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That seems to ring true, Jacque. Women's work continues to be devalued, with the NAS's part-correlation formula still accurately capturing the gender gap for ~"identical" work. The new Pew survey found close to the same shortfall Dr. Risher calculated among peer ACA members in 1981, but doubt they matched credentials and experience as precisely as his stepwise regression study.

I wonder if a future where "fathering is considered as valuable as mothering" would result in women earning more or fathers earning less as they accept traditional female roles?

How timely. Read this article from today's New York Times on this "parental leave" subject.


Jim --- The answer to your question would be "yes" only if the traditional Boomer attitude remains in top management. But keep in mind these guys (yes, guys) will be gone replaced by Gen Y. Their values/attitudes will change companies' views of women regardless.

With Gen Y men wanting better family life even as they become the "new" management, there won't be this "earning less or more" issue. Just an assumption that men have as much right as women to take time off/not work 24/7.

And this equality in family sharing will not have negative impact on careers. If everyone values it --- there's no downside.

I think gen Y maybe the first generation where the male female pay issues normalizes but let's not overlook the stepping stones that other generations have created. Boomers and the forgotten X'ers have each made the strides the society was ready for. I believe we still have a ways to go with other minority groups as well.

When you look at the decreased pay gap (93%) between men and women in the 25-34 age group is it gen Y making these decisions or gen X? I don’t know the answer but curious about who is typically managing this group. Is it better to judge Gen Y by the pay differences in the generation after them?

So I guess I’m suggesting that the changes are not solely driven by Gen Y and as part of Gen X maybe trying to take our share of the credit.

Jacque, can you also clarify the age of gen Y now vs 2020? The age range goes from 21 to 33 today and then 6 years later (2020) is 32 to 54 (I hope they don’t age that fast). If the first gen Y's were born in 1980 they will only be 40 in 2020. Are you sure that 54% of workforce population does not include Gen X? We are often forgotten but hopefully have not disappeared. ;)

Agree the older guys made some good decisions but not in this area. And yes Gen X no doubt contributes to decrease in pay gap. And new hire rates are increasing for women which could be driven by pay expectations and Gen X/Gen Y hiring managers.

I apologize for the error in dates. There are so many opinions on the date ranges for Gen Y it's anybody's guess. I went with the Conference Board's stats. Gen Y age range today is 21-33.

2025 should be the future date rather than 2020. Again -- sorry for the confusion. Too much info to look through. That means that in 2025 the age range will be 32-44.

And sorry again but Gen X apparently just isn't that "sexy"!! All focus seems to be on Gen Y. And 54% is accurate.

I agree with Trevor - let's not discount Gen X's role in trying to level this playing field for Gen Y and beyond. And I truly hope there are enough enlightened Gen Y'ers to continue to improve things for everyone (not just male/female issues).

Hi Molly ---- I agree that Gen X deserves some credit. Just not anything written about them. The difference between Boomers and Gen Y is so obvious I guess that's why we don't hear anything about Gen X role in this. And you are right --- there are more pay gaps out there besides women. This one, however, is the "hot" button right now I think because the womens rights groups are so vocal.

Thanks Jacque, I think a lot is written about Gen Y because they are a large group and are first to grow up in the digital age. They have seen the social contract change for Boomers and Gen Y and changing their expectations about work. Every generation learns from the ones before and makes changes based on what society is ready for. The pace of change is speeding up which makes the future less predictable.

Maybe there should be more written about Gen X lest we forget that everything happens in stages.

Great discussion.

I'll believe this is a problem when the people who tell me it's a problem start to act as if it were a problem:


And by the way, this wage gap stuff has been so thoroughly debunked that nobody should be able to present it with a straight face any more.


Hi Tony, I agree that the numbers can be misleading and I think it is a matter of time before the discussion changes from pay gap to job level gap.

Do you think there is still a societal bias that leads women to believe they need to be the primary family care giver? Do you think society has a bias that makes it more acceptable for men to enter STEM careers than women? I think this is also starting to change but the bias still exists.

The numbers are still misleading because there is still an underlying issue.

Hi Trevor. Yes, I think you have exactly pointed out the real issue, occupational preferences. The more interesting question is whether these are entirely culturally driven, or if they arise from some more innate reasons.


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