Why women get paid less
Women's unwillingness to "rock the boat" and ask for a raise is a big reason why the wage gap between college-educated women and their male counterparts has actually gotten bigger since the mid-'90s, writes Fortune's Anne Fisher in her March 20 Ask Annie column. Do you think women shy away from asking for more money, or do you think discrimination is the real problem? What tips do you have on asking for - and getting - a raise?
This is a very interesting dilmena as I am in this exact position of resenting the fact that I haven't received a raise in three years yet not exactly beating down my boss's door to ask for one. I believe that my reasons mirror those of the woman in the piece whereby she doesn't want to "rock the boat" After hearing that one of my male colleagues asked for (and received) a raise I've come to the conclusion that I'll never know if I don't ask.
The main reason behind Women not trying to negotiate for their salary, I think, is because of their responsibilities outside of work. I have seen most of my friends (who are women) take many time-off to take care of their family and other house related work. As a result they hesitate to put in extra effort and that load gets transferred to their male counter-part.
Yes, there shoul not be a discrimination on salary because of gender. If any women team member is making equal impact on the project/work then they should be compensated same as their men peers.
I just started to work in a company as Account Executive; the guy I'm replacing earned $75K base salary + bonuses. he has no degree, in contrast I have a master degree and they just offered me $41,600 no bonus no commission. I had to take it cause I was unemployed for an extended period of time. My boss asked me to travel all over Latin America (that's where my customers are) I told him not problem as long as I get a raise in salary and he prefered to assigned IT guy for the tour.
Oh come on!! In my experience the reason women make less is that at 4:30pm they are out the door to pick up Jr. at day care or drive Jr. to hockey practice or see a play, etc, wherease men stay at work until the work gets done. And how many men do you know that take off 3 years after a newborn?
When comparing apples to apples (same education, same experience, same hours worked) men and women make the same. When you compare apples to oranges they don't.
There must have been a study, but I haven't seen it--has anyone controlled relative pay for years out of the workforce, attendance, hours spent, and similar factors? It seems that the women I work with have been out of work for some years sometime in their lives, are absent for illness or children, and don't stay late. I wonder whether that explains anything...
They male-female pay gap is a myth. The "women make 75% of the pay men do" statistic, that gets boldly asserted by those on the hunt for discrimination, does not take into account one very important fact: women have babies! That is, women have interruptions and possibly different choices in their career. When an apples to apples comparison is made between men and women with the same experience, number of years on the job and most importantly NO time out for having and raising children, the "pay gap" virtually disappears.
I am in the same boat as the women mentioned in the article. I have been in my current position for 3 years and have earned top retail sales. I contribute to the business I work at, stay late when needed and don't have children to chase after. How do you explain the fact that my newly hired male counterpart received a larger salary than myself? Men just get paid more. We have to ASK for more and work harder to prove that we deserve it.
Many statistics that compare male/female salaries for "College Graduates" can be misleading.
Disproportionately more CG women choose relatively low money-income professions -- such as social work and teaching.
Disproportionately more CG men graduate with degrees in engineering and hard sciences, and have the high money-income jobs to show for it.
Obviously, these factors can change over time, and they are. There are now more women than men in US medical schools, and the proportion of women in engineering and the physical sciences is rising fast, as are the numbers of women with MBA's. But the full impact of these changes is still working its way through the demographics.
By the way, let's all keep in mind that income comparisons always focus on money income, ignoring the psychic income and other satisfactions that cause many people -- men and women -- to choose such careers as social work and teaching, even when they could make other choices that would give them more money.
There is an excellent book on the subject of women not wanting to make demands. The title is "Women Don't Ask, Negotiation and the Gender Dvide", by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. It should be read by every professional woman and thier managers.
A lady I'll call "Joanne" was a very productive and well-liked part of our workforce until she went on maternity leave. We covered her job for six months (it was hard, but we did) so she could have her position upon return. But, she didn't return; motherhood became her new priority, which I respect.
Still, a lot of us were hurt by the whole episode, and the company had the expense of finding someone and training anew. I forgive Joanne, because I understand a thing or two about motherhood and how easy it is to fall in love with your kids�the way it should be. But Joanne not only hurt us, she hurt all women and gave ammo to the "I told you so�" of all the women's equal pay nay-sayers.
Having interviewed hundreds of women during my 15 year career as a recruiter I have come to the conclusion that (a) they are afraid to rock the boat, (b) they are not in a "financial safe place" to rock the boat for fear of losing their job, and (c) they haven't thought about taking the next step of moving to a competitor for the proper pay. If they are the stars they claim to be the competition would love to have them on their team. Then their current employer would have to think about: (a) what losing a top producer to the competition would cost; (b)what that loss of production that might cost them in qualifing them for their bonus; (c) how much market share to a competitor who has a former "star" on their team would affect their numbers to upper management. Women have been taught to take less and its time to speak up. And in terms of speaking up why isn't their a national uproar about how Social Security is paid to women????
Melinda in MN,
I can explain quite simply. New hires almost always make more than existing employees, be they men or women. If you think you deserve more get a new job and I'll bet you anything you'll make more.
