The latest gender pay gap misunderstanding

We entirely agree that we should look at the numbers for the gender pay gap. For only by doing so can we possibly uncover whatever reasons might be behind any gap that does exist. Which is an essential prerequisite for reaching a decision as to whether there’s anything which need be done about it or not. This making this problem exactly the same as all other ones of course. Unless we know what and why we cannot decide upon whether let alone what action, can we?

The following really not being all that helpful:

Women earn less than men and their wages grow more slowly even among the youngest cohort of workers, putting paid to the idea that having children is solely to blame for harming women's career progression.

Across the UK, women earn on average 9.8pc less than men per hour worked. Much of this difference is often ascribed to career choices after the birth of children.

But the latest Office for National Statistics data show that even the youngest workers aged between 16 and 29 earn different amounts, before many have children. The average first-time mother in England and Wales was 28 years and 10 months old in 2016, with men waiting until they are 33 and four months before having a baby.

Yeeees…this is how numbers work.

That 9.8% is the median. That 28 and 10 months is also the median age at primagravidae. This means that half of women will have their first child before this age, half after. If it is indeed children which produce the gender pay gap then that effect will strike half of women before that 28 and 10 months. Meaning that the effect of children in producing a gender pay gap - again, assuming this is the cause of it - will be there in the measures of pay at ages before the median women has given birth.

The figures being used are here by the way. It’s an odd data set to use, not really set or laid out for this purpose. This is a better one. You know, the one that shows as very small gender pay gap, one rising as we approach that age at which the median woman has given birth? Exactly as we would expect if it is children producing it?