A member of the Florida State University system board of governors said during a meeting Tuesday that the gender wage gap is caused by genetics, and not the systemic social and economic causes that continue to favor men over women in the workplace.
The Daily Dot reports that board members were discussing pay discrepancy outside of college and working to figure out solutions to close the gap between men and women graduating from Florida’s universities when member Ed Morton made his comment.
Morton said he believes that negotiation skills are primarily responsible for the gap, and suggested that young women may be biologically programmed not to directly address promotions and salaries with their bosses.
“Something that we’re doing in Naples [with] some of our high school students, we’re actually talking about incorporating negotiating and negotiating skill into curriculum so that the women are given—maybe some of it is genetic, I don’t know; I’m not smart enough to know the difference—but I do know that negotiating skills can be something that can be honed, and they can improve,” Morton said. “Perhaps we can address that in all of our various curriculums through the introduction of negotiating skill, and maybe that would have a bearing on these things.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott was made aware of Morton’s comments, and according to the Daily Dot, he quickly distanced himself from them.
“As a father of two daughters, the governor absolutely does not agree with this statement,” Scott’s spokeswoman, Lauren Schenone, told Politico Florida.
Meanwhile, the board’s vice chair, Norman Tripp, said that he feels it may be worthwhile to look closer at the racial gap between black and white student, since black women face particularly low median salaries.
Maybe Morton thinks that is genetic, too.
Read more at the Daily Dot.