The big news lately is that we live in a horrible society where every employer apparently hates women and pays them 77 cents for every dollar paid to a man for the same job. This is of course complete b.s.
I own a business and have hired numerous people over the last twenty years. I need a job well done and I have no interest in overpaying for labor. Does anyone really believe that businesses (male and female owned) are really willing to pay 30% more (77 X 1.3 = roughly 1) for labor, just for the satisfaction of screwing over women?
Consider my business and the question of employee compensation. I own a retail jewelry, clothing, and accessory store and roughly 90% of my customers are female. One thing I have observed over the years is that when women are trying on clothes and looking for advice and candid observations on fit etc... that do not to want to hear that from a man. So a female is worth more to me than a man under such circumstances. So I should pay females more, right?
Not so fast. I also sell jewelry on the road sometimes. This requires filling a van full of stuff, getting up at 3 am, working until 6pm, staying in a crappy hotel to save expenses. Doing this job is far more physically demanding. Women can do it, have done it, and will continue to do it, but I find men to have a greater interest in this work than store work. They also save me money cause we tend to stay in the same crappy in room together, perhaps shaving $80 a day from my expenses. So I should pay men more for this, right?
The bottom line is that men and women are different. They bring different things to the table, they have different interests, abilities, tendencies, etc.... Additionally, on an individual level, some are more skilled, more reliable, more trustworthy, and so on. Pay decisions are a very complicated matter that requires in my business to know a person and determine their value to our business.
To suppose I or anyone else would purposely overpay for labor in a competitive marketplace is beyond absurd. The only thing more absurd is the arrogance of President Obama who believes that he has discovered a vast network of gender discrimination that he alone can fix.