Forget about the wage gap. What about the Web 2.0 gap?


There is a media feeding frenzy over the last study released from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation about the wage gap: All hands on deck! Women don’t make as much as men do! There is a lot of hoop-la about this study, which says that the wage gap happens immediately upon entry after graduation. Here is the Associated Press article that got picked up everywhere.

I have written before about how the reason women don’t make as much as men is that when women have kids, they are more distracted by them than men are. Even if men and women have the same experience and are in the same job, and they both have kids, the woman will probably earn less. So the wage gap comes when women have kids.

But this is not shocking because most parents will tell you that in the case of all things being equal, the woman will be the one who interviews the nanny, not the man. The small things add up and it’s not far fetched to say that on balance, women who work in an office spend more time taking care of kids than men who work in an office. So, the wage gap is not going to change until this changes. (Men, here is a secret about women: In front of you, your wife says you are an equal parent. On girls’ night out, it’s a different story.)

The person who did interviews about the study is Catherine Hill. I like her a lot. She has spent a lot of time on the phone with me letting me argue with her about her research.

So this time, it turns out that the pay gap between genders in business is dramatically smaller than other professions, like science professors, and the mean of the gap is skewed. In fact, the pay gap between genders in business is so small that Hill says the gap is “statistically not significant.” Yet no one is reporting this.

I also asked her why a pay gap matters. I told her I think it only matters if women are not as happy as men at work. Hill says this is very hard to study–workplace happiness. So she studies wage gap instead. I would argue, though, that it’s an irrelevant topic. If we don’t know the harm in a gap, then we can’t decide what to do about it. And I think it would be tough to argue right now that women are not as happy as men are at work.

So if they are equally happy then maybe the issue of pay gap puts too much emphasis on money and not enough on happiness. Tim Ferriss is the author of a book that has catapulted to the top ranks of Amazon: The Four-Hour Work Week. One of the most interesting ideas of this book is that money is not a primary goal. Rather, quality of life is the end goal, and the yard stick for measuring your success. And quality of life is not about money earned but how you bring time and mobility into your life. Ferriss lays great groundwork for a discussion of why the wage gap doesn’t matter. I suggest we take Ferriss’ cue and concern ourselves not with the wage gap between genders, but the time gap.

Or, here’s another idea. Instead of worrying about the wage gap let’s worry about the Web 2.0 gap. The second round of the Internet revolution is being run largely by men. In fact, as tech companies need less and less marketing, the usual spots for women in tech companies are disappearing. And as the barrier to entry gets lower and lower, and founders get younger and younger, the hours people put in to start a company verge on 100% of waking time, something that women seem to be just plain not interested in doing.

I am not sure what should be done about the Web 2.0 gap. I have a feeling that it ends up getting more and more male centric–just like video games. For example, most blogs are aimed at technical types. Something we might be able to overcome. Yet the most prominent blog ranking site, Technorati, ranks blogs based on how many people link to them. So a blog catering to people who don’t blog themselves would be ranked lower in the blogosphere. The subtle burying of women’s voices online.

I’m not sure if it’s a big deal or not. But I am definitely sure the time gap and the Web 2.0 gap are having more impact on the business opportunities women see than that statistically irrelevant pay gap is. It’s just that the mainstream media is accustomed to writing about pay gap, and not about who is playing poker with the founders of Digg and who is playing Xbox with the founders of Reddit.

But look, if you want to make sure you’re getting your fair share, don’t be afraid to negotiate salary, sure. But before that, get clear on what you want in your life and your career. Don’t get derailed by letting someone else frame your issues for you.

44 replies
  1. Ted Slampyak
    Ted Slampyak says:

    In your article you say that the pay gap between men and women is much smaller, “statistically insignificant,” in the business sector, as opposed to the academic and other sectors of the economy. Where did you read that, and can you point us to that source? I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out that the press totally ignored that part of the findings, but I’d like to see that firsthand. Thanks!

    * * * * * *

    The gap is statistically insignificant for young peole. My source for this is Catherine Hill, the head of research on the wage gap research for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. She told me during my interview with her.

    The gap becomes significant when men and women have kids. My source for that is linked in the post.


