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Michigan Women: Fall To The Bottom In Wages

Young_female_workingGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Women in only six states are paid less than women in Michigan.  According to the National Woman’s Law Center (NWLC), on average, Michigan woman who work full-time, year round, are paid 74 cents less for every dollar paid to a man.  The national wage gap is currently 77 cents.

The wage gap is even wider for African-American and Hispanic women in Michigan, who earn 55 to 68 cents, respectively, to every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.

Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers, according to the study.  The fact is, when broken down, full-time, year-round work at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, leaves a woman with two children, thousands of dollars below the poverty line.

“Despite woman’s advances in the workforce over the past forty years, the gender wage gap still exists.  This gap translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars that a woman will lose over her career life; income that could have made a critical difference to the economic security of their families”, said Sharon Caldwell-Newton, Executive Director of the Woman’s Resource Center, located in Grand Rapids.

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4 Comments to “Michigan Women: Fall To The Bottom In Wages”

    Male Matters USA said:
    April 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Here is just one of many reasons women average lower pay than men:

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.” ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/03/26/bil10326.htm

    Mind you, these are some of the most sophisticated, educated women in the country CHOOSING to earn less than their male counterparts in the exact same profession.

    A thousand laws won't close that gap.

    In fact, no law yet has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap – tinyurl.com/74cooen), not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not the 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act, not the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the thousands of company mentors for women, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is another feel-good bill that turned into another do-nothing law (good intentions do not necessarily make things better; sometimes, the path to a worse condition is paved with good intentions)…. Nor will a "paycheck fairness" law work.

    That's because women's pay-equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

    Despite the 40-year-old demand for women's equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” at tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps it's because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working if they're going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman.)

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they're supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home. (Far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands.)

    The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to or is ignored by feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept NO wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands' incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:

    -accept low wages
    -refuse overtime and promotions
    -choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do
    -take more unpaid days off
    -avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (tinyurl.com/3a5nlay)
    -work fewer hours than their male counterparts, or work less than full-time instead of full-time (as in the above example regarding physicians)

    Any one of these job choices lowers women's median pay relative to men's. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack, thereby increasing HIS pay.

    Women who make these choices are generally able to do so because they are supported — or, if unmarried, anticipate being supported — by a husband who feels pressured to earn more than if he'd chosen never to marry. (Married men earn more than single men, but even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for ones that pay well.

    Note: To my knowledge, unemployed stay-at-home wives are not factored into women's average wage. Shouldn't they be? Since they voluntarily work for zero wages, factoring them in — assigning each of them zero earnings — would perhaps give a more realistic measure of women's average wage.

    Much more in "Will the Ledbetter Act Help Women?" at malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/

      Seth said:
      April 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      That's a terrific misuse and misunderstanding of statics, Male Matters. These studies are a bit more complex than you're assuming – -they account for and adjust for single income families.

      Unfortunately, I perused your astonishingly sexist web site, and therefore doubt I would get anywhere grinding my axe against your ignorance.

      Cindy said:
      April 8, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      You are a jerk! and there are many single woman out there that have to support themselves/and or kids/family. Why don't you spew about divorce rates. That is why your self worth to me is minimum wage.

    Earl said:
    April 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    The past four years have been a flood of "just one more law"

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