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One Woman's View of the Female Wage Gap

Sheryl Sandberg at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012. (Photo: World Economic Forum)

Jennifer Colosi runs a San Francisco executive search firm with a concentration in finance. Here’s what she wrote in to say about our analysis of the persistent female-male wage gap:

Agreed with all you wrote about wage gaps between women and men.

Why yes, women do love kids!

You are exactly right — a higher wage isn’t as important to some women — because it comes at a “household” cost.

If I could add this non-scientific but beyond anecdotal research:

I’ve called hundreds of women for executive roles in carrying out searches for our clients.  They simply say “No thanks.”  Perhaps they are a single parent and the current role is 20 minutes from home, and the one I’m calling about is 50 minutes to an hour away. And these are executive roles.  

They say “no thanks” because they are unable to travel or commit the hours for the job that would move their careers further upward.  To take that “exceptional” role.

I call it: “Why very good is better than exceptional.”  They have roles that are “very good” that also allow them to be closer to picking up kids, etc.  One possibility is that many women will just always have more responsibilities at home even in two earner households.  Someone told me Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote about this as well.

That’s not changing soon.  I don’t fault them for this choice.

I do resent the media making companies out as if they are not doing enough to hire senior women.  Our clients would love to hire them….if only they’d say “yes.”  Clients say, “You must have these candidates in your back pocket.”  The response is, “Why yes, we do. And they will talk to me.  But very good is good enough, thank you.”

Women and men are different…..and it should stay that way!

To be filed under “the cost of preferences”?