Despite the provocative headline that got you this far, I'm sure there's something to it.

So few women top executives exist that I'm sure there's some "boys club" reason behind it in the board rooms of major corporations where, not coincidentally, there are relatively few women.

But what about female line workers: the female clerks, saleswomen, scientists and engineers. Not the woman who aspires to being the CEO, but the woman who, like most men, just wants to earn a living.

I've often wondered about the statistics and have yet to find an answer to this question: are the statisticians comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges?

Here's what I mean: 

Most men are ready to travel or even relocate away from friends and family if it will improve their career opportunities. I strongly suspect that while many woman are also ready to improve their careers in this way, most women are not. 

I strongly suspect that many women still head toward careers in line with natural feminine inclinations to nurture: teaching, nursing, veterinary care and assistantship jobs, art and craft-oriented jobs.

Add to this some of the disadvantages of women in the workplace such as, greater absenteeism (female health and family commitment reasons), more likely to be a smoker (less likely to give up a break in a crisis situation), and less likely to accept a career move if it means leaving office friends behind, and...

...I wonder what the stats about advancement opportunities and pay would look like if one compared the women who were more like men against their male counterparts.

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My son came first, so the poor kid (who turned out just great, two Masters degrees and his own company), caught the brunt of my mistakes, so my daughters had it much easier. Playing anywhere in the neighborhood, they always knew when dinner was ready, they listened for the smoke alarm to go off.

It began because my (now) ex was not a good parent and I was, so I cared for the children while she worked. When she left, I had to do both. It wasn't easy, but we made it.

When I think of the alternative, of not being there every day to watch those minute changes in their growing-up process, I honestly don't know what I would have done without them in my life. Deadbeat dads are their own punishment.

Hey,

I understand what you're saying, but in my profession I see how these things get twisted around on people. I see mother's whose psychological evals show them to literally be sociopaths and who admit to being child beaters getting primary and sole custody when the father gets nothing. It has so much to do with these assumptions you're making. Male sexism harms men, too, believe it or not.

Many men do this to themselves because they don't care. This is especially true in the culture of the SE U.S. But it doesn't make it right. I've seen it much more in Georgia than California, to my home state's credit. So, its not bad, just qualified.

- kk

Hey Sarah,

I understand.

but I don't know a single mother who would skip her kid's graduation, or a school play, or any other important event in her kid's life if she could at all help it.

And there are men who are the same. They exist, trust me. I saw your qualification, but you said that mothers are always the best ... that is what surprised me.

- kk

Hey Sarah,

But when it comes to the idea of PROMOTIONS at work, specifically, mothers, if they are good ones, put their kids first. This brings upon them more barriers to break through the glass ceiling

Well, I agree, and I think one thing men need to understand is that the burden to care for our consanguinity ... children, whatever, is on all of us, men and women, and people shouldn't discriminate against women because they have to take off more time (especially right after pregnancy). Both women and men produce children and both are responsible for it.

I've seen some comments which further the view that a corporation is there to profit and none of this should matter. But wittingly or not, I think this is a narrow lens to apply to the issue. We are simply not entitled to ignore it, whether a company, a man or a woman, because we're all having children.

- kk

You talk as though couples don't arrive at these arrangements in mutuality. They do. My wife and I did it as to most such couples in these situations. Without any doubt, a newborn is better off with his mother, if only because she has milk. People are mammals and that is how it is done universally in mammalia. We are more intelligent than any other mammals, but mammals we are.

Corporations are creatures of law and are defined by law. Entitlement can only come from authority, unless you believe in some sort of overarching metaphysics which can bestow entitlement. 

