. But it's the biggest pillar you use to prop up your narrative.

  20. LOL, yeah, let's hire more mothers to fix the wage gap, despite the fact that they will have it harder to be mothers and workers at the same time. I guess that if you don't hire a mother you are not only doing yourself a favor but also doing her a favor. Both are in less trouble. Of course it'd sound nice of you if you did it, but business is about making money and productivity and not about virtue signaling.

  21. Unfortunately what stands out the most in this video (and explanation) of the gender pay gap is the absence of what scares most of the leftist thinkers: the biological factor

  22. It must be higher industry level jobs that have this issue because any lower class to middle class job like retail, restaurant, and things akin to that it seems like men and women make the same. I've never had any female coworker make less than me anywhere. I mean I've seen waitresses make way more through tips because people seem to think they don't get any tips which just means they get tons more sometimes. But yeah so it seems more office jobs and higher up roles may end in less money.

  23. When i worked in finance, it was specifically mentioned that female staff were paid less than male staff doing the exact same job and working the exact same hours. Lending specialist, 40 hours per week, 5 days per week… same targets to meet every month same expectations of exceeding them, same experience levels. Women were paid $4.45 less per hour for no other reason then, they are not men.

  24. It's so convenient that you didn't mention the 77% argument is not comparing the same jobs and the same number of hours work. Even within the same job, there are multiple sub-categories, for instance, there is GP and there is Surgeon, even though they are all can be classified as "doctor".
    And also Men and Women have different interests and in turn, made different career choices. There is nothing wrong with it, It's human nature.

  25. You literally said that the reason why women aren’t getting paid as much is because they don’t work as much, then go on to state that this is because of some inherent bias of the business making the decision. If women wanted more pay, they would work more hours for that company. Even if they CAN’T work more hours, in many cases (as they are taking care of the house and children) that doesn’t change the fact that you would get less out of the woman than you would the man. It is a harsh truth that fucking sucks in most cases, but it is the truth.

    Household work should receive more respect, but it isn’t the company’s responsibility to pay women more for work they are not doing for them.

    As technology advances, and it becomes easier to do work from home, I guarantee that the pay gap will decrease significantly.

    I would understand maybe having a UBI for mother’s, but You can’t make a company pay someone for work they aren’t benefitting from.

  26. Wait what about the fact that on average men work more dangerous jobs? Did he mention that? I might have missed it.

  27. The economist published a piece back 4 years ago which said including experience, occupation and education the wage gap is around 2% barely statistically significant

  28. And even if you don't have children, women are much more effected than men with elder care as time goes on. It just keeps going.

  29. The thing though is that those lower paying fields are that way because work forces that are female dominated (like teaching and childcare) are valued less by the system until more men are in that field. And if you’re a female independent contractor, a lot of clients will bend over backwards to get free labor from you.

  30. Without even looking at the comments, I can guarantee the most vocal ones will be derailments. I just came from a discussion about sexual violence against women where all sorts of "but it happens to men too!" callouts did their best to shut it down. Yes, it does and it's a very serious issue, and that merits another conversation, which I very much hope all the people saying this are a part of (although I doubt it, since in my experience a significant number of people only bring this up when trying to derail a conversation about sexual violence against women). In the meantime, um, what on earth does that have to do with the very prevalent culture of sexualized and misogynistic violence that has become so normalized we don't even see it? Does one somehow cancel out the other? 🤷

    But here, in this discussion, I'm guessing it'll be: "But what about men doing the most dangerous jobs?" (ignoring socialization and predetermined hiring patterns, and also, dude do you have any idea how dangerous a lot of typical women's employment is?!); then "What about high rates of unemployment among men?" (ignoring that unemployment is a related but not equal issue, and that it's completely disregarding the vastly higher levels of underemployment among women); then "But it's illegal, so just challenge it because it's not allowed!" (except that it actually is legal in the vast majority of situations, it's not prosecutable even more of the time, and unions have been undercut and undermined so thoroughly that your average employee has no recourse to complain about unfair treatment, legal or otherwise).

    Sigh.

    John Green, you and your brother are voices of reason afloat in a sea of irrationality. Stay buoyant.

  31. Interestingly, it has been found that the gender pay gap closes between childless women and childless men around age 45. So this definitely seems to be due to the real and perceived handicaps suffered by working mothers and the tendency to pay men better once they become fathers.

