New data shows that, despite feminists' best efforts, women have still failed to reach equality in the job market -- to an extent. While women without children are holding their own against men, those who have children continue to fall behind. David Leonhardt from the New York Times explores this phenomenon, which he views as a problem. But it is really something that should concern us, or just a symptom of the choices we make as a society?
Here's Leonhardt on the study:
A recent study of business school graduates from the University of Chicago found that in the early years after graduating, men and women had "nearly identical labor incomes and weekly hours worked." Men and women also paid a similar career price for taking off or working part time. Women, however, were vastly more likely to do so.
As a result, 15 years after graduation, the men were making about 75 percent more than the women. The study -- done by Marianne Bertrand, Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz -- did find one subgroup of women whose careers resembled those of men: women who had no children and never took time off.
Leonhardt describes this as a problem and searches for solutions. But calling this a problem is analogous to complaining that action movies with flimsy writing are more popular than brilliantly crafted art house films. We use our free will to make choices based on our preferences, and that doesn't always result in the sort of world that philosophers might imagine would be best.