  2. Jenflex
    Jenflex says:


    You said the pay gap doesn’t matter, if the happiness gap doesn’t exist. Doesn’t that apply to the Web 2.0 issue? If the gap in the metric doesn’t matter (i.e., women don’t care if their blogs are highly rated on Technorati) then how are they failing to succeed, if they’re happy with what Web 2.0 does for them? Personally, I think Web 2.0 plays to women’s strengths…connection, relationships, etc.

    Where I will agree with you, is that there’s a sense of tangible influence over Web 2.0 that’s going to men at the moment. (My dad would have said something about “boys and toys” or something similar.) But, isn’t the Web all about taking something handed to you, and then co-opting it into what works FOR you?

    Women still have a voice.

    * * * * * *

    I agree that women have a voice on the web. Definitely. Look at the power of Blogher. What I’m saying is that if you want a make a career out of sniffing for gender disparities in business, there are better places to look than wages.


  3. Mary
    Mary says:

    I hate to argue with you in public. (yeah, right) While I agree happiness at work is very important – €“ my career path has been based on getting the most satisfaction and happiness out of a job while adhering to personal values – €“ I think a pay gap matters significantly. Finding out that Joe Schmo is making 5% more than I am at an exactly equal job would probably detract from my happiness at work, as money is one of few tangible, permanent signs of how I am valued and seen. I wouldn't accept the argument that, oh, everyone knows women are paid less everywhere, so that's why we're paying you less.

    The harm in the gap is that it is reflective of how society still undervalues the contributions of women not only in the workplace – €“ but to society in general. While the amount may be statistically small in one area (business) of all the career areas that there are, I think it is still just one of many telling signs about how women are still viewed as second class citizens in this country and pretty much globally. If anything, women should be higher paid – €“or have some sort of tax break or something – because of their demanding dual roles, if they have children. Or triple roles if they have aging parents and kids needing care. We are what allows society to function as well as it does. Why not follow the model of last year's striking illegal immigrants? What if women went on strike and made the men sole caregivers for a week? It would be fascinating to see what would happen in the business world.

    Also, if a study came out that white people are paid more than black people, (which I assume is probably true despite affirmative action) would the argument that happiness matters more than money still hold? That discrimination as manifested through non-equal pay doesn't matter? Finally, I don't think a gender pay gap is a women's issue. Treating anyone as less than an equal harms society as a whole.

    I do think the 2.0 subject is fascinating and I agree it will have a big impact of women's roles in business. I think it is worrisome, and not being dealt with or discussed at all. I clicked on the poker link in your blog, and yes – only male players are part of this web elite club. And guess what? The ad next to it featured a doe-eyed, thin avatar sporting a bare midriff and low-rise jeans. I am afraid that despite all the "new" in this new technology, the role of women is returning to what it was pre-liberation. While yes, much of what is being created fits into the whole idea of women being relationship builders etc, the same argument could be made for the invention of the telephone and other media of the 20th Century. Women didn’t exactly make it to the top in large numbers in those lucrative professions. I hope you do some more entries on women and the Web 2.0.

    I'm getting off my soap box now. If I'm not paid equally at work, it's because I spend too much time commenting on your blog!

    • Mary M.
      Mary M. says:

      I don’t think I mentioned it on my rant below, but I actually agree with Penelope on the pay gap thing. It’s moot whether or not a man makes more then a woman, because if you don’t like what your boss is paying you, you don’t accept it, period.

      And I am a strong believer that no two jobs are identical even if they share the same title simply because the competency and work ethic of the two employees who hold these titles will never be the same, regardless of whether or not one has a penis and the other a vagina. You as the employee determine your value to the company by your own actions and capabilities, as I have learned first-hand in my career in the web 2.0 world.

      When I started coding websites, I was low-balled for my inexperience, so I bit the bullet and worked for that web design company until I developed enough skills to be worth much much more to someone else.

      And as to the doe-eyed sex kitten advertised on the poker site, I have two words for you: sex sells. EVEN to women. Believe me, I know. I make these ads for a living.