  32. I read something a few years ago that basically explained away some of the pay gap in later years and the disproportionate amount of men in leadership roles to the trend that men will ask for raises and promotions (in general) and women won’t (in general).

    Did you come across anything like that during your research? The psychological aspect to the pay gap.

  33. surely race plays a role as well. lighter skinned women generally get paid more than darker skinned men.

    but another factor is lack of discussion of pay among employees and employers. if employees knew the rate of all the workers at their level, they could be paid better.

  34. Ok I'm at 49 seconds and I hope that he takes into consideration that yes woman make less in full time jobs than men but dose he state the ratio of how Manny woman work in high risk jobs, bottom line some jobs pay more (this isn't putting woman down its just a fact) that round about 90% of men take up the higher end jobs, this isn't because dumb voice boys are stronger then girls or girls are smarter than boys, it's just a fact and how people choose to live there life. and fare enough woman tend to have more responsibilities because of gender roles (witch I don't think exist but it's a term I'm going to use) there for taking up more time and more energy, witch (in the case of mothers) are used on there kids more so than work, witch makes sense btw, and this situation may vary between house holds, maby the gather stays at home more often and isn't working as much with a higher end job because he may be looking after the kids, but the fact is simply that woman do it more than men, for no specific reason other than a stereo type that could be true or is pushing society to think that is what usely happens (again I don't think that's the case) but that's my understanding of it.

    And that concludes my essay on the first 49 seconds of this vidio.

    Edit: I'm glad he has touched base on some of the topics I have touched on.

  35. Let's not forget that jobs traditionally associated with and done by women tend to pay less than those traditionally associated with and done by men but when the gender balance in these fields shift the wages tend to shift with them. Whether this is an issue of the field becoming more lucrative leading to more men pursuing that field or if the field becoming more male dominated leads to it being more valued and more heavily invested in by a patriarchal society is debatable but this is a thing that occurs. It makes one wonder if it's possible that traditionally "feminine" industries pay so little on average because they're "feminine".
    That's not to mention the discouragement of women and girls (and people of color and other minority groups) from pursuing careers in many high paying male-dominated fields, the cultures within those fields that may discourage women from continuing in them, the tendency not to promote women within the field (as John pointed out), the tendency toward discrimination of women in girls not only in hiring and promotion but within our educational systems as well, the discouragement of women from demanding hire wages/raises/promotions, and of course the societal expectations and pressures women and girls receive surrounding marriage, child-bearing, child-rearing, and domestic labor.

  36. So if it's an "unexplained" pay gap how can you with certainty claim it's due to discrimination?

    Here is non discrimination way to explain that 4-8% difference:
    – Men on average are less compliant than women, so a man won't settle for a wage a woman would.
    – Men on average are more daring, so they are more likely to ask for a promotion.

    And side note: it's counter productive that the majority of the time people talk about the wage gap they bring up the 70sth cents to a dollar

  37. You guys need to chill. I understand you have you opinions and all but what John Green was make a claim, support it with evidence, and explain how the evidence relates to the claim. He was trying to fix a mistake he made with statistics in the past. So don’t get all up in his business.
    Stay safe,
    Random Person on the internet~~

  38. On the unpaid labor:
    To all women who want to marry a man: make sure he can and agree to do housework with you before you marry him. Otherwise just dump him.

  39. Terrible video. The main sources used (if you look into the description) are cherrypicked biased news outlets and activist groups.

  40. Am watching this in 2019, would be interesting to see what changes, if any, have happened over the last three years.

  41. Gender roles may play a bigger part in the gender pay gap than discrimination. Gender roles harm both men and women and non binary people too, this is a huge problem throughout society with a whole bunch of causes and reasons. But the point here is that for women specifically, the gender expectations are a financial detriment. There is a consistent gap at every level of profession, in every culture, at every profession with men being paid more. That is an obvious trend. Another obvious trend that has been brought up in the comments is that men are much more likely to get hurt at work or be in dangerous jobs. That is a way in which gender expectations are detrimental to men, they harm their safety at work. All problems like this need to be addressed, and many of mens problems do get sidelined, not all but many, however this is a video about the gender pay gap and how women suffer financially due to gender. The video addresses reasons why this may be and the many social factors at play.

