Gender Wage Gap in the U.S.

Recently I have been involved in several discussions regarding the gender wage gap in the United States.  It started with the following image:


A fairly significant discussion ensued about how the gender wage gap in the U.S. is a myth because it looks at wages as a whole rather than by industry, which is misleading.  Last night, while watching the Democratic debate, Godless Engineer and I discussed the issue again…on which we don’t exactly agree and I think it deserves another look.

The typical argument that women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns is based on the average difference between the earnings of men and women employed in full time positions.

wage gap

In 2009 the U.S. Department of Labor released a study on the wage gap which revealed that the “adjusted” wage gap—which accounts for other factors like differences in education, number of hours worked, job sector, position, etc.—is actually somewhere between 4.8 and 7 cents1 which supports the idea that the gender wage gap in the U.S. is a myth.

The problem with the “adjusted” wage gap is that it overlooks the reasons of the adjusted factors, many of which result from society’s discriminatory expectations of men and women.  For example, sexism is still prominent in the workplace.

Men are more likely to be hired in management roles and considered for promotions while administrative roles are predominately filled by women.

In addition, women spend about 32% more time than men on domestic work and childcare.2   It is estimated that women who elect to have children are perceived to be less committed to their careers and studies have shown that for every child a woman has, she suffers a 5% wage penalty.3  According the American Association of University Women, “Becoming a mother can negatively affect women’s earnings, while becoming a father does not typically have the same effect.”4

In 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a study in which they tracked 535 full-time occupations and in the 125 occupations with comparable earnings data, men earned more than women in all but one profession.5   From this study, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published the 10 smallest and 10 largest wage gaps in tables by occupation which showed that the jobs with the largest wage gaps have significantly higher earning potential and those occupations in which pay is more equal have significantly lower earning potential.


bottom 10

While I will not argue there is no value in looking at the adjusted gender wage gap, we still need to address the underlying causes of the external factors that affect income inequality between men and women.  Also, as Godless Engineer pointed out, the gap isn’t standard across the board and solutions to the wage gap need to be addressed at the industry level.  However, I find it more than a little troubling that the highest gender wage gaps occur in the higher paid positions, an issue that should also be addressed. What does it say about our society when we argue that women can make as much as men if they want to be a stock clerk or a maid, but can’t if they want to be a financial advisor, manager, sales person, or CEO?
*Kaitlyn Chloe
1. Sommers, Christina Hoff. “Wage Gap Myth Exposed – By Feminists.” American Enterprise Institute. Huff Post Politics. Web. 4 Nov 2012. (
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  “Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey,” available at  (last accessed April 2015).

$1.4 Billion Lottery: The Bible and Gambling

Many Christians choose to abstain from gambling for “religious” reasons. But what does the bible say about gambling?

Interestingly enough the bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery.  However there are several passages in the bible warning against the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10 and Hebrews 13.5) and “get rich quick” schemes (Proverbs 13:11; 23:5, and Ecclesiastes 5:10) both of which apply to gambling, betting, and the lottery.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” -Matthew 6:24

So without expressly forbidding gambling, betting, or the lottery why are some Christians so adamant that this behavior is a sin?  According to Pastor Roger Barrier in his column “Ask Roger,” people have to decide for themselves what their personal convictions lead them to believe.  If buying a lottery ticket breaks your conscience, then it is a sin.  Others have made claims regarding stewardship of the poor and how playing the lottery is not a wise use of money.

While there are several arguments for why Christians shouldn’t gamble, there are arguments for the opposite position among Christians as well.  Catholics apply certain conditions on gambling to ensure that it isn’t illicit, therefore not a sin.  Then there are more wild claims of people who have prayed about their financial issues, been “led” to buy a lottery ticket, and won.  Or those who feel like gambling is a sin, but play anyway because of all the good they can do with the winnings.

In my personal experience,  I’ve met people who are very religious who will gamble and others who won’t.  I currently work with a person who would not participate in a fun game of poker bowling among coworkers for a small $2 bet, claiming the moral “high ground” of gambling being a sin. However, with the Powerball now climbing to $1.4 billion, is playing and has been for the last couple of drawings because its “just so much money” and “Jesus would understand.”

The hypocrisy of the religious never ceases to amaze me.  While gambling, betting, and the lottery are a gray area for the religious because they are not expressly forbidden in the bible, some still choose to flaunt a fictitious moral high ground through refusing to partake in such activities.  Unless the jackpot is “high enough” of course.  And when you win, don’t forget Jesus’ 10%…that shit IS in the bible, so your ass better do it.

*Kaitlyn Chloe

Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders

When I was growing up philanthropy was a significant part of my life.  As a Catholic, charities and charitable events were easy to find and be a part of.  Now, I’m an atheist and philanthropy is still a major part of my life, but finding secular charities or charitable events to participate in isn’t exactly easy.

The Godless Engineer provides us with a platform, a network through which we can make a difference.  Starting this month Godless Engineer will feature one secular charity or organization per month for our followers.  Our hope is that our followers across social media will check them out, get involved…donate your time or money to any of these, or other causes, and do good for others who desperately need it.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


For the month of December and for our first secular charity, we are featuring Engineers Without Borders.  Engineers Without Borders envisions a world in which every community has the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs.  Their projects span 45 countries on five continents.  Their nearly 16,000 members are currently engineering change through 663 community-driven projects including:

  • Water supply (source, storage, distribution, and treatment)
  • Civil works (roads, drainage, dams, erosion control, and solid waste management)
  • Sanitation (sustainable waste solutions, latrines, and gray and black water systems)
  • Agriculture (farming, production, irrigation, and harvesting)
  • Energy (fuels, biofuels, and solar, water and grid power)
  • Structures (bridges and buildings)
Thank you for being a part of Godless Engineer and joining us in our quest to band together as a secular community and make our world a better place for all.