Oddly enough, we already know this about the gender pay gap

Given that this comes from the alma mater of one of us perhaps we shouldn't get too grumpy about it. Or, perhaps, we should get grumpier for the same reason. The point being that we already know this about the gender pay gap:

Fewer than one in five of the UK’s top 1% of earners are women, according to a study that highlights a stubborn gender divide among the super-rich.

Researchers writing for the London School of Economics found the UK picture was replicated in all seven other countries they studied, with men always making up a majority of the top income groups.

Women accounted for less than a third of those in the top 10% in all the countries. Higher up the income distribution, the proportion was lower still, with women constituting between 14% and 22% of the top 1%, according to the studypublished by the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute on Tuesday.

Aficionados of this particular statistic will recall when the Statistics Ombudsman (perhaps Commissioner?) rapped Harriet Harman over the knuckles for her misrepresentation of that pay gap. Harman was gaily rolling along telling everyone about the difference in mean wages. And was told to stop being so misleading - we should be using the difference in median wages. 

The reason being that we don't record those with negative wages and there is no obvious limit to wages at the top end. Further, we know very well that the top end of that distribution is heavily weighted in favour of men. Thus, quoting the gap concerning the mean gave an entirely misleading impression of the situation facing the average person - thus the median should, in fact must, be used.

All that this report does therefore is tell us what we already know. That rather fewer women than men successfully climb the greasy pole to the very top. The reason being that rather fewer women think it a useful way to spend ones life - being sensible they find that there are better things to do with the limited time we have here. 

If it were that women are not allowed to do so then that would be a problem: we do believe in equality of opportunity after all. But if the difference comes from freely made choices then it's not a problem, is it, as we don't believe in equality of specific outcome, only in the possibility of the equality of utility maximisation.