  4. Ella
    Ella says:

    Actually, the latest studies are showing that the pay gap emerges as early as the very first job that men and women take out of college. That’s why people have been especially interested in this study.

    Also, you’re inaccurate to claim that video games are an almost entirely male domain. In fact, as games become more socially acceptable (and less viewed as an isolated and socially backward activity), the number of women with an interest in them is rising. Some games even have a largely female playerbase (Sims and all of its variations is the big shot in this area).

    * * * * * * *

    Yeah, Ella. You’re right. The study I’m referring to, by Catherine Hill, is the one that shows a gap immediately after college. (I added that in the first paragraph of the post, to clarify things a bit.)

    Hill says that the gap, right out of college, is not statistically significant in business.

    Re video games: I showed this post to my 23 year old brother and he told me the same thing. I should have listened to him and changed the analogy.

    That said, it has taken litereally ten years for women to get widespread interest in video games. So maybe the analogy is still relevant….

    Anyway, thanks for the comment, Ella. Thanks for knowing so much about my pet topics :)


  5. Liss
    Liss says:

    You said “…why a pay gap matters. I told her I think it only matters if women are not as happy as men at work…”

    I would argue that it doesn’t matter whether women are as happy as men at work; it matters whether women are as happy as men with their lives as a whole. I may be perfectly okay with a (theoretical) wage gap *because* my priorities aren’t about work at all, but rather about whether I’m making enough money to support the *life I want*. If I can do that, then I’m happy, and I’m not likely to aggressively pursue opportunities to increase my pay for the sake of more money. I’m also perfectly happy not to be entrenched in the latest 2.0 startup insanity, because I would rather be free to leave my desk when naptime is over and take my daughter and the dogs to the park.

    See also your post about whether CEO’s are irresponsible parents, which is really the same issue – money, despite what we all may wish, does not buy happiness. Both money and power/influence, as defined by the media, are overrated and/or irrelevant to me. I’m happy with my life, and that’s my best measure of success.

    * * * * * *

    Thanks for the great comment, Liss. I confess to be nervous posting something like this. Like, what if I’m totally wrong? It will be so public. But then I think that if I don’t post stuff like this I will never learn from a discussion about it.

    So, I learned from this comment. I agree with you. You’ve changed how I think about the issue of how to judge the happines. It should not just be at work. My next post on this topic will be a little bit smarter becuase of your comment. Thanks.


  6. MarilynJean
    MarilynJean says:

    This puts many of my values and beliefs upside down. While the fact is in black and white that the disparity in business (before kids) is almost insignificant, the bigger picture remains: women get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to fair compensation.

    I agree children are where men and women separate at a fork in the career path. This further emphasizes that better policies need to be in place AND enforced so that mothers and fathers can enjoy the benefits of raising their children and working.

    Further, the disparity in question is ONE out of many true, real, viable inequalities. We can’t ignore those. Even if women are happy, it doesn’t mean it isn’t right to demand more money. What equal wages means is equity in the marketplace…as consumers, philanthropists, etc. Studies have also shown that women PAY more for goods and services, so why shouldn’t we earn more to cover this increased “cost of living”?

    Not to mention that if a women is indeed the main caretaker (and not breadwinner), why is it that HER money is what covers child/house expenses the most? Her vacation days are spent at the doctor’s office and school open houses? And I am speaking in terms of women who are married. What about about all the single mothers? That’s even more difficult.

    Having better wages and benefits at work means that women can afford to be all the roles they choose – or are forced – to be.

  7. MyNameIsMatt
    MyNameIsMatt says:

    I think the wage gap is a big deal in that we’re still afraid, as a society, of acknowledging gender differences. Frankly, I think women should earn more in the tech industry (web 2.0 or where ever) because there’s a clear lack of feminine influence and personality.

    Men and women think differently. We process information differently, and we react differently. The value of just having women around the office of a tech firm is enough to validate higher wages. Fraternal comradery is nice and fun, but has a way of cocooning the personalities and restricting diversity at the workplace.

    If for no other reason than simple supply and demand, women should earn more in tech. Although, I guess it’s more about supply (fewer and fewer computer and science oriented female college graduates) as there doesn’t appear to be much of any demand curve for women in tech.

