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pennies

In case you needed another reason to disapprove of Wall Street's role in our economy and society, here you go. According to a Bloomberg analysis of census data on men's and women's income in 265 major occupations:

The six jobs with the largest gender gap in pay and at least 10,000 men and 10,000 women were in the Wall Street-heavy financial sector: insurance agents, managers, clerks, securities sales agents, personal advisers and other specialists.
Of course, it's not like the financial industry is the only place there's a serious gender gap. Among doctors, women make 63 cents on the male dollar; among lawyers, it's 78 cents. But among those six financial sector jobs that had the largest gap of all 265 occupations analyzed, women were making between 55 and 62 cents for every dollar earned by men. There are a range of explanations for this persistent disparity, but mostly they're different expressions of the same root cause: widespread, deep-seated sexism.

For instance according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois- Chicago, Northwestern University and Yale University:

The starting-salary disparity between male and female physician “cannot be explained by specialty choice, practice setting, work hours or other characteristics,” the study’s authors said. “The unexplained trend toward diverging salaries appears to be a recent development that is growing over time.”
The best way for women to make nearly as much money as men within the same profession is to go into a line of work that doesn't pay anyone very well. Bloomberg's analysis found that the only job category paying women more than men—$1.02 to $1—was personal care and service work, including "butlers, valets, house sitters and shoe shiners." Female butlers reported a median wage of $25,645. Similarly, in the financial sector, female bank tellers earn 96 cents on the male dollar, with a median salary of $23,695.

There's your choice, if you're a woman: Go into a high-paying field and be paid far less than your male colleagues, or go into a low-paying one and be paid almost as much. Or be a butler and be paid 2 cents more.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Only Caveat I'd Like to See Explored (0+ / 0-)

    is what kind of behavior in the financial sector generates the higher incomes. It's a touchy question to pose because of the implication of "blaming" the victim.

    However in this case since we know the financial industry is a cancer on civilization, it may well be that the party actually blamed in my question is the party earning the higher incomes.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:19:42 AM PDT

  •  “The unexplained trend toward diverging ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gloriana, greengemini

    ...salaries appears to be a recent development that is growing over time.”

    That speaks volumes nearly a half century after Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:37:17 AM PDT

    •  Women and women's rights are under attack. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini

      GOP actions are obvious but people like Anne Coulter who go around saying that women do not have the mind to know how to make money are more sinister, IMO.

      50+ years of gains are suddenly all back in play...

      "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Candide08 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:29:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  a good generalization... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    ...would be that the less meritocratic an industry is, the higher its gender pay gap is going to be.

    Which doesn't really tell us anything we don't already know about the financial industry, I suppose.

    Prison rape is not funny.

    by social democrat on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:13:55 AM PDT

  •  This is likely because (0+ / 0-)

    of all the heavy lifting involved . . .

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 12:24:59 PM PDT

  •  The Bloomberg item cited in the diary offers (0+ / 0-)

    some possible explanations for pay differences.  An employee of either gender can take unpaid time off to care for children.  If more women than men choose to do so, then women, as a group, will earn less than men.  There are some possible explanations which are not suggested in Bloomberg or in the diary.

    Insurance agents and securities sales agents are often paid on the basis of the value of the business which they bring in.  If one gender happens to generate higher profits for the firm by developing more business, that gender will enjoy more income and there is no basis for attributing the difference to gender discrimination.

    Bloomberg uses the terms "financial manager" and "personal adviser" but does not define them.  Among other possibilities, a financial manager could be either an administrator of a manager of clients' financial assets.  In the financial field, a personal adviser probably does not administer heartbalm to the loveworn, but rather, probably advises clients concerning their investments.  If a financial manager or a personal adviser is compensated on the basis of the value of the client work which the person brings in to the firm, and one gender brings in more profit, that gender will be better compensated, but there is no reason to suggest the pay difference is caused by the firms' favoring one gender.

    While Bloomberg does not define "clerk", there are jobs in which the difference better adequate and outstanding performance is of less significance to the employer, and, thus, little basis for a significant difference in compensation between the genders.  Accordingly,  the existence of a substantial difference may be suspect.  

    Bloomberg gave no indication of what type of work was involved in the sixth category, "other specialists".  In the financial field, a specialist could specialize in gadolinium futures or in making coffee.  Thus, it's impossible to know the basis on which such specialists are compensated.

    None of this is to suggest that gender discrimination does not exist.  It is only to say that differences in compensation between the genders is not necessarily the result of invidious discrimination.

    •  Oh puhlease (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare

      Give me a break.  In those organizations especially banking and Wall Street there is an ENTRENCHED GOOD OLE BOYS NETWORK which immediately gives the men an UNFAIR advantage over the women!!  This includes the best accounts and clients right off the bat.  Don't tell me it isn't DISCRIMINATION.  It IS and ALWAYS has been.

  •  Physician info odd (0+ / 0-)

    Given that CMS and insurance companies set fees. Must only be looking at employed physicians or else other confounding variables. Maybe female physicians less discriminatory against Medicare and Medicaid patients within same specialty comparisons?

    The Elephant. The Rider. The Path. Figure those out and change will come.

    by Denver11 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 08:09:29 AM PDT

  •  You're Also Forgetting Cronyism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phrogge prince

    The business world is rank with cronyism on almost every level where decisions for hiring are made. People who have no business being hired over another person are routinely employed for no other reason than to surround the manager with loyal toadies.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 08:10:30 AM PDT

  •  Please tell me they left out commissions (0+ / 0-)

    in this analysis, for the financial sector.

    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 08:22:11 AM PDT

  •  Be nice to see how all the Bloomberg businesses (0+ / 0-)

    stack up regarding the gender pay discrepancy. Is Bloomberg just reporting it or taking strides to amend it?

