KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Curley: ‘The gender pay gap is a myth,’ women don’t negotiate

Jan 4, 2023, 11:02 AM | Updated: 11:43 am
Gender pay gap...
The American Association of University Women found women take home 83 cents for every dollar men do. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Job listings in Washington state must now include salary information following a new law intended to help close the gender pay gap.

“The idea is they are going to alleviate a problem that doesn’t exist,” John Curley said on The John & Shari Show. “That is the amazing gap between male and female workers.”

The American Association of University Women found women take home 83 cents for every dollar men do.

“So if the weird thing is if businesses are so concerned with the bottom line, and they’re paying women 75 cents, or 80 cents to the dollar on the male, why wouldn’t they just hire all women?” John proclaimed.

“So it’s the lower skilled worker versus the higher skilled worker. And so it’s not, it’s certainly not an exact figure there,” Shari said. “However, there is some discrimination that happens.

“For instance, they talk about the fact that maybe young women are either told or somehow believe they’re not going to be great in math or science, and therefore that kind of sexism exists prior to them getting a job,” Shari continued.

Georgetown University did a study revealing the top five paying majors are dominated by men. It also showed that the majors that paid the least were dominated by women.

“So this idea that the employer discriminates against the female and pays her 80 cents and pays the male $1 is nonsense,” John said. “If you would like to have more money you’ve made, you’re in something that pays more money.

“If you are a female, and you apply for a job as a kindergarten teacher, you’re going to make $40,000. If you’re a male and you apply for a job, and you have studied in some college, that’s going to allow you to graduate with some degree that pays you more money, well, that guy is going to make more money,” John continued.

WA employers must disclose ‘genuinely expected’ pay next year

Another issue may be the way women negotiate. In a Harvard University study, laboratory and survey evidence has suggested that men are significantly more likely to engage in salary negotiations than women. When an employer clearly states that employees can negotiate their salaries, the gender pay gap in job applications and negotiation closes.

“Women tend to be more compliant,” said John. “And when the boss says, ‘Well, we’re going to give you a raise, you’re doing a great job, we’re going to give you 2%,’ the guy might be more likely to go, ‘I’m not going to take 2%.’ He might push back a little bit more and say, ‘No, I’m not going to do it. I’m looking for 5%.’

“Well, how about three and a half? Well, how about four and a quarter? There might be more negotiating involved. And that might be just more of the difference between a male and a female when it comes to, you know, inner relationships and how one expresses themselves and how one is able to push back and be a little more confrontational.'”

“Maybe there is some sort of assumption that a woman’s not going to be able to push back,” Shari said. “As women move forward, they can learn how to do that more effectively. That might be one of the things that could change things.”

More from Curley: Is it okay to keep your Christmas tree up until March?

Another possible reason for the gender pay gap is that women tend to put family first more than men and that men work more hours than women.

“I will say some of the discrepancies come in that the woman often gets called to go home to take care of the kids, is not working as many hours, or doesn’t have the same flexibility as the man. But it’s about 7% is the difference,” John said. “But they also find that the average guy works about five more hours a week than the average female, even in the same jobs.

“So we can just stop it, and you can burst the balloon of the lie of the myth that men are being paid more money because the employer is discriminating against the female,” John concluded.

Listen to John Curley and Shari Elliker weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

John Curley and Shari Elliker

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Curley: ‘The gender pay gap is a myth,’ women don’t negotiate