  42. And why does it matter? People discriminate based on anything; it’s called choice. The results of our endless forms of discrimination come in the shape of a gender wage gap, economic classes, social groups, education level, clothing, etc.

    If you truly want to eliminate the pointless divisions of society like “men vs. women”, you start by not evaluating data in pointless divisions like “social group X vs social group Y”.

  43. There is NO gender “PAY” gap. It is a gender EARNINGS gap. Women EARN less than men for a number of obvious reasons that are completely natural and serve useful functions;

    – Women have children and leave the workforce either temporarily or permanently (which is perfectly natural and often preferred by the parents). When they return to work, it is often part-time and not full-time.

    – Women usually choose lower paying jobs working with people. Women choose these jobs because their natural psychological interests are generally more geared toward people and social interaction. Studies from early childhood development show that these interests and choices are biological and are not a product of upbringing and socialization. However, jobs that involve people, like healthcare or education, are less stable and predictable when it comes to scaling pay, generally resulting in lower paying positions – on the contrary, men generally work more dangerous and physically demanding jobs using objects, tools, or materials, which are more scalable in relation to pay. Men choose these jobs because they are naturally inclined to work with things (as opposed to people). Again, studies in very early childhood development show that these interests and choices are natural and come from our biology as opposed to how we are brought up and socialized.

    – Women typically work less hours than men for a number of reasons, some of which were previously briefly mentioned.

    – Women are less likely to ask for raises because they’re typically more agreeable and less assertive than men. That’s not an insult, being more agreeable than men is inherent to female nature and serves evolutionary purposes that are associated with childcare and nurturing.

    People who study economics, some basic math, psychology, sociology, and anthropology find none of this information new or surprising. So then why is it such a cultural phenomenon that seems to be dividing men and women from one another? Answer; politics.

    Which is why, in the 2016 US presidential race, the Democratic presidential nominee would consistently OPENLY lie to the world about this fake gender pay gap injustice against all women. Might it have to do with manipulating people (women mostly) to get votes while generally demeaning, blaming, and casting men as the oppressors of a patriarchy? WAKE UP people. The fate of or civilization WILL NOT fall to this resentment-based ideology.

  44. Women choosing only housework makes them vulnerable and puts them at a disadvantage. If you´re a woman, only doing housework means if you get divorced or your partner dies you won´t have any job experience, making it more difficult to get a job. It also means that all of the stress and pressure of working is put on men. Also, this means that men are less involved in child rearing. What if instead of women only doing housework and men only working an ordinary job; both get a job and both do housework? More income, more involvement from maternal and paternal figures. To be honest, choosing housework is just plain lazy, any job you can do in your pijamas is not the most difficult job in the world, as Oprah says (BB). You can both work and pay for a nanny or day care. Also this way you both having income means you may have a better retirement fund and might even retire earlier, pay your mortgage earlier and even buy a second home or start a business. By the way, if you choose housework you can go back to school, learn a trade and get a job. Only working a normal job or only housework is just plain mediocrity. Work women, it´s not just a men´s responsibility to work and support you. And kids don´t need you 100% all day long looking after them, better admit that you just want to enjoy being a mom at home playing the good housewife, watching Bob the Builder in the sofa and cooking. Meanwhile men break their backs out there for you to be nice and comfortable neglecting their own lives the same way women neglect their own lives by abandoning their dreams just to stay at home watching tv and being a mom. I´m not saying housework is not valuable, but one can do more than just that and still help support the family. By now, I must have already triggered some, but just go back to where I wrote: Woman not working makes them vulnerable and puts them at a disadvantage and BOTH SHOULD WORK AND HOUSEWORK.

  45. If you're assuming that it's men's fault that women do the unpaid work imagine this: "try asking your wife to work for the both of you while you stay home and take care of the kids". It's not gonna fly

  46. Feminists: women make less than men.
    Men: that's because they work less and in lesser paying jobs.
    Feminists: cool, let's change that
    Men: no wait–

  47. Bull…., for one, count child support as income (both +income for mommy, and -income for daddy), and voila, women probably got more, for arguably doing less. And If support is not paid, it could mean jail time, so the cost of risk is huge. Factor that too.

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