In Wage Gap Debate, a Fight Over 77 Cents

Some groups say that the wage gap is nowhere near as large as we think it is.

Oprah Winfrey receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University during commencement ceremonies in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, May 30, 2013. (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)

Oprah says she made $22,000 in 1980 while her male co-anchor made $50,000.

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Closing the pay gap would have massive financial implications for American women, but a broader discussion of pay equity may be as much about a society's philosophy as it is about bank accounts.

"Sure, teachers are paid less than engineers, for example, and women are more likely to be teachers," says Corbett. "It tends to be paid less, but is it actually less valuable? That's an important lesson we haven't really dealt with."

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