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I’m reminded of the words from Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” a book I often read to my kids: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
The new study indicates that Michigan women earned 74 cents compared to every dollar a man made, based on 2013 census data. The American Association of University Women and from the National Partnership on Women and Families claim the gap will close around 2086. Clearly, this is a disturbing trend. Even if the numbers are skewed due to non-correlated profile groups, do you think that explains the wage gap to disappear from 2086 to 2015? Do you believe this is a form of sexism?
As described by Dr. Gloria Thomas, director of the Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan, this is a Six Sigma case study, addressing this problem with unknown solution. This type of variance indicated across the country will provide for enough data to segment the question for all scenarios to truly answer the question on wage gap in America and how to implement statistical significate solutions. The effects will improve many areas including the economy, growth, and opportunity.
As we study the issue, one can reason that the variance in wage pay is preventing the economy from finding an optimal economic equilibrium. Thus, this causes dispersion in the economy which results in economic bubbles and eventually rescissions. The lack of economic growth or growth forecast error is another indicator. Since the dispersion will continue the non-economic equilibrium, sub-optimal balance, the economy is prevented from obtaining optimal equilibrium. By continuing this type on monopolistic structure, Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction”, allowing for the best performers to replace the poor performers to generate growth in the economy, will not occur and the continuation of the sub-optional condition will continue. This appears to be a good place to start based on various reviews of forecast errors and past problem solving implementation errors.
As we view the big picture, we must realize the wage gap is not normally distributed based on economic, education, single-dual parent household, or race. This analysis will provide a clear focus to assist people. Another factor is the occupational segregation. Even under the condition of higher paying careers, the wage gap exists. In some instances, the gap is larger than in average paying careers.
As an aside, flexible scheduling and less restrictive office policies we implemented over the past decade to assist with the gender gap issue. It appears based on the pay equality study this has not eliminated the pay gap. It would be interesting to analyze if this had any favorable effect on this issue.
The study did provide a start for us to understand the Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ). Due to this inequality in pay, the average US women will lose $530,000 over her lifetime. I would think this is significate for anyone to fully grasp. Also, if anyone thinks this is limited to women specifically, think again. I challenge all Six Sigma professionals to disprove wag gaps with various segmentations of the data. There might be some interesting aspects of this study to assist with other social economic issues that have troubled Americans over the various decades.
As described at the beginning of this article by Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,”: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” I challenge all Six Sigma professionals to make this issue a priority to do what you can to eliminate this issue to solve many.
Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior
The following blog is the opinion of Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com. It is the sole intent to broadcast this opinion from Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com exclusively and not to reflect on any other institutions or organizations associated with Gary Kapanowski or Garykapanowski.com.