In the past 9 years I have worked for 4 different employers. Each time I moved I got salaries of 9, 12 and 17% more that what I left behind. I felt I deserved more so I went out and found someone who would give it to me. What I didn't do was sit around and complain that the guy in the office next to me made more money. I couldn't care less what he or anyone else makes. What I care about is maximizing my own income. I urge you to start looking at your career the same way.
I am a female that has been in my current position for 10 years. Last year a man and a woman were both hired for similar positions as mine. The man makes 55k a year the woman 42k. I make 50k. When I asked for a raise one year, I was told my husband made enough to support us. Don't tell me there isn't discrimination. I know it and am looking elsewhere.
What's with all the male anger. Most of the comments from women have been reasonable either citing a personal experience, or saying that women should neogiate more. Few are crying discrimiation. We can't be complaining the victim culture and they cry about being victims. Please.
You can cite study after study, and come to different conclusions. The issues are complicated. As sure as I am there are discirmation in some cases, I am equally sure that it's a matter of perosnal lifestyle choices. No one rule applies in every situation. That's why the best advice is the one just to Ask....
Woman should make less than men, in fact woman should stay home, take care of their husbands, the house and kids. That is the way is was meant to be, so come on people, lets wake up!, the country would be in far better shape.
women get paid less cause they want flex time or part time to care for their kids
i read where the gap in pay is non existent when comparing never married women to men
i know of 3 female superstars at kdka-tv in pitsburgh who quit to spend time with kids-this is very common
All women shoud read "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide", by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. We don't make more for the same job because we don't ask for it - it really is as simple as that.
How does this stuff continue to make it into the mass media? I find it shameful that the media continues to propagate these misleading statistics. Time and again economists have studied this item and they consistently come to the same conclusion: When you factor in education, years of experience, and hours worked � women earn slightly more than men. CNNMONEY published a table containing more than 20 occupations where women earn substantially more than men (sales, engineering, auto repair�).
In response to the women commenters who left complaints about individual experiences� a close friend of mine graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree and did not find a job as an engineer until jest days before graduation (he only got one job offer and jumped at it). A female classmate of his had several job offers six months before graduation. The female classmate had her choice between companies and positions. My male friend took what he could get and then worked his way up to VP over a 15 year period.
How come we never hear females complaining about inequality in the occupational fatality numbers published each year by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0211.pdf)? Male fatalities = 93%, and female fatalities = 7%.
Lesser compensation for women vs. men is both an unwillingness to "rock the boat" and discrimination. A few years ago I asked for a promotion and a raise. I provided evidence and approached with confidence. I was granted a watered-down promotion with a watered-down raise as I was not allowed to be promoted beyond my male peer, who at the time had a higher degree but who I was clearly out performering. This was told to me directly. I have now achieved the same degree and was promoted above him. He now reports to me. He still makes more and has less responsibility.
Why don't we hear complaints about the occupational hazards in the military. There are 9 men for every woman in the military. However, 45 men die for every woman that dies. That means a man is five times more likely to DIE than a woman; but pay differences between the genders are non-existant.
Women should read "Why men earn more" by Warren Farrell. It takes the gender BS out and puts the hard facts in. Men earn more, because in far larger numbers they take the jobs with:
a) worse hours (e.g. downtown surgeons vs local GPs)
b) extensive travel & long commutes
c) high danger (lumber jacks, waste)
d) long hours (e.g. execs)
e) discomfort (construction vs teacher)
Companies pay a lot for those sacrifices.
Women do not get paid less. If this were true then companies would actively recruit more women and hire less men. Wy wife makes the same as the men in her position. My female coworkers in my position also make the same as myself.
Today people are paid by position not gender.
If one feels they are underpaid perhaps they need to upgrade their skills or go back to school and earn a marketable degree. The company I work for pays very well for degreed Engineers and we do not care what their gender is. We cannot find enough engineers.
I would like to acknowledge that not ALL women have babies!! I am in the same situation as the person in which the article refers to. I do not have a child-I work 50+ hours a week and even when I am not in my office I am still working off the clock. I have never taken more than a few days for vacation off. I believe that there definately should be equal pay for equal work!
I successfully negotiated a 14% raise over the next 2 years, but it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I asked for a raise based on a new duties I had taken over. I had always gotten fantastic performance reviews and I had all the relevant information in hand to support the requested raise. I had also just gotten a Master's degree. I was told by the HR Director that asking for a raise was aggressive and that just because I had taken on extra duties and gotten a Masters degree did not necessarily warrant a pay raise. So I dutifully set out looking for a new job and once I got an offer and employers started calling for references, they went ahead and gave me the raise, rather than hire someone else. However at this point it felt forced to me and I was upset and seething inside that I had to go jump through all those hoops and on top of it all they tried to make me feel guity for asking for the raise, when I had sufficient documentation to show that I was being underpaid based on the new duties I was performing. As a woman I was told I was being aggressive by asking for a raise, but had I been a man I believe I would have been treated much differently. Matter of fact one of the guys here at work just got his MBA, just like me and it was all everyone was talking about, was how they made him a Manager over 2 departments and gave him a huge pay increase. I'm darn sure he wasn't accussed of being aggressive. I went in to speak with my Boss and the HR Director regarding a raise and I was told "you will not earn the type of money here that you are seeking, matter of fact you won't earn it anywhere because employers hire you to make them rich not the other way around. I was only asking for a 15% raise - how is that trying to get rich!
