Tag Archives: Gender Gap

Interesting Wage Gap Insight

Gender Pay Gap

The article in whole is great – read the whole thing.  But this was interesting:

There’s something importantly different between a job in science and a job in business — and that matters more than you might think in explaining the wage gap

Think of your prototypical businesswoman. She has a standard 9-to-5 schedule so she can meet with other businesspeople or clients.

Maybe she’s a venture capitalist. Maybe she’s an accountant. Either way, her clients want to deal with her specifically. Her employers won’t think she’s doing a good job if she isn’t there at the hours others need her.

Now think of your prototypical scientist, lab coat and all. Most of her work is self-directed. She has experiments she needs to run — but it doesn’t really matter to her lab when, exactly, she does them. So long as she’s getting the work done, her supervisors will think she’s doing a good job.

This is, of course, a simplification. But it speaks to something important about the situations where women earn less.

Certain hours are more important than others in some jobs — and those jobs have especially high wage gaps

Goldin’s research has found that workers in the industries with large wage gaps are more likely to say their jobs value those who “develop constructive and cooperative working relationships” and that their company generally determines their “tasks, priorities, and goals.”

Workers in these industries often face steep penalties for any interruption to their career. One study estimates that among lawyers, a year out of the labor force causes an 8.4 percent salary reduction.

Now, is this fair?    Yes.  Yes it is.  It is not the corporation’s role to determine what social norms are, or are not, more valued or valid.  If you think that this woman should earn more money, then you should remove the time constrains that limit her hours and/or flexibility.


Gender Gap Narrows


Hopefully this will make our friends on the left a little happier:

(Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Tuesday Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson will step down next month and be replaced by global product development chief Mary Barra, who will become the first woman to lead a global automaker.

This makes 23 women CEOs in the Fortune 500 and 9 in the top 100.

Wages In America – The Gender Gap

Gender Pay Gap

As reported earlier, there is a gender wage gap:

On this day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the in an effort to abolish wage discrimination based on gender. Half a century later, the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, designed to make wage differences more transparent.

After 50 years, it turns out that laws can’t change things like facts.  And economics; at least that science that describes incentives and pay-offs.

Though we are getting closer:

Some dispute the frequently cited figure that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. But even those who argue the gap is narrower agree it’s most prominent when a woman enters her childbearing years.

In 2010, an analytics firm called Reach Advisors crunched Census Bureau numbers and found something surprising: The median salary of single, childless women under the age of 30 was 8 percent higher than their male counterparts. That’s largely because more women are going to college than men.

What made that number noteworthy is that it’s the only group of women who have a pay advantage. In fact, different numbers from Reach Advisors show that that early advantage vaporizes later in women’s lives — especially if they have children.

“Studies have shown for over a decade that what is really killing women economically is motherhood,” says Joan Williams, professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law. She popularized the term “maternal wall,” referring to discrimination against hiring or promoting mothers based on the assumption she will be less committed to her job.

All valid, of course.  When a priority ranks higher than a job, it stands to reason that the job will suffer.  This is not surprising.  However, it would appear that even this isn’t enough to satisfy some:

A study out of Indiana University found that “overworking,” or working hours above and beyond the standard 40-hour full-time work week, contributes to the persistence of gender segregation in occupations, with the main result being that woman are frequently pushed out of male-dominated careers.

Study author Youngjoo Cha, a sociologist at Indiana University, noted that the proportion of employees who work long hours (and are pressured to do so more frequently) has continued to rise over the past 50 years, and further, that overworking is generally praised and rewarded in the workplace. However, because women are still expected to carry the brunt of housework and child rearing, men’s and women’s ability to meet these expectations must necessarily differ.

Hard work pays.

Women want to raise families.

Men suck.


What A Woman Wants

There has been lot’s of play on the book written by Sheryl Sandberg and her view on why women are not making more progress in top positions in the corporate world.  I have my ideas, but I came across this today via Mark Perry:

Isn’t it odd that people who exhort us to increase the numbers of women in powerful, high-paying jobs on the speculative grounds that this will be good for the world, discount the roles of women as mothers, which are (usually) of undeniable benefit to their kids? Many women have figured this out. One put it this way: “The world will not be affected one way or another if it has one more accountant during the next decade. But my kids will be profoundly affected by having me raise them.”

Many women also find that devoting their time to raising happy, ethical, and responsible children is more rewarding than spending 60 hours a week at the office. Why should they be made to feel that they are letting down the team?