Democrats are falling over themselves trying to show who is the most authoritative by announcing what they would issue an executive order on as soon as they take office, if they’re elected.
For Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), she has vowed to tackle the mythical gender wage gap and a lack of diversity in the workplace. Despite the fact the country has focused relentlessly on diversity for the past few decades, non-white’s still aren’t adequately represented in many industries and in leadership positions. People like Warren see systemic racism as the reason. Others may think there are not enough qualified applicants to fill those positions, possibly due to socioeconomic issues, rather than overt or covert racism.
Nevertheless, Warren is going to tackle this issue and the gender wage gap, which doesn’t actually exist. There is no “wage” gap. It’s an earnings gap between men and women and due to a variety of factors relating to different career choices between the sexes. When those factors are taken into account, the gap nearly vanishes and there is no evidence what remains is due to discrimination.
That is not to say that discrimination never happens. It surely does, yet the solutions proposed would due more to hurt women and businesses than help.
In a Medium post published Friday, Warren vowed to issue two executive orders upon taking office, one aimed at private sector companies seeking federal contracts and the other at diversifying the federal workforce. The first executive order she mentions would impose “new rules on companies that hope to receive federal contracts.” She would expand existing disclosure requirements to weed out companies “with poor track records on diversity and equal pay,” meaning companies that don’t hire enough people of color may not receive contracts. This may lead to “token” positions in order to receive contracts. Warren would also “Ban companies that want federal contracts from using forced arbitration and non-compete clauses that restrict workers’ rights” and from asking salary history. This executive order would also require federal contractors pay a $15 minimum wage and benefits such as paid family leave, flexible hours, and collective bargaining rights.
The second executive order “Direct real resources towards attracting entry-level applicants from HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions,” even though Warren herself admitted “Black women are disproportionately represented in the federal workforce.” She would still impose recruitment policies because there are not enough Black women in leadership roles. This executive order would also divert funding toward paid fellowships for minorities who are underrepresented at specific government agencies. In addition, the executive order would require each federal agency to further diversify their workforce and provide mentorship programs to minorities, as if this doesn’t currently exist.
Finally, Warren said she would direct her Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to “closely monitor” sectors where minority women are overrepresented to enforce claims of discrimination.
“It will also issue first-of-its-kind guidance on enforcing claims involving the intersectional discrimination that women of color face from the interlocking biases of racism and sexism,” Warren said.
As a kicker, Warren included an asterisk about how currently available data “assumes a gender binary – but we know that peoples’ experiences aren’t.”