I find it interesting that so many people know their coworkers' incomes. This information has always been a required secret in all the places I have worked. As a result I cannot say that, as a woman, I have ever received lesser compensation than my male counterparts.
However, I can tell you that we are genetically and hormonally different. The primary male hormone, testosterone, causes men to push and to have greater focus and to have an intense drive. This is what it means to be a man, it is what sets the sexes apart. The primary female hormone, estrogen, causes women to be more nurturing and less competitive. Although most women, like myself, do have drive, we naturally have to push ourselves harder to be competitive in the working world. Up until recently, the workforce has been male-dominated, and therefore the male workstyle has been the desired norm. We are, as women, kind of like the square pegs fitting into the round holes. Sure, it can be done, but we've got to push through some extra stuff to get there. One of these things is requesting a raise.
A question to ponder: if the workforce valued the female mindset more, would men find themselves challenged to fit into it? Would men be paid less, because they perhaps didn't not quite fit the established model?
I did my dissertation on gender differences in salaries. I was using Carol Gilligan's Care Orientation and Kohlberg's Justice Orientation as a predictor of salaries. I found no correlation between men's Justice or Care Orientation and their salaries. I found a strong correlation between female's Justice and Care orientations and their salaries. The higher the traditional male (justice) orientation for a female, the higher her salary.
Care oriented females tend to believe that when their true value is recognized they will be rewarded - it seldom is.
The reason that women get paid less is simple. They get pregnant. I am male but if a boss saw me as an employee that could walk in on any given day and tell everyone I am taking 3 months of paid leave, I'd get paid less too!
In general, women don't nearly put forth the effort that men do nearly effortlessly on a daily basis. They look to only achieve what is asked of them and hardly ever go above and beyone the task at hand. I firmly believe that performing the next level of service is a must if you are ever to make it in the business world.
I have a reverse discrimination complaint. When I graduated from college there were few women in the Information Technology field. Companies were so eager to have a female on their staff they would hire any female that applied. One of my classmates was a sub-par programmer (was only able to complete assignments with help) and was offered 19 jobs - 18 of which she did not even interview for. The women averaged 5% higher starting salaries than the men.
People don't want to hear that there is still discrimination but there is. Of course I know a few women who are not confident so don't ask for raises or who are more concerned about their children (there are men like this too). But I know many more women who have asked for raises and who were not taken seriously. Many male bosses do not like the idea of women taking control of their careers and wanting to discuss salary. I have several women friends who have been in this situation and have had negative comments said to them that the managers would never say to men in the same position.
Certainly women have long been subject to discrimination. However, due to affirmative action many companies have made strong efforts to address the results of this discrimination. The percentage of woman in management has sky rocketed in the last two decades. This rapid advancement means that a woman may not reach the pay ceiling of her grade before she is promoted to the next grade. Male peers may have been in her grade a lot longer and there for are at a higher pay for that grade.
Men have unfair privileges that women don't. Here's a checklist of some of those by B. Deutsch:
The Male Privilege Checklist
1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
2. I can be confident that my co-workers won't think I got my job because of my sex - even though that might be true.
3. If I am never promoted, it's not because of my sex.
4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won't be seen as a black mark against my entire sex's capabilities.
5. The odds of my encountering sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible.
6. If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.
7. If I'm a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are so low as to be negligible.
8. I am not taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces.
9. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.
10. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.
11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I'll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I'm even marginally competent.
12. If I have children and pursue a career, no one will think I'm selfish for not staying at home.
13. If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.
14. Chances are my elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more likely this is to be true.
15. I can be somewhat sure that if I ask to see "the person in charge," I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.
16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.
17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children's media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male heroes were the default.
18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often.
19. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones.
20. I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented, every day, without exception.
21. If I'm careless with my financial affairs it won't be attributed to my sex.
22. If I'm careless with my driving it won't be attributed to my sex.
23. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.
24. If I have sex with a lot of people, it won't make me an object of contempt or derision.
25. There are value-neutral clothing choices available to me; it is possible for me to choose clothing that doesn't send any particular message to the world.
26. My wardrobe and grooming are relatively cheap and consume little time.
27. If I buy a new car, chances are I'll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car.
28. If I'm not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.
29. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.
30. I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called "crime" and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called "domestic violence" or "acquaintance rape," and is seen as a special interest issue.)
31. I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. "All men are created equal�," mailman, chairman, freshman, he.
32. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
33. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don't change my name.
34. The decision to hire me will never be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
35. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is usually pictured as being male.
36. Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
37. If I have a wife or girlfriend, chances are we'll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks.
38. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, chances are she'll do most of the childrearing, and in particular the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding parts of childrearing.
39. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we'll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
40. Magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are much rarer.
41. I am not expected to spend my entire life 20-40 pounds underweight.
42. If I am heterosexual, it's incredibly unlikely that I'll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover.
43. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.
