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LETTER: The reality of the wage gap

Published: Monday, February 24, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 23:02

To the editor:

In the last Statesman issue, a claim was made the wage gap in men and women’s pay is simply “an indicator of our country’s family values.” This individual went on to imply the only reason women earn less is because they have been brought up to be mothers, and those women who did go on to obtain a college education only did so in the fields of education and child development. There is nothing wrong with those majors, but there is something wrong with assuming every woman is or should be in them.

The fact that the 77 cents women earn for every dollar men earn is calculated based on a comparison of men and women in comparable fields was disregarded. Of course women who go into education are going to earn less than men who go into engineering; that isn't a question. However, this figure is not comparing those drastically different careers; it is highlighting the discrepancy between the wages of men and women who hold the same positions.

A point of note; the only quote used is taken out of context from an article supporting the presence of an embarrassing wage gap and the person quoted, Claudia Goldin, is an economics professor at Harvard.

Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the most difficult and noteworthy paths a woman can take, and I sincerely applaud those that do. My mother is a fabulous stay-at-home-mother, but she is also an extraordinary CrossFit coach and overwhelming tough athlete. One of her best friends is also a great mom, but she works as a banking executive and her husband is a stay-at-home dad.

Mr. Richards, great mothers come in so many varieties. All of them deserve an equal chance to do the best they can in their chosen way. It is closed-minded of you to assume all women must conform to your idea of what makes a good mother.

Your mother would be ashamed of you.

Erika Dawn Pound 

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