Social Question

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Why is it that women don't get equal pay as men for doing the same job?

Asked by Dan_Lyons (5452points) May 27th, 2014

Or am I living in the past and they now do get equal pay?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

Seek's avatar


Really, anyone working for an hourly wage in most places isn’t making anything close to what they need to be making. Squabbling over ten cents per hour is pointless when everyone is making about $10 (or more) per hour short.

I think it’s yet another political hot-button distraction issue that keeps coming up because it is something that’s easy to be angry about, and seemingly simple to solve – unlike most of the real problems like how to raise pay to a living wage when so many people are desperate enough to work for nothing.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Actually, this is more about professional career women working as paralegals or even lawyers and doctors. And other professionals.

Seek's avatar

Then cite your source for income variation, and we can discuss further.

I still think the issue is more of a distraction than anything.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

My only source is from hearing disgruntled women in cocktail lounges complaining about how the deck is stacked against women and they can never seem to get the same pay as a man for the same job.
This isn’t the sort of thing I have studied.

ibstubro's avatar

You asked a question sourced on ”disgruntled women in cocktail lounges complaining about how the deck is stacked against women”? @Dan_Lyons
Oh. My.

You LISTEN to “disgruntled women in cocktail lounges complaining about how the deck is stacked against women”??

Even THEY aren’t listening!

Seek's avatar

I’ll have a Sapphire martini, dry, three olives. And I won’t even bitch about income inequality. Is it karaoke night?

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Actually I didn’t source this question at all @ibstubro. That just happened to be the last place I heard women discussing the difference between wages of men and women.

@Seek No karaoke for anyone drinking Sapphire martinis.

jca's avatar

If you look at demographic information on towns, the median income for men is higher than the median income for women. This is probably due to the fact that women often remove themselves from the work force in order to raise children, or hold themselves back from seeking promotions because of either being single parents or needing to be the primary parent who is going to need flexibility to leave work and pick up a sick kid or stay home with a sick kid or leave work go to to a parent/teacher conference, or any one of the things that parents usually do (and women in my work place report that it usually falls to them not the husband).

I know for myself I definitely couldn’t seek any promotion right now, when I am at a point in my present job where I have plenty of time off and flexibility. To leave and find a new position where I had to not take time off for a year and have limited vacations, I just couldn’t do it (my child’s father is deceased so I am definitely the one it falls to). This holds me back, career wise.

jca's avatar

When I referred to “demographic info on towns” I should have clarified, not just towns but cities, counties, states, etc. Any demographic information on regions will portray men’s income being higher than women’s.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I can only speak for my own experience. The institution I work for has a very specific pay scale that on the surface demands men and women are paid the same rate of pay for the same job. However, when you dig deeper you find men often start their employment on a higher point on the scale than women being employed in the same job. The only way you find out about such things is through informal conversations and it’s very difficult to definitely say ‘women aren’t being treated equally’.

Similarly, more men occupy managerial positions but is that because less women are capable of doing those higher level jobs? I doubt it. Why does this happen? I can only assume that’s it’s because more men occupy those hierarchical positions and so have greater influence over who is following behind them. I don’t actually think it’s deliberate. I think it’s something that is inherent in organizational culture, or in some organizational cultures.

I also think there are disparities in workloads. I see many women working much harder than men in comparable positions. So women are not only paid less, but they’re working harder for that money.

GloPro's avatar

One theory is that men will more aggressively negotiate a salary from the start. The boy’s club mentality also exists in some male superiors as well.

I can tell you first hand that I had a position in which I was overseeing operations for a total of 26 locations. I was the only female to hold this position in my company, and there were 8 men in the same position. The next largest region was only 13 locations. That guy made the same salary as I did. Half of the responsibility, about a third of the net profit as my region. When I approached the regional manager and was denied, I applied for a management position in one of the stores I oversaw that had only a $3,000 less salary. My boss got my point and gave me a 15% raise in the end. I was okay with that. I was still worth more in lateral comparison.

LornaLove's avatar

Gosh thought this question was from 1960/70. Wouldn’t work in an industry that did that.

GloPro's avatar

@LornaLove You might if your salary was $72,000.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

If you can prove that you are doing the exact same job as the man and are getting paid less you have a case. that is against the law and all you need to do is bring your proof to the dept of labor in your town.

That is all hype that women get paid less for doing the exact same job. most times it is exaggerated and they are not actually doing the same exact job.

GloPro's avatar

Those of you that think the decision to just run along to the labor board or get yourself a lawyer are not being realistic. Yes, those are two options. The consequences of those actions are ultimately to ruin your own reputation in that industry or that town, and make it virtually impossible to be hired. People talk, word travels, and in the end you are only being a detriment to your own career.
You are better off fighting for a raise using strong, researched and confident direct communication with your boss and your boss’s boss. In my opinion you are also better off realizing that a good paycheck is a good paycheck. Stop comparing every little thing with someone else and assuming it’s because they have a dick and you don’t. And even if it is, well, I would still appreciate a solid good-paying job.
I also think that women are not compensated as well as men for the exact same job, but I don’t really care. It isn’t very high on my list of things I care to fight to change because it isn’t worth the battle to me.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

“My body is my business, so is what other people earn.”

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Totally agree @GloPro on all counts. Women are not always compensated as well as men, however the differences may be hidden and subtle. Still, if you’re happy in your job and with your pay, it isn’t worth arguing about because it could very well affect your reputation. If you’re not happy with the pay you receive or your workload or conditions, take it to your boss, and above your boss, if you feel it’s worth it.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

This one one of very many “problems” that cannot be solved with legislation.

Men and women probably cannot command the same salaries in various fields.

I submit the OP isn’t seeing the larger picture. A better question would have been “Why do men and women make different amounts in different positions?”

rojo's avatar

men have testicles.

honestly, I am not sure if this is the correct answer, but it is the only observable difference I am aware of

ibstubro's avatar

I’m with @GloPro, and I think that the more that attitude takes hold, the more we’ll find people like @LornaLove.

Carrying a chip on your shoulder isn’t conducive to being promoted.

whitenoise's avatar

A nice combination of ‘Stockholm syndrome’ and ‘blaming the victim’.

Emancipation is just not finished yet and men and good old boys still have more power, hence more money.

Solution: vote wiser. Politics.

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