If you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will believe it. It's a myth that women make 25.6% less for the same work as men. This is an absurd myth. Stop and think about it for one minute, and it will be obvious how absurd the myth is. If a CEO (including male CEOs) could cut their costs by 25.6% while maintaining the same productivity, they would simply outsource all jobs in the company to women. Then, the CEOs would make millions of dollars more when they got their annual bonuses. Think about it, they already outsource to foreign countries, why not outsource to all women? Because productivity would plummet, profits would plummet, and CEOs' bonuses would plummet... and that's not going to happen... myth busted. James, Mike, Jesse, Herb, Terri, both John(s), Mary, Jeffery, and Loren thanks for you great posts... logic and facts will still prevent any lie from living forever.
I think women make less than men do for a variety of reasons (all that have been mentioned by other posters). I make as much (if not a little more) than a lot of the men that I work with. I put in the same number of long hours and the hard work. However, as I've recently returned to school, my priorities have changed and I have chosen to turn down an offer for a promotion knowing that it would require more hours. I do believe that there may be some level of discrimination out there, but it's important to understand if what is being deemed as "discrimination" isn't really discrimination against the sexes - but rather discrimination between two employees: one who stays late and another who prioritizes family first. Women are usually the second and men are usually the first. If I was to put in less hours, I would expect that as a result I would start seeing my salary to decrease in comparison to my peers.
Also, I don't think that men as supervisors is the problem: Women supervisors are even less likely to promote and pay more to their female subordinates (There have been a number of studies on how women treat women in the work place.).
Bottom line: Don't argue discrimination unless you can prove it. If you think you're worth more, ask for a raise. If you don't get it, don't hesitate to look elsewhere. If you are worth a substantial increase, then another employer will pay you for your skills and knowledge. We all would like to get more, but sometimes a reality check may be necessary.
I do not believe there is gender discrimination at my company, but I believe it exists elsewhere. I also believe that its important to speak up and ask for a raise, whether you aer male or female. After being turned down for a promotion a few years ago, I started asking for more money. Initially management dragged their feet, but (after I started making louder noises about this) they came through with larger annual raises and one extra out-of-season raise. I've learned that they will never give me as much as I ask for, so I've recently started to ask for more than I think I should get. I think the strategy is starting to pay off. Every year now, I state my salary expectations at the end of the "employee input" section of my performance review. For a few years, I stated that as a percentage salary increase. This year I stated a dollar figure, because that's actually how I think about it. My review was just returned and the comments were quite favorable; so when I get my raise in another couple of weeks I expect it will be a pretty good one - although it will be less than I asked for.
I do believe that there is a gap in pay between women and men. I have heard a couple of my bosses justify this with the "he's got a family to support" line. I am floored whenever I hear this. I just didn't think that people were still wired to think this way . . . Do they really think that women work as a hobby, or something?
Perhaps I just work with "good guys" (read: family-oriented), but they are also just as quick to get out the door for picking up kids from daycare, watching Johnny in the school play, long lunches for parent-teacher conferences, staying home with sick kids. I dont see much variation in parental duties in the men vs. women in the office.
A parent is a parent, whether male or female. Perhaps the males posting this excuse either don't have children of their own (YET!!) or they have a wife at home that takes care of these things for him (which further proves that being a stay at home parent IS a full time job).
Women must know their market worth and demand it. Ignore the cultural gender cues to 'be nice', 'get along,' 'don't be pushy,' etc. which are irrelevant in business and, in particular, salary negotiations. (This of course presumes excellent performance). Why leave your money on the table for someone more assertive? As for the gender gap: women can help themselves by mentoring other women.
The men on this thread are dreaming. I am a black female who used to work for one of the top three investment banks. The decision was made to hire a white man to do the same job that I did. I have an Ivy League education, he does not; I had been with the firm for 8 years, he was an outsider; I brought in $500 million in assets to the product area, his production was half that; I had no children, was unmarried, was considered the product expert and often consulted by senior members of the firm.
Guess what? I found out that in spite of my clear professional advantage over his abilities he made more in SALARY than I made in TOTAL COMPENSATION. It was so outrageous, and egregious, that they were afraid I would sue. I did not - I left for another position.
My point in writing this, however, is to simply say the disparity is due to women having other obligations is wrong. I in fact often resented it just as much as any man when I had to make up for a colleague who left early for family issues, yet I was lumped in and treated just as poorly. Again, any man who trivializes the issue by saying that doesn't understand how truly insidious this is.
There may be isolated discrimination, but generally I don't think so. As the article mentioned, if you ask for a raise and are turned down, most women will ask for "something else they value like flexible work schedules". Is this factored into the dollar differences? I doubt it. Most men and many successful women would not settle for a soft perk that can be easily taken away. We evaluate if management seems sincere, and often decide to seek employment elsewhere if we feel our skills are not valued. And we don't accept counter offers! (a sign of weakness). Studies have shown that married men and single women without children correlate highest on work performance. I suspect the pay correlates as well. Their priorites are different from married women, single moms, and single men. (and yes, note that children impact women not men... unfortunately those are choices many women make and don't insist their men shoulder) It is a reflection of priorities that shine through any pay difference.