  8. SueB
    SueB says:

    I just have to weigh in that a pay gap may or may not influence a working woman’s happiness — that depends on how much a specific salary impacts her desired lifestyle — but a lesser salary now can certainly have an effect on her happiness in retirement.

    A lower salary may mean a lower rate of saving and investment and, if an employee is eligible for a traditional pension, it can also impact a final pension amount (which is typically calculated using final average pay over, say, the last five years of a person’s career).

    Add to that the fact that women typically live longer than men and therefore depend on their retirement incomes for a longer period of time and it’s clear that the wage gap has greater implications than just present-day happiness.

  9. Ryan Holiday
    Ryan Holiday says:


    This was a great post. I can’t believe I waited this long to add you to my RSS reader.

    You touch on a great point about men and Web 2.0. I have a feeling this whole system is going to be turned upside down a few more times before it settles. The idea that most of the big bloggers represent what the average American is going to be interested in is absurd. So just as grass-roots political movements are often begun by radicals and then level out as they become mainstream, we’ll see the same here. Right now we just have the loudest, early adopters talking–and the demographic is typically men.

    Again, great post. I LOVE the site.

    Ryan Holiday

  10. Rambler
    Rambler says:

    Very interesting piece of information. How does this work in tech companies ? I see a lot of women workers around me who work as long as I do. It might be even to the extent of 12-14 hours a day. And I assumed they make as much as me. Now I need to check with few close ones to see, if it happens here too

    * * * * * *

    Catherine Hill, the researcher from AAUW, says that there is no pay gap for engineers who have not had kids.


  11. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    I don’t think it’s true to say that the pay gap doesn’t matter unless there is a happiness gap. It’s also about justice.

  12. Dave
    Dave says:

    As it turns out, The Economist wrote about this last week as well, in their Economics Focus:

    I’m not sure if you can read that without a subscription. In case you can’t, I’ll summarize.

    They roughly agree with you, that the high cost of child care prevents women from working. They suggest, though, that the women do really want to work but can’t because of this. They also suggest that the world would be much richer if they would.

    They also mention that in countries with highly developed (and cheap) child care the employment gap is nearly non-existent, like in Scandanavian countries.

  13. Recruiting Animal
    Recruiting Animal says:

    I notice that you don’t have any female guest contributors. Especially a Gen Y female. Why don’t you have a contest for the role in which your readers put forward nominations?

    * * * * *

    Oh, thanks for bringing this up. I am always open to guest bloggers — you can recommend yourself or someone else. If anyone has ideas, please feel free to email me.


  14. Nataly
    Nataly says:

    Thanks for this great post. I’d like to make a comment on the Web 2.0 side of it, since I am one of the few women founders of a Web 2.0 company (although I prefer not to refer to it as that). I’ve also spent the last several years investing in early-stage tech companies so feel that I have a bit of a landscape to judge from. First of all, I think your point about the gender gap in Web 2.0 companies is really key and one that I wish was being made in other media outlets. Most Web 2.0 companies are in fact being started and run by men. (I’ve seen more than 100 teams come and present their Web 2.0 idea – 1 had a woman founder.) But the question is why this is going on?

    We can’t chalk it up to lack of capital – which is the reason give for why women start less-capital intensive companies (and lower revenue potential companies) than men (it’s true) – since as you point out, it takes a lot less capital to start a tech company these days, especially one in the Web 2.0 category. Is it because the Web 2.0 companies that are getting attention are focused on the 18-24 year old demographic? Not sure that’s a good reason either, since the numbers for companies like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube indicate that women are a huge % of their members (as well as people older than 24).

    I feel like my background in venture capital and in investing in this space should provide me with a sharp sounding answer to this question, but alas, I don’t have one. I can share my own experience of starting and say that it is certainly possible for a woman and a mom to start a company (let me add breadwinner to that, since I think it raises the risk profile). We are indeed focusing on a narrow niche – working moms – and believe we can build a great company around that particular community. It is certainly taking a huge amount of time and effort to get this going and perhaps that is a reason why some women, particularly moms, might not choose to do it. (The other day my daughter asked why I liked my computer so much….)

