The highly trumpeted “equal pay” issue was the subject of considerable coverage recently on both Univision and Telemundo. Both networks presented only one side of the controversy over American women allegedly “making 78% of what men earn for the same work.”
Telemundo cited the left-leaning Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR’s) Stephanie Román saying, “Women earn 78% of what men earn, but for Latin women it is 54%.” Meanwhile, Univision anchor María Elena Salinas rattled off some IWPR-supplied “facts” about gender-related pay inequality.
Without citing the IWPR as the source, Salinas repeated the IWPR’s series of debateable talking points. Among them, stating that “if projected over 40 years, that amounts to a woman's average loss of $435,000. It is worse for Latin women.”
In their coverage of this issue, neither network consulted experts who have taken a critical look at the IWPR’s claims. As a matter of fact, there are a number of considerations and relevant factors that need to be taken into account when reporting on this issue.
As MRC Business’ Julia Seymour points out, some of the overall pay differences between the genders can be attributed to men and women's varying career paths and choices.
According to Seymour, “the 77-cent or 78-cent figure is calculated by comparing what all full-time females make with what all full-time males make. It doesn’t take into consideration differences like the fact that men and women don’t all choose the same fields of employment, get the same levels of education, have the same amount of work experience or even work the same number of hours in a full-time work week.”
Below are the translated and original portions of the referenced Noticiero Telemundo and Noticiero Univisión segments:
TELEMUNDO: According to a study by the Institute of Women's Policy Research, during her lifetime a woman will lose a little over half a million dollars due to the disparity.
STEPHANIE ROMAN: Women earn 78% of what men earn, but for Latin women it is 54%.
MARIA ELENA SALINAS: Working U.S. women earn an average of 78% of what their male counterparts earn for the same job. Projecting that over 40 years, that amounts to a woman's average loss of $435,000. It is worse for Latin women, they earn just 56% of each dollar their male counterparts earn. And there's more. Employers denied pay raises to 21% of women, compared with just 10% of men.
TELEMUNDO: De acuerdo a una investigación del Instituto de Políticas para la Mujer, durante toda su vida, la mujer perderá un poco más de medio millón de dólares a causa de la disparidad.
STEPHANIE ROMAN: las mujeres ganan el 78% de lo que ganan los hombres, para las mujeres latinas ese número es 54.
MARIA ELENA SALINAS: Las mujeres que trabajan en Estados Unidos ganan en promedio un 78% del salario total de los hombres, que los hombres realizan en su misma función. Si lo proyectamos a 40 años, la vida laboral, esto significaría una pérdida para las mujeres de $435,000. A las latinas les va peor, estas ganan solo un 56% de cada dólar que gana su colega masculino. Y hay más, los empleadores negaron aumentos de sueldo al 21% de las mujeres, en comparación al 10% de hombres que han hecho lo mismo.