This is one of the sad facts about a country that claims to be the 'liberator', free, and the promoter of 'equality'. Until women can get the same pay for the same job as a man here, we should stop throwing around epithets about how fair and just we are.
The only system I have seen do this in its principle and practice is Islam - Prophet Mohammed brought a system which immediately put an African slave into the heights of governorship of an entire state - due to his SKILL, not because of his race, sex, or ethnicity. The same held true for land ownsership of women, rights of women to own business, etc. - 1400 years later - America is still finding out how to accomplish half of this.
To Joe Dunlope in Lincoln, Nebraska:
Women should stay home? We used to stay home 40-50 years ago. But bread-winning, chauvinist men like you could no longer support the home by themselves!
I'm sure your idea and lifestyle fit in Lincoln, Nebraska. Try leaving the country and come to the city to see if you'll feel the same way
I think every hard working, experienced and qualified individual should be compensated according regardless of age, race or gender. Its a shame that many forms of discrimination still exists. My wife also doesn't want to "rock the boat" and I almost want to go "rock the boat" for her because I think she deserves to bring home more than I do. She is an extremely hardworking multitasking individual. I know I'm hardworking but she beats me hands down in multitasking and deserves to be compensated accordingly. Its really upsetting that this form of discrimination is predominant in every industry.
Rob, Cambridge, MA : I like your posting - very constructive, I will try this.
Actually, just a note, apart from a few exceptions, there seems to be a trend in the male and female commentary so far. (Rob - yours being one of the proactive ones). Guys - the context of a lot of your statements are that women almost deserve to be where they are, whether it is because women run out of the door at 4:30pm to pick the kids or women will not carry heavy loads on the job � not all jobs or women fall in that category. On the other side, we women tend to victimize ourselves and over-analyze too much � look at our comments.
My observations are that men are better overall marketers of their push and pull and exceed us at schmoozing � so they have better chance that the right people will know about their achievements when promotion and time comes. For men it is more natural, so they don�t waist time while many women figure it out in their first few years on the job (or sometimes more). Guys also don�t waist the time or take �the game� of work too seriously to overanalyze it. Last, guys jump for things and figure them on the way, while women need to get a comfort level that they know what they are doing before they take risk. By that time the male counterpart has already told 5 other guys that he is leading the team to success.
My five cents.
Annie, you have provided us all with a hot potato. I see most of the woman applaud you; I am neither a woman nor do I applaud you. The women I have worked with (most degreed but some adminstrative) simply do not do what is necessary to make the organiztion succeed. They care for their children; they get their hair done; they beg out of travel or rush right back. In essense, women do not work as hard as men with the obvious exception like Ophrah. But women as so quick to complain! I am now a public school teacher in Los Angeles; it is female denominated. Yet I see the principals and assistant principals coming in no earlier than the teachers and staying late to perhaps 4 pm. In industry, I and most of my fellow male engineers put in 10 to 12 hour days and then came in many Saturdays at no overtime. Just to get the job done; by the way, we never saw women engineers come in early or stay late. But they sure were vocal about not getting equal raises and promotions.
People don't want to address this, but it's true. I'm not saying it's right, however. According to statisics I've seen from Man Power and the Dept. of Labor, men put in 15-25% more hours at work on average than women do. That would explain your 20% difference you give lip service to.
Why is this? I am sure there are a myriad of reasons and I don't want to debate each point in this medium. The real issue is there are inequities that need to be addressed. The question of what is more valuable, time or money is subjective varrying from person to person. We need to work out truly fair compensation packages accross the board that are gender blind.
Given the amount of grief Middle Easterners get about gender equality, its ironic that there is such a large gap right here in America.
Some trivia: did you know that a majority of assets in Saudi Arabia are owned by women?
It's true that, when comparing work experience, position, and education, men and women make equal salaries. But only if the woman is childless. Mothers are routinely discriminated against in hiring and pay practices, due in large part to assumptions that a female parents will want flex time, want to leave early, will miss work when the kid is sick, etc. This happens even when the female employee is able to match her male counterparts' performance. Male parents are not discriminated against in the same way because employers assume that the man has a wife who will take care of all of those inconvenient little things associated with raising another human being to adulthood.
I am not a mother and do not desire children, so I am not biased in that regard. While part of the pay gap is absolutely due to women not fighting for what they deserve, another big part of it is fathers not doing enough to support their wives. We cannot change the fact that women are the ones who have babies, so if we as a nation are to fully utilize the talents and contributions of the female workforce, we've got to figure out a way to work around this fact of biology in a way that is fair to all employees, regardless of sex or family status, yet does not put women at a disadvantage or force them to choose between career and family. Otherwise, we're just flushing talent down the drain.
The often overlooked true difference in the pay scale between men and women can be found in child support payments (and to some extent spousal maintenance). Economically sound companies will find an equilibrium wage structure as a percentage of revenues. This pool of money is a zero sum game and distribution must equal 100%. This pool gets divided between men and women. (Note: you can increase the pool as much as you want the distribution between men and women must equal 100%).