    Honesty is not a policy, it's a character trait.

    by Says Who on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 08:23:52 AM PDT

  •  gosh, you don't say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dynamohum

    with all the attacks on women around the world by fundamentalists, and in some cases we are talking life and death, a whole post on the pains surrounding unequal pay for women on wall street.  I suspect you and Sarah Pallin could find some common ground here.  And buttering up your report on doctors is even more misleading.  Again a real darn shame there.

    This is the kind of waste of time that has made it difficult for working class women to relate to the issues within the Democrat Party, when they start making cases for wall street women and doctors while they are a paycheck away from the local shanty town.  This is just a silly and an embarrassing post for DKOS.  

    I mean this doesn't even come up on Katha Pollitt's radar.

    let me go on record... if you enter a pigs pen, you should expect to have some mud on your boots.

    Now report on to the real issues that make women oppressed in this country.  And let's crash the gates!!!  I am all for progressive women taking over the Democratic Party! And being paid for it higher than what we used to pay the men who mostly made deals with the guys (and I would imagine some lower-paid women) from Wall Street to keep power.

    Pass new laws to end media monopolization now.

    by john from vermont on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 08:33:28 AM PDT

    •  "Democrat Party"? (0+ / 0-)

      Please, that's Democratic Party -- "Democrat Party" is the phrasing commonly used by Republicans and other wingnut types.  

      As for the discussion at hand, I don't see that the diarist was posting the income differential on Wall Street to suggest that we should feel sympathy for women on Wall Street, but rather as another sign of the corrupt and evil culture of the finance sector.  That's a point that many of us here are in agreement on, I suspect.

      Regarding doctors, an almost 40% pay differential could indeed be an issue.  Considering the debt levels that many new doctors have after completing medical school and also considering the pay differentials between different specialties, a female doctor could well be forced away from choosing certain specialties (ie, primary care) simply because the pay difference means that they can't comfortably cover their debt service.  Even aside from issues of basic fairness, that's not just a problem for women in the medical industry, but is a potential problem for everyone.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 09:02:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tex:The democratic party was a typo... sorry about (0+ / 0-)

        that and obvious as I then use the correct spelling in the paragraph lower.  Your trying to put me in the crowd of right wing nuts is Hannity type smearing, lol.

        As for doctors, I would imagine there are two hundred and 47 professions this report is about according to the Bloomberg.  It is clear that in America all women are treated unequally in terms of pay.  Why even bother to associate a real struggle for women in this world, to the pigs on Wall Street.  The glass ceiling thing has been an interesting thing but why or why are we thinking this is a major priority.  Wall Street and Doctors??  

        The real issue for progressives is trying to create common groud for poor women and middle class women.  While I understand on the issues facing doctors, the whole medical industry has some greater problems for poor and lower income women that I think should be our priorites.  Not to say that Cuba has a great system, but there almost all doctors are women.  Why?  A lot here to review and talk about but not as a side bar to Wall Street Women who don't make as much money.  It's like discussing why the Heritage Foundation doesn't hire more blacks.  This is not a big surprise and is expected.  

        I would be interested in seeing how the women's issues has played out in the ripping off of working people on Wall Street.  But I don't think Bloomberg's report will do that and Laura should be concentrating on real issues for progressives.

        Pass new laws to end media monopolization now.

        by john from vermont on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 09:36:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A study by UGA not too long ago (0+ / 0-)

    - analyzed some of the meta data associated with gender gap and said that while it still exists most definitely, it isn't quite as wide in some studies as believed.

    Why? Flawed methodology and human nature.

    Men are more likely to inflate their income when given the option of putting it in a range.

    Women are more likely to be honest and accurate when given the option of putting it in a range.

    When studies use the methodology of actual self reported tax data, some of the gap disappears a bit.   But not all of it - it's still definitely there.

    I wouldn't put it past the male Wall Street banksters to bump their self reported incomes up a few notches when participating in studies.

    Tradition says that God gave us choice. Some of His disciples act like it is up to them to remove it. ~ kjoftherock

    by catwho on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 09:47:41 AM PDT

  •  rational actors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nominalize

    If employers were really making rational decisions (economists seem to require all us to act rationally for their models to work), they'd staff up with all women, wouldn't they? The cost-savings would really give them an advantage over their more payroll-heavy competitors.

  •  Long history of discrimination in financial indus (0+ / 0-)

    This triggered by memory banks about a slew of articles about gender discrimination in the financial industry back in the 90's. Here's a pretty good history from 2003 about discrimination in the industry in the '90's.

    Sex discrimination in the nineties, seventies style: Case studies in the preservation of male workplace norms
    By Michael Selmi, Georgetown University Law School
    Even just skimming it gives a good idea of how entrenched discrimination is in the financial industry.

    Example: 1974 Merrill Lynch was sued for not hiring women brokers

    Fast forward 25 years and they're sued again. Oh they hired women, but as sales associates not brokers.

    On pg 5 the articles notes that the barriers faced by women are often attributed to family obligations. It goes on to say that a series of cases cast doubt on this reasoning and shows that "discrimination remains a more powerful force in labor markets than is typically acknowledged." It goes on to note that the lawsuits have often targeted entire industries suggesting these industries remain mired in sex stereotypes.

  •  Any one have the numbers? (0+ / 0-)

    Does anyone have the numbers on the disparity in pay between men and women in Bain Capital Management?  

    That would be a figure many women might be interested in learning about, since it will largely reflect what can be expected of a President Etch-A-Sketch.

  •  You forgot porn stars (0+ / 0-)

    The actresses get paid a lot more than the actors in this highly respectable profession ;-)

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