Comments on: Underpaid women and their men Sat, 23 Mar 2013 13:49:31 +0000 hourly 1 By: bonmom Sun, 13 Nov 2011 04:39:09 +0000 How about job applications do not ask gender or race? Let people work side by side and be paid and promoted based on merit. If the company owners/administrators are found to be paying unfairly, the difference can be made up to the employees retroactively with money recovered from the administrators’ salaries. Until it stings in a policy-maker’s pocket, things will not change.

By: sylviatownsend Sat, 29 Oct 2011 15:37:12 +0000 It is shameful that tax-exempt institutions discriminate against women.

By: r.felder Fri, 28 Oct 2011 12:42:33 +0000 There are legitimate reasons why men make more than women as noted above. Besides men being able to put more hours and dedication into their careers because they are not mothers, there is also the ‘good ole boy’ network that women do not have. Men look out for their collegues, help them negotiate better salaries and generally “have their backs”. This has an influence on pay and promotion. Women do not have such a network. I have seen this network help my male collegues get promotions and better pay time and time again.

By: matthewslyman Fri, 28 Oct 2011 08:52:10 +0000 Sorry for missing that! I got buried in the census data report you cited first, and thought that was the basis of your article.

The Guidestar data you cite are better on gender inequality. Guidestar asks $349 USD for the full report (is this the report you’re referring to?), but there’s a sample here: px?ContentID=3854
The gender sample data are just before half way through this document.

The figures that surprised me the most from this sample report:

WOMEN: $36,613
MEN: $73,183
These figures are specifically for institutions with budgets under $250,000; so this comparison confounds my previous criticisms (we’re clearly NOT comparing primary school educators directly with university chancellors – though I still wonder whether any independent education consultants are being compared with primary school head-teachers). I’d still like to see more stratification, more significant data sample sizes etc.; but with inequalities like this one (and with such a consistent gender disadvantage across groups), I cannot argue with your general conclusions.

Women are generally underpaid compared to their male counterparts in some particular industrial sectors and organisational budget strata, and there are almost no industrial sectors or budget strata in which women hold an advantage over their male counterparts. Most employers are getting excellent value for money from their female employees, and some industries need to clean up their act… (I’m admitting this for the first time: perceptions of real-terms gender income inequality are not just “sour grapes”…)

By: DavidCayJ Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:31:34 +0000 @Mathewslyman, the reason my column included the Guiidestar 990 data, which is about as solid as data gets because it is reported under oath and the reporting rules are clear, is that it goes to the very issue you raise.

The 990 data is for women in the same positions and is sliced by organization size.

This data shows very clearly that women get paid less and that as the size of the organization grows there are fewer women and they are paid significantly less.

By: JustRealistic Thu, 27 Oct 2011 21:40:28 +0000 I don’t see it in my field (computer hardware and software engineering). In fact after factors like risk aversion, flexibility, skill-level, skill-set, capability, performance level under pressure, overtime availability, personal networking, and ability to work well with peers are factored in women (and targeted minorities) in the companies I’ve worked for have better long term prospects for internal promotion and job security while maintaining compensation parity within the scope of the aforementioned qualifications. Of greater concern is lack of opportunities for women getting back into the workforce after taking a few years for focused parenting in order to give their children the best possible start. This problem is amplified by the tendency to have children later in life where the restart is conflated with ageism and the likely need to re-align ones career path based on changes in technologies and business methodologies.

By: matthewslyman Thu, 27 Oct 2011 21:24:47 +0000 > “Women run a majority of organizations with budgets under $1 million, but as budgets grow the ranks of women shrink.”

– Here in your article is a part of the answer to your question!

Women, by their social nature, do better than men in many modern employment roles. However, women tend to prefer varied roles in smaller, more personal organisations; rather than the specialised positions in wealthier mega-corporations typically staffed by naturally ambitious men. Women tend to be motivated more by job-satisfaction and friendship; and less by money (as long as needs are met), or by recognition and promotion-prospects, than men (so that a woman’s balance of requirements, and the way they judge their success, is often different).
How does this fit with other people’s observations?

Too many people are shooting in the darkness, essentially playing poker; when they appraise performance and negotiate wages. If incomes are going to be equalised, and if women are going to be empowered; we will all need better data!

One of my concerns with your data (as with all other income equality data I have ever seen) is that some of the apparent inequalities might actually arise for legitimate reasons, due to gender roles. (Can you tell a man who works continuously, that he must not be promoted during the absence of a colleague on maternity leave? I fear that this question may stir up strong feelings from both sides of the debate, but I don’t think we can seriously expect any pragmatic employer to promote an absent woman who may never return to the workplace [many women on maternity leave never do], over a man who continues working hard throughout that whole time.)

No offense here: we need mothers! But we need to compare like-with-like. So we need to tease out the real inequalities from the illusory ones. We need to make sure we are not actually “comparing apples with oranges”, in our numerical comparisons of male and female careers and incomes; seeing the results of different effects to the ones that we’re attempting to isolate – these effects being: prejudice, true inequality, employers taking advantage of a weaker negotiator etc.

Can anyone get hold of a male-female income data set that stratifies data according to age, marital status, numbers of children/dependants and job description? Even better if also grouped according to the industry of the company they work for… For example, I’d like to see a side-by-side comparison of single 25-year-old childless women with single 25-year-old childless men, doing similar job roles (e.g. with identical job descriptions within similar companies). I have a suspicion that gender income inequalities for this query may differ substantially from gender income inequalities for older groups (including married and divorced people) with more dependants… I want to see these different groups ranked from greatest to least income-inequality (or at least, to see representative samples at different levels of inequality).

Is it possible to approach the census bureau and get hold of a custom data set, to take a closer look at this? Or, can someone please prod the census bureau to publish some better-presented data, on gender income equality?

By: mariaconzemius Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:18:40 +0000 This article is an excellent portrait of why more men should favor equality in pay for women who do equal work. I know four couples where the man either chose not to work in order to raise the children and manage the household or got laid off, can’t find another job, and relies on his wife’s income to support him, his wife, and their children.

The U.S. Supreme Court is holding women back by its rulings on why women can’t file a class action lawsuit against Walmart, a rogue employer and known to be so, and why Lily Ledbetter couldn’t collect back pay from her company because supposedly she should have filed her lawsuit “within 180 days of her first discriminatory paycheck,” even though Ledbetter didn’t know she was being discriminated against in pay (and therefore pension) until someone sent her an anonymous note from the payroll dept. telling her she was training younger men to do her same supervisor job and those younger men with less seniority were making significantly more money than she was.

The U.S. Supreme Court conservative justices are themselves sexist, refuse to recuse themselves when that would be appropriate, and continue to hold us back.

By: robinherman Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:16:02 +0000 You ask “Why do men, especially married men, put up with this? Why aren’t men in the vanguard of demanding equal pay for women?” But you don’t answer the question or even guess. My guess is that men, at heart, don’t think their wives’ work is worth more, that they remain surprised by whatever income the wives pull in. My own, very progressive and egalitarian spouse more often than not will use the first person singular pronoun in sentences like “I paid good money for that car” or “I don’t like to see my money wasted” when, in fact, he should be saying “we” as the money is OUR money. This is a reflex artifact from our parents’ generation when Dad ruled the bank account. The Millennials will certainly see things differently.

By: hallofrecord Thu, 27 Oct 2011 18:09:01 +0000 This subject has been addressed many times by economists who point out that median income is rather meaningless. One must look at the distribution of occupations in which men predominate versus the ones in which women predominate. Men predominate in occupations with more risk of injury or death and are compensated accordingly.