Since a larger percentage of men pay child support than women, they need to earn more out of the pool to compensate for these payments. Most child support is based on percentage of earnings. An increase in a woman�s salary has to decrease a man�s salary and technically decreases child support payments to another woman. Although the correlation is not exact lower paid women are subsidizing other women�s child support payments. The only way this will ever improve is after child support payments come to more equal terms. Grade school math tells us, a woman�s pay increase over a man�s can only come at the expense of another woman�s payments and her children.
Completely ENRAGED at this answer. You can not blame woman for being underpaid. A raise is something some one gives you and unless you are keying in the payroll dollars its a gift, earned or not, deserved or not fair or not.
This responce puts mankind back about 40 years. You didnt ask right. Please.
Its that kind of attitude and total lack of manners, kindness and buisness sense that is hurting america.
We need to convice corporate america that they will get more preformance from better employees, unfortunatly so many in charge have enough they rather do what they please than what is fair.
They have the money and all the rights to it, how they distribute the funds is their choice not ours.
Maybe we don't "rock the boat" because we know there is a "man" ready, willing and able to take our place. I rocked the boat... and was just replaced by a man for doing so. He received same pay for doing half the work that was required of me. A "confident" personality in a man is considered an asset.. in a woman, you are just a demanding bitch. When you are "stern" .. you are labeled "emotional"... it goes on and on.
To all the men that have responded "Men earn more money because"
Men work later (not true I am here working way past the time of my coworkers)
Men need to take care of their family (So you�re saying a woman doesn�t ...tell that to single moms whose husbands are deadbeats)
Women have babies (does that mean men have no responsibility to care for their children
Women worry about their children and leave earlier (are you saying men could care less and are absolved from picking their kids up)
Women get their hair done (men often go to the barber more frequently than women)
Women should be at home (this guys comment was just plain stupid)
I have read all these ridiculous comments and I find it shocking that anyone could possibly think this way. We are not in the 50's and all of these comments are sexist. These comments are the ones that prove women get paid less...due to sexism.
I work 50-60 hours a week, I have no children, and I have been in my industry for 10 years. I have the experience and education. And yet at every job I have ever worked at, I have made 10-20K less than my male counterparts...who in many cases had less projects assigned to them, than myself. I continually find that Men promote Men. They are more comfortable working with other men. It is the good old boy thing. Many of times have I walked into someone�s office for work related issues and found a room go silent. The men discussing cheating on their wives...or were commenting on the young receptionist�s body, ect. They can�t have these conversations with women around. So I have left companies where I found it impossible to get ahead unless I was a man. Yet here I am ...at yet another company. Where I was told to hire a women for a receptionist position "because the owners could never handle �having a man in that kind of position" I found that very shocking. Not only does it imply that "Its women�s work" but it also says it�s beneath men.
I have asked for raises in the past�and it actually hurt me at those companies. Not only was I given attitude afterward, I found out that I became known as the office �B� (keeping it clean) Another time I was told that it wasn�t �in this years budget� but later found out the two men in the same positions (with less projects) were given increases just a week before I requested mine�.and they didn�t even ask.
Men DO make more money than women sometimes for legitimate reasons�..sadly other times nor legitimate reasons
You can't use hours worked as a complete justification for wage gap. In 2005 women worked 36.1 average hours per week and men worked 41.8 average hours (Current Population Survey, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics). About a 14% difference. And it should be considered possible that women are using a larger portion of their paid leave than men are, so if they are getting paid for these hours they shouldn't be discriminated against just for using leave.
In 2004 71% of women worked full time and 87% of men worked full time. 73% of men had more than 50 weeks of work experience whereas in women it was only 59%. So more men with more experience. (Source: Annual Social and Economic Supplements, 1971-2005, Current Population Survey, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Comparing by education, women still make less. Bachelor degree: men-1,071 a week, women-813 a week. Master's degree: men-1,333 a week, women-983 a week. Doctoral: men-1,536 women-1,214. This is a comparison of men and women over 25 in the work force. (Source: Current Population Survey, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics) You can not say that women not working factor into this because they do not. You also can not completely justify the higher pay because equal education levels shows a huge disparity.
With more men in the workforce and fewer women, it is obvious women are still earning significantly less. With an equally qualified man and an equally qualified woman, the disparity is there (25% greater pay for men with a bachelor's degree). With fewer women in the work force, instead of being treated as a class to cultivate with unique experiences women are instead shut out of higher paying positions. Yes I am sure part of it is that they are not as bold as men in asking for it (or if they are, they are called a b-word where a man might be called "ambitious.") The discrimination comes from the system and since men control the system the discrimination comes from men in power. Justifying it by saying "well this doesn't count women who stay at home" doesn't work - these statistics compare only FULL TIME working women and working men. Justifying it by making comments about women as supervisors or women in the work force taking time off for their kids or whatever excuse you want to make doesn't justify it either - show me the statistics.
Here it is in black and white. Discrimination in the work force that will only change as women earning less begin to become a larger percentage of the work force, which will likely take decades.
Has anyone done a study on initial offers? True negotiations do play a part, but if you are low balled from the beginning it's difficult to adjust (has anyone ever tried asking for say 50% over the initial offer?..) As for the digs on women and their time - someone has to take care of the families often carelessly disregarded while men "stay late until the job is done." At least you get time off...
