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Bi-Weekly Topics: The Wage Gap

kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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11/6/2015 8:11:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The Wage Gap.

Often times conversations about the wage gap become heated or divisive. Each side often claims the other to be misinformed or perhaps indoctrinated by propaganda. Due to the confusion on this topic, I gathered some information to put the wage gap into perspective.

"In 2012, the median earnings of American women working full time year-round were $37,791. American men earned a median income of $49,398. The gender wage gap has hovered at about 77 cents on the dollar since 2007."
(1)

This shows that generally men are paid more than women in the U.S. The typical response to this is to ask why women are paid less. Is it discrimination? Perhaps it is because they choose lower-paying jobs?

Consider,

"Earnings are high for both women and men who work as computer and information systems managers. But while median earnings for men in 2011 were just over $98,000, median earnings for women were around $86,000. Likewise, aerospace engineers tend to earn a good living. But while a typical male aerospace engineer took home just over $100,000 in 2011, his female counterpart was paid $83,000."(2)

This shows that Higher income occupations pay men more than women on average for the same work.

"Median earnings for male engineering technicians in 2011 were just over $56,000 compared with median earnings of $43,000 for female engineering technicians. Among drafters, typical earnings for men were just over $51,000 while typical earnings for women were just over $45,000." (2)

This shows that median income occupations pay men more than women on average for the same work. Clearly the pay gap is empirically evident and as such, is indisputable. It may be exaggerated, but the wage gap is evident.

"Decades of research shows that no matter how you evaluate the data, there remains a pay gap " even after factoring in the kind of work people do, or qualifications such as education and experience " and there is good evidence that discrimination contributes to the persistent pay disparity between men and women. In other words, pay discrimination is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange American women and their families."
(3)

While the wage gap is often exaggerated, it does exist. That much is evident. It seems to me high time that those who exaggerate the problem cease as it causes reasonable doubt in the facts and figures. That stated, I also think it is time for those who believe there to be no disparity in pay to acknowledge the facts. Perhaps if we could look at this issue reasonably we might be able to actually address it.

Sources:

(1) www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/gender-wage-gap_n_3941180.html
(2) http://www.aauw.org...
(3) https://www.whitehouse.gov...
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JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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11/6/2015 9:04:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Women are relative newcomers to the field of engineering. Plenty of women are entering the field now, but this wasn't the case 20, 30, 40 years ago. So in 2012, the vast majority of "old" engineers were men. Older engineers have had longer careers and likely make significantly more than their younger counterparts. Since there is less women in that highest paid group than in the lower paid, younger groups, you would expect that to show up as a wage gap in the statistics.

The only way to get an accurate gauge of the true wage gap is to look at engineers in the same age and career demographic. I don't think the numbers you are showing are representative of that approach. Just a thought.
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,293
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11/7/2015 2:18:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 8:11:28 PM, kasmic wrote:

Just a genuine question... why do you think the wage gap exists? Is there good reason for it to continue? If you believe it should be, what steps should be taken to decrease the disparity?
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Philocat
Posts: 728
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11/7/2015 10:44:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
There is a wage gap, but for people aged 20 to 40 it is women who are paid more than men. Men are only paid more than women in the 40+ age group. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk...)

Therefore it seems very strange to focus so much on a wage gap hurting women, when the argument could equally be put that men are harmed by wage gaps as well.

Notwithstanding the fact that wage gaps don't just affect women, wage gaps are extremely tenuous evidence of inherent discrimination. A 2009 CONSAD report noted:

- 'A greater percentage of women than men tend to work part-time'

- 'A greater percentage of women than men tend to leave the labor force for child birth, child-care and elder care.'

- 'Women, especially working mothers, tend to value "family friendly" workplace policies more than men'


(http://www.consad.com...)

The study concludes:

'As a result, it is not possible now, and doubtless will never be possible, to determine reliably whether any portion of the observed gender wage gap is not attributable to factors that compensate women and men differently on socially acceptable bases, and hence can confidently be attributed to overt discrimination against women.'
kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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11/9/2015 6:29:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 9:04:00 PM, JMcKinley wrote:
Women are relative newcomers to the field of engineering. Plenty of women are entering the field now, but this wasn't the case 20, 30, 40 years ago. So in 2012, the vast majority of "old" engineers were men. Older engineers have had longer careers and likely make significantly more than their younger counterparts. Since there is less women in that highest paid group than in the lower paid, younger groups, you would expect that to show up as a wage gap in the statistics.

The only way to get an accurate gauge of the true wage gap is to look at engineers in the same age and career demographic. I don't think the numbers you are showing are representative of that approach. Just a thought.

Do you know of any studies that have stats that look at that demographic?
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1harderthanyouthink
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11/9/2015 7:21:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It will solve itself over time. I don't put much weight in it. It's been shrinking for a long time now.
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zoinks
Posts: 1,988
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11/13/2015 12:49:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The wage gap exists in large part because of two factors:

1. Women often choose jobs which earn less than jobs men choose, for various reasons.

This exists even for women who have much education and ambition. A study of graduates of elite international MBA programs showed that women didn't apply to the same types of higher earning jobs men did.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu...

2. Women often do not negotiate for higher pay and raises the way men do.

Many women - including those with education and ambition - do not feel comfortable negotiating.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu...
citizen_canine
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11/29/2015 5:39:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/13/2015 12:49:47 PM, zoinks wrote:
The wage gap exists in large part because of two factors:

1. Women often choose jobs which earn less than jobs men choose, for various reasons.

This exists even for women who have much education and ambition. A study of graduates of elite international MBA programs showed that women didn't apply to the same types of higher earning jobs men did.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu...

Nice try, but male-dominated jobs pay more partly ~because~ they are male dominated. For example, bank tellers used to be mostly men, and the job was paid well and tellers were well respected. When the job became female dominated both wages and prestige dropped. Contrast, for example, the amount of education a plumber needs compared with what a teacher needs. Yet plumbers are paid more than teachers. All the trades are, despite the fact that they require little education. See a pattern here?

2. Women often do not negotiate for higher pay and raises the way men do.

Many women - including those with education and ambition - do not feel comfortable negotiating.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu...

Another, even lamer excuse. The overwhelming majority of jobs don't involve "negotiating" pay. That's true of only a few professions. Most jobs are an hourly wage a or set annual salary, take it or leave it. One job in which women can routinely "negotiate" pay would be prostitution, providing there's no pimp to take most of it away from her. Can you think of a single other real-life example where women could improve their pay through "negotiation"?
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,250
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12/1/2015 2:58:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 8:11:28 PM, kasmic wrote:
The Wage Gap.


This shows that Higher income occupations pay men more than women on average for the same work.

"Median earnings for male engineering technicians in 2011 were just over $56,000 compared with median earnings of $43,000 for female engineering technicians. Among drafters, typical earnings for men were just over $51,000 while typical earnings for women were just over $45,000." (2)

This shows that median income occupations pay men more than women on average for the same work. Clearly the pay gap is empirically evident and as such, is indisputable. It may be exaggerated, but the wage gap is evident.

That absolutely does NOT show women are being paid less for the same work.
Occupations are job titles. You are not paid for job titles. You are paid for the value of your work output, which can only be measured by job evaluators (also known as bosses).

If women are providing more work output for less pay, the free market will have most men out of jobs in the near future. That will be an overwhelming problem for men, not women if that were the case. (which I highly suspect is not)