General Question

Paradox25's avatar

What is the truth about the gender wage gap?

Asked by Paradox25 (10174points) February 22nd, 2014

Most people who follow gender related news are probably aware that the U.S government states there is a gender wage gap of about 23 cents, or that women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.

These were overall statistics for all types of employment it appears, but the stats seem rather vague to me because I’m not sure if these stats consider issues such as time worked, ability, accomplishents, educational level, etc. For example, male nurses make more than female nurses.

However, from reading this article and others it appears that male nurses make up nearly half of all the nurses that move on to higher education within that field, despite the fact that male nurses only make up less than 10 percent of all nurses.

I also know that in my field as a maintenance technician, while I had only worked with few women within the trade, that men typically do the more dangerous jobs, at least from my own experience over nearly twenty years. I also know that when it came to management jobs from my experience that the men typically would do extra things that the women would not do, such as getting certified on various industrial equipment, attending company approved schooling, etc.

I’m not saying that the above examples, including my own, disprove the gender wage gap. I’m also aware that in some careers that female board members typically start out on a lower salary than their male counterparts. I was just hoping for a straight answer and wondering if these alternative factors were considered when determining that women get paid less than men for doing the same jobs.

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2 Answers

hearkat's avatar

I have had a tough time getting clear data about the gender gap in my own field, which is mostly females, and I would really like to know.

Besides the salary gap, another gender issue is the way the different genders are treated by coworkers and clients. I do not posses the social skills that are characteristic of my gender, but interact in ways that are often considered admirable in males (e.g. assertive vs. bitchy). It frustrates me that I get poor performance reviews when I know that if I were a male, I’d be commended for having high standards and such. This video went viral a few months back for its illustration of some of these double-standards.

marinelife's avatar

The pay for equal work is not equal.

“After controlling for factors known to affect earnings, such as education, parenthood, and hours worked, an AAUW study found that women earn 7% less than men earn just one year out of college, even when they have the same major and occupation. To those who don’t think 7% sounds like much, think about how that 7% is compounded over the course of a woman’s career—and how much it affects her benefits and retirement savings.”


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