Hey Unseen,

You talk as though couples don't arrive at these arrangements in mutuality

I see your point. That's not what I mean, though. What I'm saying is that men and women mutually agree to produce children and thus must as part of that agreement mutually share the burden and cost of the rearing of the child. Part of that cost is necessarily borne more heavily on the female when we're speaking of the physical impact it has on the body. This is why women often do take 3 months off after a pregnancy (or longer - my wife took 1 month). And it isn't just before birth and in the hospital, its after if they are breastfeeding. Also, women's mental state, depending on the individual, can be significantly affected for many months in the form of clinical depression, which is also a burden. All of this is indeed costly to a company. But men don't have these liabilities. So, when women take off more time for this, and when their liabilities cost the company and society more, men should accept this as a cost in the workplace for having agreed to this in the first place. You can't have it both ways.

Really, its pretty clear. Corporations are creatures of law ... and equity. It isn't an entitlement it is a necessary adjustment to status quo necessitated by the fact that we choose to live in a civilized society with division of labor; and a society where men and women can make and honor mutual agreements of this kind, imo.

- kk

What makes you think they're not doing that, but with different roles rather than "everything 50/50"? That's like saying that in a two person graphics company doing everything on a 50/50 basis is better than the one with the MBA handling the business side and the one with the graphic talent doing the artistic side. 

In a family, if the father emphasizes his work career and the mother emphasizes her mothering career, it's going to be in most cases because that's what benefits the consanguinity, as you put it.

Comment: "consanguinity" denotes blood relations, but leaves families with adopted children out. 

Hey Unseen,

What makes you think they're not doing that, but with different roles rather than "everything 50/50"?

Well, right, but I think the discussion earlier was about mothers receiving lower salaries because of more time off, time spent with children, etc. That is what I'm referring to. When I asked why did I see mothers getting typically 30% less in pay than their male counterparts I was hinting that it was because of obligations to their consanguinity. They should not be paid less because of that because the men also created those obligationis to consanguinity just as much as the mothers did.

My answer to your point about consanguinity is hard to express. I don't think an unrelated child or teenager carries the same obligations as a related one does. The obligations to consanguinity are steep; and mothers - by whatever circumstance they make - shouldn't be punished by being paid less for bearing them. And that is exactly what is happening.

If a mother, for example, chooses to work part-time to spend more time with her son, that is, to reduce her job to part time in a position that normally does not allow for that, she shouldn't be paid less than the comparable hourly rate of her male counterparts who chose not to do that. The mother and son in that example are being punished for exercising their natural love and affection with lower pay, when daddy ignores his son and goes to work to make more mullah per hour than the mother could make in the same role, which makes no sense to me either. The rates should be the same because somebody should spend time with the boy. 

It would be true for a dad, too, it just depends, but this is the only real-world example I could give you of something not related to the physical impact on the mother's body, which didn't seem to influence your view.

Bye the way, have you ever watched a birth? Ever watched a C-section, may I ask? I figure you probably have. I watched a mother get a C-section when our child was born. I have a strong stomach, so it didn't bother me, but when they opened her up they had a screen in front of her face so she couldn't see what they were doing. I was sitting next to her head so I could see over the screen. I was holding her hand and it was shaking - no hers, not mine. I was talking to her and her only reaction to having her guts rather forcefully shoved up to her upper chest was, "oh Kir, I'm a little nauseous". Her skin was a pale, blue color I'd never seen before and she looked nearly dead. She is the toughest woman I've ever known and if her skin was blue and she mildly complained about nausea it had to have hurt like sin. I told her it would pass quickly and didn't tell her why ... not then. It took her a month to recover. btw, the mother approved this message ;-)

- kk

If a mother, for example, chooses to work part-time to spend more time with her son, that is, to reduce her job to part time in a position that normally does not allow for that, she shouldn't be paid less than the comparable hourly rate of her male counterparts who chose not to do that.

Pay needs to be based on value to the owners of the company, period. And that standard should apply to both sexes. But who is going to be ready to relocate or put in very long hours? The male worker more frequently than the female. One thing we know as a society is that there's no such thing as "putting in quality time." For a child, quantity is quality when it comes to being with a parent. 