    I’m just one voice but I’d like to encourage women – moms or not – who have an interest in starting a company – perhaps even a Web 2.0 company – to think it through and consider ways they can do it. It is certainly not easy – but it is possible.

    * * * * * * *

    Nataly, thanks so much for posting this. Everyone, it is very, very rare to meet a woman in the venture capital community. Nataly’s perspective is unique. It’s also interesting that she got out, to start her own company.This week, the invite-only list to the big Web 2.0 conference The Lobby was announced. The percentage of women is absurd – under 5% perhaps. Before we talk about why that is, we have to talk about why it matters. It’s great to have Nataly part of that discussion.


  15. K
    K says:

    I’m a mother, working part-time, for a tech company. I may have traded away some salary, but I’m working for an amazingly flexible company who gives me what I value the most: control of my time. I need to go to a first grade field trip at 2 pm on a Wednesday? No problem.

    I’m sure there may be a man at my company, somewhere, doing the same job for more money. But money isn’t what I need now. I’ll have plenty of time to make lots of money later. Right now, I want to be at that 2 pm first grade field trip on a Wednesday afternoon.

    Honestly, a competitor could come and offer to double my salary and I’d say “no, thanks.”

    I think focusing on the wage gap is irrelevant if there are large numbers of us out there who value our time more than our money.

  16. Greg
    Greg says:

    Moving away from gender, a wife and kids do get in the way of some career paths. Back in the day, when I was the single guy at work with no commitments, I did TDY for weeks or months with little notice and was fine with it. I was also the one who came in early, stayed late, filled in on holidays, and could always be counted on to pick up the slack. I did not resent my coworkers, it was my choice. However, some of my coworkers resented my "preferential treatment" when I did request (and was granted) specific holidays or time off.

    It gets back to the choices we make, and "No" we can not "have it all."

    I would be interested to see a study on the impact of men in the work place that take maternity leave and handle the primary care-giving of their children. I suspect it would be much more damaging to their careers.

    * * * * * *

    Yes. Good points. I bet it would be difficult to study paternity leave because even at the companies that say they encourage it, almost all men are too scared to do it because of the ramifications they would face when they came back.


  17. Trevor
    Trevor says:

    You’re wrong about video games. They are getting less and less male-centric. They are also getting older and older.

    And when it comes to ‘online’ games, (which you may not be including in favour of a traditional definition of video games, and that’s ok) women actually play MORE than men.

  18. JB
    JB says:

    How many men say, “I just want to find a woman who will take care of me financially”?

    Men have more of an incentive to seek jobs that pay more money and to actively seek raises.

  19. MyNameIsMatt
    MyNameIsMatt says:

    Part of the lack of women in tech is answered simply by the lack of women going into education for computer science or any science. IT is a field that’s really tough to break into if you don’t have a degree and a couple years of side work with IT. Now, I don’t have sources, but I think there’s still a gap between number of female graduates with science degrees and the % of females in the field. Why the degree in this case doesn’t seem to translate into a job in the field is an interesting question, however, I think it’s relatively easy to point to education, from primary and up, where you see an immediate lack in female participation which flows into the work force.

    Part of the challenge, though, in understand where people go with a computer degree is that you can enter any field with it. If you only define computers as Web 2.0, then you’re focusing on about 2% of the actual tech market, and with the web becoming so ubiquitous, all companies are becoming web 2.0 companies, so that itself is a bad term. Still, I think the problem begins at the primary school level and trickles up as education continues.

    A last question, though, do you think men are more entrepreneurally driven where women might be less driven? Maybe some instinctual desire for stability and safety derived from being the typical child raiser? I don’t know, my mom was one of the first people, let alone women, to get a computer science degree. She’s climbed the ladder even after raising myself and my brother to Director level now. She likes the idea of doing her own thing (even beyond her pending retirement), but I don’t see her crossing that gap for some reason.

    * * * * *

    Women start more companies than men do. By a big margin. But not in Silicon Valley.


  20. Steven
    Steven says:

    I just started working for a Web 2.0 startup that was founded by a woman. The majority of the leadership positions are held by women. I am living the exception.

