How Would You Eliminate the Pay Gap for Women?

Pay for women in Boston is better than the rest of New England, but it's still not on par with what men make for the same jobs. Should we pass laws to attack the problem, or is there another solution?


The pay gap between men and women—the difference in pay for the same jobs—was front and center in this week's presidential debate. The exchange over equal pay led to the second debate's most memorable quip about "binders full of women." That statement became an instant Internet meme.

Slate, meanwhile, has published an interactive map showing how each state and county does with wage inequality. In New England, Suffolk County (Booston and a few surrounding cities) does best. On average, women here are paid 83 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same job.

Worst in New England? Coastal New Hampshire's Rockingham County, where women average 59 cents for every dollar a man in a similar role would earn.

After decades of debate, the needle's barely budged on pay inequality. What can be done? Should the government step in and legislate pay equality? Or should there be more societal pressure on companies? Tell us your ideas in the comments section below.

Sean Ward October 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Salary is negotiated between the employee and their employer. Perhaps men tend to be more aggressive during this negotiation. Also, salary is about more than the tasks done in a specific hour of work. It is about the employees long term performance. Women still have the stereotypical role of primary caretaker of children and elderly in the family. This means they will generally be leaving work more often for things like having children, staying home for months or years after having children, working mothers hours as children grow up, and to go take care of ailing elderly parents. Men do some of this too, maybe 83%?
Sean Ward October 22, 2012 at 07:40 PM
So to be more specific I would not eliminate the pay gap through regulation but instead through coaching on how women can move into dominance in more areas. For example women are still far more likely to become nurses than doctors while men are more likely to become doctors than nurses. Men are more likely to become construction foremen while women are more likely to become back office administrators. Men are more likely to become pilots while women are more likely to become flight attendants. Close those gaps and you start to close the statistic.
Jdantona October 22, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Legislation like FPA would only increase the salaries of the trial lawyers. Also this is another sideshow issue being foisted by the partisans to disguise the miserable economy which is hurting men AND women.
Sean Ward October 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM
You could also try to find ways to encourage more men to be the ones that leave the workplace to handle family needs like childcare and elder care instead of the woman. This would reduce the pay gap by making hiring men in their family raising years just as much of a risk as hiring women which would drive them mens pay down and close the gap. I've worked with alot of men and women over the years. Many of the women I've worked with have left the job to have children. I've never worked with a man that took more than a week or two off when they had children. Sure, it's easy to give either one unpaid leave but like I said in my earlier post it isn't just about the pay for those weeks or months, it's the impact on the business. Having a superstar attorney out for months during a critical trial, or an accountant out during tax season, or a fire-fighter out during a dry season puts alot of strain on the organization.
Sean Ward October 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I'd rather see us as a country figure out how to get back to a single earner economy. The fight for equality in the workplace backfired in my opinion. It didn't take the economy long to figure out that if both members of the household were now able to work then the household could surely afford to pay twice as much for everything. It also didn't take long for the divorce rate to reflect the fact that "the bread winner" was no longer a requirement and that he could be dropped while she goes out and earns her own bread. I wish it could have been a him or her movement instead of a her too movement. I sure hate sending my kids to daycare instead of one of us being able to watch them ourselves.


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