Americans are very much into putting dollar amounts on everything.
A gallon of milk. A gallon of gas.
How much do you make in a year? How much do you pay in taxes?
How much is your marriage worth? How much does it cost to raise a child?
Yes, even children come with price tags. The latest numbers claim that the average cost to raise a child up to (not including!) college is about a quarter million.
That means a family with four kids are millionaires without knowing it.
How about our lives? Our experience? Our brains?
These are also valued at some rate. How much are YOU worth?
According to your employer, you’re worth what they pay you.
That’s right. That’s your worth.
Which brings us to something we like to call the “gender gap.”
It’s always been true that women are less appreciated than men in the workplace. Fewer of them are employed. They get promoted less frequently. Trained less. And make less money. The difference between the money women make and the money men make defines the gap.
What’s great about our American economy is that we can put a dollar figure on the gap.
Though it varies, women make around 80% of what a man makes, for the exact same amount of work performed to the exact same standard.
Here’s a boring and obvious reason; women say “yes” faster than men.
If all women were to stand as a single entity and demand equal pay, they would get it.
Let’s look beneath the first reason and ask this; why do women say yes faster than men? Why do they accept less money for the same amount of work?
Hold onto your hats, kids. This one is going to be a doozy.
Oh, and for the guys in the audience, prepare to be dope slapped. If you’re easily offended, you can peal off now.
The reason women accept less money than men for the exact same work is because women are smarter than men.
Yes. They are smarter, in pretty much all ways. In general.
To start, they have bigger brains. They remember stuff better, and have way better grasp of intricate social relationships that men will never have (or want I should say).
Consider Thanksgiving. Have you ever watched an overworked young mother entertain her family, her in-laws and her own parents? Add in the fact that some or all of them are dysfunctional and it becomes a great challenge. Now throw in the fact that she also had to make and serve and clean up the entire mess, all at the same time? This makes quantum physics look like patty-cake.
What does being smarter have to do with getting paid less?
Women understand the value of money better than men.
In other words, women value money less. They value other things more.
Shouldn’t this mean that a women should demand more money than men? All other things being equal, yes. But everything is not equal.
Women also choose where to work based on travel times, coworkers, self-image and many other things that male economist’s can’t value.
Women know and appreciate the fact that there are so many other things in life far more valuable than money. A wholesome workplace. A good boss. Happiness in general. Romance in particular. Friendship, children, family. It may be that money isn’t even in their top ten!
So, men, the next time you hear about the gender pay gap, ask yourself this; what do these women know that I don’t?
Women, if you do value money as much as a man, just ask for it. You’ll get it. But chances are you won’t enjoy it.
Whatever your gender, if you don’t value money, then your values are in the right place. In every single instance when you ask an ancient about the value of their life, they will confide to you that a happy life is far more fulfilling than a “profitable” life.
Finally, think about this. Your tombstone doesn’t list your bank balance.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be buried with your lover. Together drawing eternal lines to time.
Now that’s closing the gap.