    It may be that because web 2.0 startups *can* be introduced without as much marketing, content management, design and user experience, that men might dominate. However, that doesn’t mean that these offering won’t be overshadowed by better 3.0 companies that include and understand women.

    Users are in the drivers seat now. More women than men are using the web. Men need to understand and include women more than ever- they just may not know it just yet.

  21. Irene
    Irene says:

    Considering the reasons for the pay gap, I agree it’s insignificant and happiness has nothing to do with it. Men and women in the same work will most likely have the same happiness.

  22. Rahul
    Rahul says:

    I’m late commening here, but I’d just like to add that I don’t recall a Penelope Trunk or Kathy Sierra (to name two) during the Web “1.0” age.

  23. CR
    CR says:

    Most of the comments have been accurate, in my opinion, and I am a web 1.0 survivor about to head back into the fray that is web 2.0. The difference this time (I hope) is that I have chosen the company instead of the company choosing me (or feeling as though I had no choice as company #2 or 3 bit the dust).

    It’s not so much a gender difference as it is I believe an age difference. I know it’s not web 1.0 or 2.0, but Microsoft still holds ‘morale events’ that involve some sci-fi movie and then eating steak, even though what would have raised my morale was an afternoon off and a new pair of shoes. You knew the company’s culture has not caught up with its employees when a departmental event goes for barbeque – but half of its team are from the Indian Subcontinent and are strict vegetarian.

    How many women leave because the culture rewards the hero and they have to leave in time to pick up the kid from daycare? That doesn’t even go into the problem that every daycare, quality or not, within any kind of reasonable range of MSFT has a waiting list six months long. This makes fathers leave too, but less so – and when they have to leave early when the kid is sick, they’re considered to be exemplary fathers. When women do it, the whispering is that they’re letting the teeam down.

    I guess this rambling is to try to point out that the cutting edge tech culture is still perceived to be populated by single guys in their early 20s, because the ones who have families find somewhere else to work. and women eventually leave entirely.

  24. Bad Person Who Hasn't Read the Other Comments Yet
    Bad Person Who Hasn't Read the Other Comments Yet says:

    Have you seen this about women bloggers and anonymous threats? Personal safety is huge limiting factor for women, whether its walking down dark streets or developing a internet persona. Even legitmate threats aside, people post anonymous responses to women that they wouldn’t say to a man in a million years.

    * * * * *  *

    Yes, this is a big issue now. Kathy Sierra was receiving extraordinarily bad threats. (For a more typical example of mysogenist comments online, see the comments my column receives at Yahoo.)However most women, bloggers or not, have been dealing with gender-based threats their whole life. When a grown man whistles at an eleven-year-old girl, it is threatening, and it goes on from there, to when men are sexually harassing women at work. Women have not let this hold them back in education and business, so I am sure women will figure out how to deal with in onlne, as well.


  25. Alan
    Alan says:

    I wonder when will the battle between the sexes end. There seems to be too much invovled that one group will not submit to the other. We should stop comparing and live a normal life.

  26. Better Person Who Has Now Read the Other Comments Yet
    Better Person Who Has Now Read the Other Comments Yet says:

    Whether or not more women are playing video games, the public conception is that it’s still a male-dominated field. I play World of Warcraft (WoW); my guild is about 30% female but most of us are girlfriends/wives. Our guildmates are well up-to-date on who’s what gender but still make public, mysogynistic complaints about non-guildies such as “I hope his penis falls off–or maybe it already did.” The default assumption about anonymous players is that they are male (a second interesting assumption is that they are white).

    Most video game advertisements are still aimed at young men. Advertisements featuring women are generally disparaged as inaccurate (which I’m willing to concede as I personally don’t know any stick-thin and gorgeous models that enjoy zoning out to Mario Cart.) Online play among women might be picking up, but I’d be curious to see numbers on console games. The climate there is generally quite anti-female participation.

    One last story; this is a good one. A friend of mine in her mid-30s was telling about how she was helping a lower level character on WoW. It quickly became evident that this was a young teenage male. My friend was amused by this and told him that she was old enough to be his mother. The kid was quiet for a few minutes and then exploded with a tirade about how she shouldn’t be wasting all her time on video games and was failing her family. Upon informing the kid that she doesn’t have children, he responded that she needs to hurry up and find a man. >.