I work for the federal govt, so our salaries are posted. However, I do know that women are subjected to discrimination based not just on gender, but on age and what I call "looksism."
Since hiring officials are still mostly male, by and large they'll still go w/the "pretty ones." And as women age, well--the "pretty ones" are also likely to be the "younger ones."
Size discrimination is also prevalent among women applicants. The heavier a woman is, the harder it'll be for her to find work, no matter how qualified or well-groomed she is.
It happened to me, even in the federal govt. I was hired into a career ladder job, but my supvr told me that I had to lose weight before he could introduce me to the higher-ups! He even brought in a scale for weekly weigh-ins (which I refused to do)! This happened in the mid-80s, which was about when the backlash against size discrimination began.
After 9 mos of his harassment, this clown fired me based on alleged insubordination--90 days before I would've had enough federal time invested and he couldn't have touched me.
I filed a discrimination complaint and, though I didn't prevail, I was hired back into the federal sector 2 yrs after that episode. I've just begun my 25th year of service--and I'm still about the same size I was then. I'm also just as excellent in my job as I ever was (and now facing ageism, alas...)
It wasn't his business then, and it still isn't. It's not as if I was gross; I was only about 30 lbs overweight, and a variety of medical reasons have made it difficult, though I still try. I was also always very well-groomed and professionally dressed, and still am.
But yes, I agree that women are still mostly intimidated into not asking what they're entitled to. I think it's mostly b/c no one has ever told them that they CAN or how they should go about it. If they produce the work, they should demand to be compensated accordingly.
The meek will inherit the earth--if the meek are willing to kick ass for it...
Corporations price jobs based on the market (supply/demand) and measure their market competitiveness with salary surveys. Salary.com is not an ideal place to get pay data as the majority of their data is provided by people who self report with no validation. Each industry generally has 3-4 widely accepted compensation surveys where organizations report rates and set their pay philosophy. In addition, most corporations have internal equity systems which measure compensable factors inherent in all jobs. It is internal equity rank and external market data that typically creates a pay range for a job. How an individual moves through that pay range should be based on performance. Especially in sales, where the largest percentage of pay is "at risk", there are/should be solid metrics that tie pay to performance. If your sister does think there is an issue, she should talk to her manager or HR department. Rest assured, American companies want (need!) to make sure their pay plans are fair, competitive and non-discriminatory.
The current thinking (to which I subscribe) is that pay should be related to performance, not years of experience, and not hours of work. The question is - what are the results? What value are people delivering? Whether I did or did not take three years off to raise a child (which, by the way, I did not) if I deliver the same value to the company as the male in the next office, then I deserve the same salary. This should apply whether I am male, female, black, white, old or young. The very fact that so many men on this blog seem to think number of years in the workplace or 'face time' in the office is what matters speaks to their old school thinking. And old school thinking discriminates against women!
I definitely think that discrimination is a still a factor, depending on the field in which you are working. There are still plenty of boys clubs around. As a single woman who has no family obligations and works her tail off, I've gotten the shaft financially a number of times, despite near perfect performance reviews and requests for a raise. In my field (medical research) men are still promoted up the ranks at a faster rate. For example, I had to help a male collegue with a project once, was then ordered to do almost all of it by myself, and then told I had to put him on the publication. Despite my objections, that was the deal: take it or leave it. Needless to say, I switched to a new job. It is still going on among the ranks of the most educated and there is still a long way to go.
So if this woman in the article is making less because she hasn't asked for a raise, does that mean all the other men she works with have? I don't buy it. Men can be wimps about asking for better pay too -- that's a gender-neutral issue about confidence that's been twisted to make it controversial.
No need to get all bent out of shape about over-generalized statistics and scenarios where we don't have all the facts...it's all about how things are handled by your boss and the management where you work.
I have to totally disagree with the poster from Pittsburgh. Now what century is this? As for myself, I have seen overt and gross discrimination, and in fact, it goes beyond lesser salaries -- I have seen incredibly talented and brilliant women (and who, in this case, put in MORE time than the guys!) destroyed because a new "good old boy" in power was 'threatened' by them. Let's face it, corporate America is irredeemably corrupt, and it is all a "good old boy" network. It's discrimination, plain and simple. I have seen it with my own eyes. And what kind of men are we, anyway? A REAL man would give women the same pay.
I think that it is a litte bit of both. On one hand, women are too afraid to speak about raises for fear that they are going to possibly lose their job, create a rift between them/their boss, inferiority complex, etc. Then on the other hand, employers may feel that women are less inferior to men with the notion that if the job were held by a man, more money would be needed to keep a man working at the company, also employers may feel that since a man is considered a provider, more money is required for him to maintain a stable living for his family, or bluntly, they feel that men should be paid more than women (unfortunately). In my opinion, I feel tables have turned in many ways regarding roles of women in the workplace, education, and family. Women now assume the responsiblity of head of household, some with top-notch education under their belts, and a lot more work experience than the women of yesteryear--so pay should equal,if not more, if their experience and education is relevant to the job requirements.
