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.

By Ryan Healy — A question I have been thinking about for months is, what is more beneficial to a young person’s career; putting in the extra time to do great work for a company that undervalues them, or finding a hobby that will positively contribute to the career they hope to have in the long run?

For me, the answer is the latter. Until I find the perfect career that I yearn for, I will keep searching for areas that interest me outside of work. Searching requires time and effort outside of work, but my career is my personal responsibility, so I refuse to rely solely on a company to develop the skills necessary to become successful in the business world.

When I first started out in the corporate world I listened to all of the typical corporate advice. I networked within my company as much as I could. I tried my best to do amazing work to prove myself to my managers. I stayed around the office until my superiors went home. I did everything in my power to get noticed within the company. And of course, I sucked up to every bigwig I happened to meet.

Wow was I wrong. Listening to this advice and doing all of these things probably are really good for my career — if I want to go to the corner office. But working 20 years to make it to the corner office is the last thing on my mind right now, and statistics show that I probably won’t even stick around long enough to make it the corner cubicle.

So I’ve decided to work hard and participate in some of the office politics. But I’m going to devote a large portion of my time to a new hobby that will probably be more valuable to my career in the long run– blogging.

Most of my friends don’t love their jobs and aren’t sure what they want to do. Of course, many of them just go through the motions at work and relish in their “play time,” which is completely respectable; but some of my most motivated friends are trying to find their next hobby that could spark a great career.

My girlfriend Niki really wants to help children with disabilities. So she wrote some emails and made some calls to local learning centers. Two days later she had leads on multiple volunteer opportunities. Niki found a new hobby that allows her to test the waters in her new field of interest and potential career.

My friend and blog partner Ryan Paugh is teaching himself about web design and plans to take a class to improve his skills. Ryan knows that working hard and networking at his current writing job can be somewhat beneficial to his career. But his new web interest will probably do more for his career in the long run.

One of my friends spends his free time writing screen plays for a potential future in the movie business. Another friend is so bored with work that he decided to take advantage of downtime at work and he’s learning Spanish.

Investing all of your energy into a corporate job is extremely limiting. If I love my current line of work and want to climb the corporate ladder all the way to the top, then making the right contacts, waiting around the office for my supervisor to leave and sucking up to the bigwigs might be the best career move. But my current work probably isn’t what I will do for the rest of my life, and anyway there is always a risk of being fired. So I will do good work, network a little, and put the rest of my energy into a hobby that just might take me where I really want to go.

My book tour will include a lot more cities than this. But these are my test cities, to see how much interest there is coming from the blog.

I’m going to do a sort of get-together thing (not sure what) in both of these cities. If you are interested in joining me in Cleveland or Atlanta, can you please send a quick email to to let me know?

Also, if you have a great idea about what I should set up in either of these cities, please tell me that, too.

Thanks. I’m really looking forward to meeting people face to face.