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Posted on Mar 20, 2013 in critical thinking, gender | 2 comments

Crowdsourcing: ‘the gender wage gap’

One issue I have been skeptical of is what is often referred to as ‘the gender wage gap’ – an alleged disparity of earnings between women and men in the workplace. The statistics stipulating that women earn less than men in the workplace seem quite suspect and are often used to draw conclusions which are not claimed in research (for instance, evidence of women earning less than men in the workplace is not necessarily evidence of discrimination, but can be better explained as women working fewer hours or neglecting to work certain jobs).

Might the ‘gender wage gap,’ if it exists, be best explained by choices women and women make in the workplace or something else? What, exactly, is being compared in various studies and what conclusions can reasonably be drawn from the data?

This is where you can come in and contribute to a discussion about this issue which will inform an upcoming term paper I will write for my human development class.

Here are some pieces which can get the discussion started:

As always, feel free to comment below.

  • SmilodonsRetreat

    At my company (whose female CEO just left after helming the company for 14 years), there’s wage bands. If you are X level, then your pay is between Y and Z. Doesn’t matter if you are male, female, or felid.

    Everyone gets the same (generally crappy) raise every year. So, one’s salary is computed by your pay band and your time in grade. It’s that simple.

    Out of my managers, project managers, functional managers, and other higher ups… One out of six is a male. We have 5 functional managers in our division. One of those is a male (I don’t report to him in any way shape or form, so he’s not included in the previous sentence).

    Indeed, in every single job I’ve ever had, save one, my direct manager and several other high level managers have been women.

    I wonder if any disparity between male and female salary is because they work for a crappy company run by jerks.

    I freely admit that this is a sample size of one and your mileage may vary.

  • Astrokid NJ

    What about the spending gap? It seems to be lots more massive.. women control 80% of US
    spending.. i.e women spend 4 times more than men.. and presumably a whole lot of that money is earned by men.. their boyfriends, husbands, fathers.
    A whole lot of culture is is all about men spending money on women.. buy all sorts of crap for Valentine’s day etc , ultimately in exchange for sex. Women use their sexual power like hell.
    Marketers know about this.. and design shopping malls to display women’s goods front and center.
    The feminist sites that discuss only womens “problems” without discussing the corresponding mens side of things are disingenuous.

    FWIW.. I am not a white guy and in my 10+ yrs working in IT in the US, I have been “underpaid”, as well as “overpaid”.. ALL depending on the company I worked for, the fortunes of the company, the fortunes of the market, my negotiation skills with my boss etc. While I was resentful at the time of being underpaid.. in retrospect I see it all balanced out in the long term.. there is never perfect justice. One’s exact value in the current job can only be determined by the employer via experience.. and takes time.
    I found no intent to discriminate by my bosses.. and plenty of white guys AT MY OWN EXPERIENCE LEVEL earned less than me (simply because I was more capable and valuable to the company at that time). We also had a couple of very bright chinese-american women work in our IT group, and if anyone suggested that their sex played a role in determining their compensation, my boss would laugh.

    If someone really believes that there’s discrimination, we should identify the groups that are doing it. So far, I never see any mentions. Also, as they say, Charity begins at home. We should catch atheist orgs like CFI, AA, FFRF, etc and see if they are doing it.