Wage Gap and Lipstick (Yes, Indulge Me)

$$Wage Gap$$
According to the census bureau (and as reported by USA Today) the wage gap between women and men is smaller than it has ever been. But is this good news? I'd say not. The reason is that so many men have lost good-paying jobs...jobs that might never return.

Here's how related trends break down:
"Women have held their own or increased dominance in the skilled health care trades — nurses, physical therapists, lab technicians — that are growing in employment. Nine of every 10 nurses are women — same as a decade ago.
Men have increased dominance in the industrial and construction trades such as sheet metal workers, printing press operators and roofers, but those jobs are declining in numbers. The computer business — programmers, operators, hardware engineers — is the only part of the modern economy in which men outpaced women in the past decade."
And, perhaps the most important quote from the article:
"It's not good news for women to have men making poor economic progress," says Carrie Lukas at the Independent Women's Forum. "This isn't a gender war. If men lose, that doesn't mean that women win."
It is worth noting, that when I did a Google news search, this news was covered by only 6 media outlets.

On Lipstick
The cover of the October issue of Money Magazine symbolized women with a big smacker of a lipsticked set of lips. That same week a blogger writing as Rabbit Write invited women to join her for The No Make-up Week experiment.

While the two might seem totally disconnected, here's what I make of them. The premise of the Money article (a similar WSJ article and a CBS MoneyWatch report) is that women come out at the short end when it comes to retirement funds.

The reasons are many (read the articles to find out), but the one that no one talked about is this...

Women have to buy makeup...and cosmetics and have our hair styled and colored and get our nails done and toenails and buy jewelry and accessories. To sum it up, we are exhorted from everywhere to spend money on accoutrements that men don't (or pay much less for) and we make less than they do. No wonder there's little left to save! So, if we all went without makeup (and some other supposed necessities) and put the money into retirement accounts, maybe we'd be better off.

Women CEOs More Trusted
For the second year, the Management Today Institute of Leadership and Management reports that the overall trust in women CEOs remains higher than for men.
"Women rate more highly than their male counterparts both when it comes to employees having confidence in their boss's ability to do their job and also when it comes to being principled and honest. Female CEOs score higher than male CEOs in these areas by two and three index points respectively. But the really important differentiator is chief executives' knowledge of what their employees have to contend with in their day-to-day lives - female CEOs are seven points ahead of their male counterparts on this measure."
Everything New is Old Again
Having been around for a while, it gets my goat when the same old advice is packaged up as new advice for the new reality. Excuse me, but these ten tips have been around in one form or another for the 40 years I've been in business! You'd think that HBR and Success Magazine would know better.

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women and author of No Ceiling, No Walls.  Follow her on Twitter.

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