  27. boooo, it cut me off
    boooo, it cut me off says:

    I recognize that this is an isolated incident, but that’s a pretty strong reactionary sentiment. It’s also not that much stronger than the casual banter that plays out in the server-wide discussions every night. Admissions of femininity result in either insults or come-ons. I’m sure there are plenty of women playing, but I have my doubts on how many of us would feel safe to display it.

  28. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    The wage gap doesn’t matter? Women make less because they become “distracted” by their children?

    I can’t speak for women at large, but if I know my mother, I know that she for one would have to restrain herself from busting you in the face if you brought this apologism into her house. I think a previous commenter, Caitlin, summarizes your fallacy best:

    “I don't think it's true to say that the pay gap doesn't matter unless there is a happiness gap. It's also about justice.”

    Justice. A concept I learned from my mother (I wonder how much it cost — through “distraction” — to teach me that).

  29. sb
    sb says:

    Hi Penelope.. its been great reading all your posts. They’re enlightening as well as entertaining. Just a small suggestion. Although your blog is very easy to read and navigate,your site may look better if the sentences are justified.
    Keep up the good work!!!

  30. Prodvijenie Stat'Yami
    Prodvijenie Stat'Yami says:

    Badly need your help. The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.
    I am from Myanmar and learning to read in English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Professional seo expert advice from a qualified seo consultant.We are a web design, web development and search engine optimisation company based in aberdeen, scotland.”

    Thanks ;). Adesina.

  31. Mary M.
    Mary M. says:

    I can agree on your statement that filing a sexual harassment claim is more trouble then its worth. And I also

    Nothing else you’ve written is relevant to the professional women I interact with on a daily basis.

    I’m 24 years old, happily married and approaching my second anniversary, so by your terms, I’ve got a jump-start on this whole baby-making business and should put my career on the backburner for now.

    Gosh, lady, you couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    I’m a web developer and SEO analyst, well diversed in all things internet related, I code PHP, JavaScript, CSS, XHTML, and am comfortable with content management systems such as Joomla, ModX and WordPress. AND I can Photoshop even the homeliest looking woman to make the likes of Miranda Kerr jealous. Or on the flipside, cover a model’s backside with cellulite so real you’d think it was your own.

    This makes me a very, very valuable commodity in my industry. And I don’t even have a degree.

    My husband, on the other hand, is a highly educated, electrical engineer – who has been unemployed for six months since his company went under. So obviously, I’m the breadwinner here. But not just because I have to be. My work is my passion – I breathe in and ingest all the information I can to keep my skills sharp. I happily volunteer a 60-hour work week (regardless of what my husband thinks, who, incidentally, aspires for that fabled 4-hour work week).

    But if I took a few years off to pop out a litter, I wouldn’t have a career to come back to. See, the technology field is rapidly changing, and everything you think you know is outdated within 2 years. My obsession with keeping up with the times allowed me to climb the ladder over in employers who were far too comfortable with their own skillsets.

    And as to the woman’s voice being subtly silenced thanks to the web 2.0 movement, well again, you couldn’t be any further from the truth. Mommy blogs have taken the world of internet business by storm – having a down to earth “Oprah effect” on female consumers. A mother’s voice online is so powerful that big business are competing for adspace on these woman’s blogs, or maybe even some shameless product placements – for a fee.

    Do I want kids? Yes. Do I want kids before 30? Not a chance in hell. But if by some unintended “blessing” I should end up with one before then, there’sjust no way I’m going to slam the brakes on my career.

    I personally don’t think your blanket statements just apply to the younger, technologically-savvy generation of business women. My company was started by men, but in the last two years, all of the tech and marketing positions were ultimately earned by highly competitive, incredibly competent women who left their male counterparts eating dust. Four of which are mothers (one of which was pregnant and worked remotely when she was too big to be of use in-office, and came back to work sans maternity leave).

    Women like myself, who just so happen to squeeze in some time at the end of a busy workday to turn on Xbox Live and own some newbs on Call of Duty.

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