Colleen presented us with some statistics showing that things are changing, however the study did not cover such things as this: are female workers now equally ready to relocate or take on responsibilities taking them away from their children. And if so, the next question is whether that is good,

Also, let's not forget that nowadays many women are the head of single-parent households. Some women even intentionally become mothers without bothering to provide their kids with a father. A single mom is very hampered in terms of being able to take on additional duties if they require overtime or to take lengthy trips. And, once again, there is the question of whether doing so, if they do, is actually good for the children. One thing is for sure, though, the worker who routinely declines such opportunities will earn less, and rightly so, because pay should be based on value to the company.

This may skew the statistics, when women who put themselves out there as equal value to the company as men are actually receiving comparable pay. That was my original question: are the researchers lazily just comparing women's pay vs men's pay, or are they taking the extra step to find comparable men and women and basing their statistics on samples of that nature?

Hey Unseen,

I totally agree with you if we take as our predicates that:

Pay needs to be based on value to the owners of the company, period.

and that,

Pay needs to be based on value to the owners of the company, period

I simply don't agree with this and I don't think you've made a sufficient argument, up to this point, for why we should assume this. Pay should be based on the value of someone's contributions to society; in particular to their service to men by agreeing to bear their children, regardless of how much they also desired it  This goes back to the "we're all having children together" argument - its not one or the other, all or nothing. Women and men desire each other sexually and desire to have children. This doesn't change anything I'm saying but rather bolsters it. If a man can be intimate enough with a woman to sleep with her why can't he be intimate enough with her to empathize over her suffering in pregnancy with ... their child? I'm not trying to be rhetorical here, I'm mean this sincerely.

That was my original question: are the researchers lazily just comparing women's pay vs men's pay, or are they taking the extra step to find comparable men and women and basing their statistics on samples of that nature?

And I think both of us are squarely focused on precisely this same question. But the predicates we're using lead to different results.

- kk

Pay should be based on the value of someone's contributions to society; in particular to their service to men by agreeing to bear their children, regardless of how much they also desired it

KK, you need an alternative universe to live in. I can't even imagine a conversation like, "Okay, Bill, I'll have your baby if you...blah, blah, blah." For one thing, women tend to take ownership of the child. In most divorces, which parent fights hardest for custody? The mothers.

Men and women have totally different attitudes toward marriage and children which you can measure roughly in terms of demonstrated interest.

Consider that Brides magazine is probably the thickest magazine on the magazine rack. Good luck finding a Grooms magazine. How many men subscribe to parenting magazines on their own? I'm sure it's less than 1%, unless they are gay males wanting children.

But there are apparently many alternative universes. It was just your luck to be born into this one.

Hey,

KK, you need an alternative universe to live in. I can't even imagine a conversation like, "Okay, Bill, I'll have your baby if you...blah, blah, blah."

lol, I won't disagree with that. I think its cultural. I don't mean this in a bad way, so anyone living in these areas please don't take offense but, when driving through south Georgia or the Navajo Nation you are right, I come from a different universe. But not so much in Petaluma (small town where I live now).

Men and women have totally different attitudes toward marriage and children which you can measure roughly in terms of demonstrated interest.

Consider that Brides magazine is probably the thickest magazine on the magazine rack. Good luck finding a Grooms magazine. How many men subscribe to parenting magazines on their own? I'm sure it's less than 1%, unless they are gay males wanting children.

I'm tracking you here but does that really alter the logic any? Or if so, how does it alter the logic? 7 billion people can be wrong. The very attitudes you're talking about are instilled by cultural mores embedded, probably by religion, many hundreds of years in our past. As for demographics, I'm a heterosexual male and you and I are on polar extremes on this particular issue - which is cool - I'm just saying that I don't know that I'm such a big outlier (I am an outlier for completely different reasons, though). And just to be clear, I have never picked up a copy of "Brides", lol.

But there are apparently many alternative universes. It was just your luck to be born into this one.

Yea, sucks. Welcome aboard the misery train.

- kk

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