This morning someone sent me a link to an article, expecting me to be outraged at the "sexist pig" who wrote it. Sadly, I fully agree with Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune, that the supposed pay gap between men and women in corporate America is a myth.
I made no friends at WalletPop when I wrote about this issue two months ago. I said then that the glass ceiling was a myth that is being perpetuated by women. Quite simply, if women are making less than men, it's because of career choices they've made. My female associates at WalletPop (especially the moms) were none too happy with this, and expressed that women have difficult choices to make when it comes to family and career.
I don't disagree in the least. Women's careers are often negatively impacted by the choice to have children and be involved in their lives. It's just disingenuous to claim that discrimination is the cause of the problem. It's not.
And is it even a "problem" that women who have devoted less time to their careers aren't promoted as high or paid as well as men who have been completely consumed by their jobs? I don't think so. People should be promoted based upon their qualifications and experience, and it stands to reason that those who have spent more time developing their careers will make more and be promoted higher.
Chapman refers to the American Association of University Women's study which reported that 75% of the difference in pay between men an women is directly attributable to differences in work history and life choices. The other 25%? No one knows for sure what it's attributed to, and therefore we can't just assume that it's because of discrimination.
I know a handful of men who have put their careers on the back burner in order to focus on their families. I've never heard any of them complain that they haven't been promoted or paid as well as those who made work their focus. So why do women complain about it?
Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
More on the workplace discrimination myth