CNN Parrots Press Release on Pay Gap Study

      “Mind the gap” isn’t just for the London Underground anymore. The April 28 edition of CNN’s “In the Money” lamented a gap in pay between men and women, but the segment itself had a few gaps.  


     CNN contributor Polly LaBarre said that after controlling for certain factors, such as parenting responsibility and occupation type, “women still earn 12 percent less than men.”


     Her report came straight from a study released April 23 by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). In fact, LaBarre’s talking points were drawn exactly from the AAUW’s press release.


     The AAUW’s recommended remedy: more government regulation of businesses.


     “It’s clear that barriers beyond schooling have prevented true pay equity, and AAUW continues to be a strong advocate for legislative efforts to address this discrimination,” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations, in the study’s press release.


     LaBarre echoed that call, saying, “We need to extend the Family Leave Medical Acts.”


     But Christine Romans, the program’s co-host, asked LaBarre about the possibility that women might not be as willing to negotiate their salaries. LaBarre insisted, “before we go to blame the victim, because – but I think that’s an important point – it’s structural.” After blaming “structural” sex discrimination and calling for extended regulation, LaBarre included salary negotiations as a possible source of the discrepancy.


     Men are four times more likely than women to negotiate their first salary, according to LaBarre. “So, women basically lay a half a million dollars on the table by not negotiating their first salary,” she said.


     Another study showed women also work less for their employer than men on a daily basis. The “American Time Use Survey” conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that on average men work more for their employer every day. For full-time workers, that was an average of 8.3 hours for men and 7.7 hours for women.