More than Choice? A Review of the Gender Pay Gap, was prepared by the Economic and Labor Market Information Division of the Vermont Department of Labor. It includes a section titled, Why It Matters, as well as these recommendations:
Collect more reliable pay and gender data.
Support pay transparency.
Don’t play the blame game: “just as the status quo is holding women back from leadership roles, it is holding men back from embracing caretaking and support roles” (Hill, Miller, Benson, & Handley, 2016).
Invest in affordable, accessible and quality childcare.
Reevaluate how society values care jobs.
Explore and reflect on your own biases.
More than Choice? A Review of the Gender Pay Gap’s key findings included:
The raw pay gap is instructive, but incomplete; it illustrates a basic measure of women’s economic well-being compared to men’s.
Reports consistently find unexplained pay differences even after controlling for measurable factors that influence earnings.
Most of the discussion is centered around the interpretation of the “unexplained” residual: disagreement arises as to whether the residual is reflective of choice or discrimination.
The gender pay gap is present even within occupations, holding all other factors constant.
Though some choices may be inherently innate, others are socially constructed; decisions women make about their occupation are the result of individual choices, as well as societal norms, discrimination and other forces outside the control of the individual.
The pervasive gendered division of labor continues to hinder women’s mobility up the occupational hierarchy and ability to succeed in time-consuming, high-paying jobs.
Many women work in low-paying jobs and many jobs become low-paying after the entrance of women.