Discrimination exists. I find it odd that so many men on here sound ANGRY about women even mentioning this. Do you feel threatened by women? Granted, discrimination may not exist in every job, or with every boss, but it's there. I am a highly educated, highly motivated single woman working in IT. I know my worth and am not afraid to ask for more pay. However, I have still come face to face with with inequities solely based on gender.
For example, I have had a previous boss tell me that my male coworker made more money than I did because he had a family to support and I did not. Despite my polite and assertive business demeanor, I have repeatedly been told by male managers that I should be "friendlier", "more touchy-feely", and "less difficult". Do you think my male coworkers are ever told to be more touchy-feely? I don't think so. And did I follow their advice? Heck no. Conforming to their ideas of how a woman should act would only hinder my career -- not advance it. Women need to work harder to prove their worth in companies; while at the same time balancing that with the gender guidelines imposed on us by the men who sign our paychecks.
Women can overcome this. But they need to recognize that at some companies, there is most definitely a boys club. The only way to get what you deserve is by being an advocate for your own professional development. Ask for the raise. Look for other jobs and let your boss know that you have other offers. Let them know you mean BUSINESS.
Read Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers.
I am suprised that nobody thought of the expectation for the boss. If I ever find out that my co-worker (male or female) performing at my same level is getting higher pay than I do, and my boss never has the least intention to fix that problem, I'd never work for that boss. If all of the bosses behave that way in a certain company, then that tells you something about that company's culture. Quit the company. Don't ever feel threathened about losing the job. This day and age, the internet has made self-employment more attractive than ever.
I've been in the work force as a professional for 21 yrs and my experiences were varied. First, it depends on the size of the company. The bigger the organization - the more equal the pay rate for similar positions. The smaller the company - the more discrimination you get. But in most cases where I've asked - repeatedly - for more $$, I received it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. One suggestion though - your chances for success are greater if you take a job where your peers are both male and female. If the department is predominantly female (and it's not a female run business), you're probably going to encounter gender bias.
I am neither for or against increasing women's pay. If a woman is able to negotiate a higher salary, more power to her. There are justifiable reasons for a woman to be paid less, however.
Just as there is discrimination against female earning in the workplace, there is a discrimination against male spending outside of the workplace. Not all men pay for dates, meals, travel expenses, for their significant others, but the vast majority do cover more of those costs than their female counterparts.
I think this will be a neverending debate between the sexes with some shifting back and forth on the pay scale, but wrongly or not, I do not believe that women will ever make equal pay across the board as men. Similarly, I believe men will always contribute more to dating expenses and the like.
In addition to inequality of expenses though, as many have mentioned before, women in general are higher risk for leaving work for family matters (i.e., pregnancy, picking up/dropping off children, etc.) and companies obviously take this into account when setting salaries.
Good luck to the women seeking pay raises. I would be happy if my wife earned more.
To Mr. Joe Dunlope:
I am unmarried, and have no children. I have a partner of 3 years whom I love dearly. I am a sales executive and work very hard for every penny I earn. I also make considerably less than my male counterparts, though I am the main bread winner in our family.
Should I just stay home and take care of my partner Cheryl? Please... don't tell me how to run my life. Go get one of your own.
Our tech company just had our annual reviews in March. They keep complaining that we don't have enough women in our firm. Ironically, the two technical women in the office got the lowest reviews and the worst raises. I find it hard to not call it discrimination. Oh, and we do work very hard. I'm on call every other weekend.
I agree that when women do make less money than their male counterparts it is because they have not asked for more like the men often do. I have actually recieved more of an increase than my male colleagues each year because every year I ask for a higher percentage and it is given to me. And apparently the men in my office have not.
I also must agree that if women take several months off they should not be able to count that time towards their years of experience and therefore they should not compare their salaries to those they once did.
When it comes down to it, the only way women are going to empower themselves is if they start taking responsibility for themselves and ask for and demand what they want and deserve. I am a woman and don't feel in the least that I am discrimanated against because of it. But then, I take responsibility for myself!
Sex discrimination does indeed exist. Women are hired for less and given smaller raises from the time they enter the job market until they leave, children not withstanding. In my entire working life of 30 years I've only taken off a grand total of 7 months, 3 for the birth of my son (which had complications) and 4 for MS related hospitalizations (no one can tell I have any problems caused by MS, and very few people are aware I even have it because of the MS discrimination and I still manage to work 40 to 50 a week). I have experienced bosses who would tell me after a great review how they couldn't possibliy pay me any more than they offered and acted offended when I asked. Almost every job interview I've had always tried to low ball me by at least 10,000 in the last 10 years constantly saying I was asking for too much when I just wanted 3,000 more than my last job. And as others have stated I too have been labeled a ball busting bitch just for insisting on what I felt I deserved! So much for asking.
I am totally amazed at both the men and women who think their personal situation and sphere of influence of a few co-workers and family members represents the whole population of working adults. What happened to one person at one company is NOT representative of the American wok force.
To all the women out there: Quit bitching and complaining and go into work tomorrow and ask for a raise. If you deserve it you will get it!
To all the men out there: SOME not all women want equal pay for less work.
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