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View Diary: Some statistics on pie (163 comments)

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  •  These are not junk stats (4.00)
    and the diarist has made no recommendation based on them.  They are relevent statistics to consider in a discussion of the relative power of women in society.

    These statistics do not, which I believe is what you are responding to, make the case that women are being paid less than men for the same work and experience.  But they do make the case that women are in position of considerably less economic power than men, for whatever reason.  THAT is an important thing to always keep in mind when trying to address ways to provide for equality of power and opportunity regardless of gender.

    •  Yes (4.00)
      "Are women paid the same as men for exactly the same work?"

      "Does society still pigeonhole women into a small number of low-paying professions?"

      Those are two entirely different empirical questions, each calling for different data.  The diary uses data that aptly illustrates the latter question, and seems to make no pretense about addressing the former.  So I don't see why anyone would call the stats "junk."

      •  Give me a break (4.00)
        It's not all society's fault.

        I went to Stanford, and I studied Electrical Engineering.  It's one of the highest paid batchelor degrees straight out of college.

        90% of the students in my major were guys.  Stanford lets any student into a major that wants to be in it.  I was class of 2004.

        My female classmates from EE are making comparable $$ to me; there just aren't nearly as many of them.

        And FYI, women make up a slight majority of students at Stanford.  Almost every student took AP calculus and other science courses in high school before coming to Stanford, so it's not like 80% of the women weren't prepared for Electrical Engineering if they wanted to pursue it as a major.

        As a gay man, I share the trepidations of many women that I might be looked down upon by old-fashioned straight men in the field; it didn't stop me, and I've found there are absolutely no problems at my workplace with being gay or a woman.

        •  I went to Stanford too (none)
          and then I went to Berkeley and got a MS in CS. When I was interviewing for jobs (10 years ago), I went to the career counselling center at Cal to find out what kind of salary I should be asking for.  The woman who staffed the center gave me the figures, and then said absolutely sincerely "But you're a woman, and women always get less."  I was stunned.  After a few seconds, I managed to recover and retort "Well, I'm certainly not going to ask for less just because I'm a woman."  But still, I imagine she knew what she was talking about -- and this was knowing my credentials and experience (and nothing else about me, except that I was a woman) and comparing me to men with the exact same credentials and (lack of) experience.  
        •  Depends (none)
          If you work for a a firm or a research lab where what matters is the quality of your work you will do well based on that.  Pragmatism wins out.  But if you wish to climb the ladder in academia you will find a very different environment.  Not impossible, but much more difficult to predict and in some ways out of your control.  There is still an old boys network in play in this area.  It is a club and there are gatekeepers.  It is all very informal.  Sometimes, it can work in the opposite direction depending on the pressures that may be at play regarding diversity etc.  But if you think that this world is really a meritocracy I've got some horribly disappointing news for you.
      •  There's a third question too (none)
        "Are professions dominated by women considered lower status and lower-paying precisely because they are dominated by women?"

        I don't have any stats to back this up, but anecdotally, the position of secretary used to be a position of responsibility and status back when it was dominated by men.  It was only once women started occupying this position in greater numbers that the associated status, responsibility and pay dropped accordingly to where it is today.  Conversely, the first computer programmers were women, and this was a relatively low-status, low-paying job until the men took over and crowded the women out, and suddenly programming was a desirable, high-paying profession.  I see this happening in medicine, too -- as more women enter the field, the prestige and salary gap between the specialties dominated by women (pediatrics, obstetrics, gps) and those dominated by men (surgery, etc.) widens.  I foresee the same for law.  And as men enter nursing in higher numbers, its prestige increases.

        This effect is not disappearing.

        •  I have another example (none)
          When I was a kid, being an altar boy in your local Catholic Church was a really popular activity for the more outgoing boys to do.  Like being on a sports team, it was something that the tougher, more active, and more popular boys all participated in if they were in Catholic Schools.  About that time is when girls were also finally allowed to be "altar servers."  (One of Pope JPII's directives, coming out of Vatican II)  Since then, it's not nearly as popular to be an altar server, nor does it attract the sports fan, future leader-type of boys as much anymore.  Although there are exceptions, now its more the introverted, good-kid, less popular boys that still want to be altar servers.  It went from being a cool thing to a nerdy thing just from female participation.  I've always found that dynamic interesting.

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