This is what I need to know.  I don't want to comment, only listen. 

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It's like any other choice. If one chooses not to fight for the raise, male or female, they will not end up being paid as well as the person who will fight for it.

BTW, I object to your use of the word "inability." Women aren't handicapped or "unable" to negotiate because they are women. Maybe women aren't as aggressive as men. I think that's the case on the whole and that may make men more valuable to their companies in some positions (management, sales) resulting in a differential in pay.

You're right, it isn't an inability.  I used the wrong word.  It's more of a lack of aggression or putting a value as to what they think they are worth or expect.  

Maybe it's estrogen vs. testosterone, maybe it's sex roles they perhaps unconsciously subscribe to, maybe they're fearful that more responsibility will interfere with their other roles (e.g., parenting). 

I really doubt that it necessarily comes down to institutional or personal prejudice against women.

Yeah and I hate to say it...If I was a CEO of a company and I could hire a woman who had the same credentials and pay her less, I would too.  

It would be interesting to find studies on female CEO's and what they pay their female workers in comparison to males.  Hmmm....

And why would you pay her less? Because you could get away with it and would pay *anyone* less if you could, or because you think her work is actually shoddier?

Because I would pay anyone less if I could.  I think her work would be just the same as a mans.  

Paying as little as possible for any material or service is standard operating procedure in just about any business.

When one speaks of the disadvantage or lower pay to the employee, male OR female, often overlooked is the fact that lower pay makes the candidate more attractive and hireable, other things being equal.

Why speak in generalizations? You really believe women overall are less aggressive? Let me introduce you to all the women in my life... and take you on a tour of every job I've held and the women I had to compete with.

The better question is: what is your initial response to a woman who *is* aggressive?

Well Cara, I could be totally wrong here.  What factors would you say are the reasons why women get paid less?     

But your next question, my response would most likely be neutral.  Unless it's in certain contexts then It would be positive.   

I find this statement incredibly presumptuous: "For men, it often means how well one does the job whereas for women it often comes down to the job title." Where are you getting that? That's not what I mean when I say "equal pay for equal work." It means "I worked as hard as you, if not harder, so I expect to paid in kind."

Actually, I don't know where you're getting ANY of your statements. What makes you think women take more time off? I almost never call-in; I have to practically be on my death bed to call in. The same is true of my friends and peers. We have to perform at a higher level to have any kind of respect, and then there's still this persisting idea we take more time off. And smoking men don't take smoke breaks? I don't smoke, so I don't take smoke brakes... and I also rarely go the the restroom while I'm working... and that's also true of most of my peers.

I mean, what women are you even talking about? If you did REAL research, you'd find that most women work their fucking asses off. I don't understand how you can make these sweeping generalizations with nothing but your gut instinct to go off of.

I find this statement incredibly presumptuous: "For men, it often means how well one does the job whereas for women it often comes down to the job title." Where are you getting that? That's not what I mean when I say "equal pay for equal work." It means "I worked as hard as you, if not harder, so I expect to paid in kind."

If you follow the equal pay for equal work fights, the women cite statistics comparing how much each sex makes as if that ends it. It doesn't, one also needs proof that the women are as valuable to the organization as the men. 

Actually, I don't know where you're getting ANY of your statements.

Then you didn't ask Google. 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204212846.htm

There are things a raw statistic doesn't show:

Statistically, women make less than men because they put in fewer hours: Today, childless 20-something women (actually) earn more than their male peers. But most are likely to cut back their hours after they have kids, giving men the hours, and income, advantage. (source)

In fact, this article is a treasure trove of reasons why women make (and seemingly will always make) less than men for "the same work."

Women, in fact, make up two-thirds of America's part-time workforce. A just-released report from the New York Federal Reserve has even found that "opting-out" by midcareer college-educated wives, especially those with wealthy husbands, has been increasing over the past 20 years.

Activists tend to offer two solutions for this state of affairs. First is that fathers should take equal responsibility for child care. After all, while men have tripled the number of hours they're in charge of the kids since 1970, women still put in more hours on the domestic front. But even if we could put a magic potion in the nation's water supply and turn 50% of men into Mr. Mom, that still leaves the growing number of women with no father in the house. Over 40% of American children are now born to unmarried women. A significant number—though not a majority—are living with their child's father at birth. But in the next few years when those couples break up, which is what studies show they tend to do, guess who will be left minding the kids?

Which brings us to the second proposed solution for the hours gap: generous family-leave and child-care policies. Sweden and Iceland are frequently held up as models in this regard, and they do have some of the most extensive paternity and maternity leave and publicly funded child care in the world.

Yet even they also have a persistent hours and wage gap. In both countries, mothers still take more time off than fathers after the baby arrives. When they do go back to work, they're on the job for fewer hours. Iceland's income gap is a yawning 38%—that is, the average women earns only 62 cents to a man's dollar. Even Sweden's 15% gap—though lower than our 23% one—is far from full parity.

All over the developed world women make up the large majority of the part-time workforce, and surveys suggest they want it that way. According to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, in 2008 only 4% of the 70% of Dutch women who worked part-time wished they had a full-time job. A British Household Panel Survey interviewing 3,800 couples discovered that among British women, the happiest were those working part-time.

So, the women who do work may work their fucking asses off, as you say, but that doesn't really get at the real reasons why the statistics show (and likely will always show) women earning less. But the statistics are misleading: they do NOT show that women who are equivalent workers to men in every way don't earn the same, or something very much approaching the same...or maybe even a bit more.

Cara, I know I gave you a lot to absorb there, but I hope you can see now why the usual blah-de-blah about women making less than men may simply be due to women opting out of opportunities for advancement if the advancement would impact their family life, preferring to work part-time, having children without fathers, and so on. 

Looking back on my life, it's been clear that my female coworkers more than my male coworkers bonded with their associates and ignored openings they might have applied for if the new job would have taken them away from their coworker friends or, worse, away from their parents and other family members. Women are more sentimental than men and that, too, inhibits their advancement. For better or worse, an ability to be cold can be a real advantage in the business world, and men are just better at it.

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