Skip to main content

How often do we hear the same old meme "but, but women aren't paid less if you compare like with like".

Yeah really, well here is an article [linked above] on Forbes that cuts that meme to shreds, from cradle to grave women are undervalued by discrimination.

In fact, in comparing the salaries of men and women with comparable education in comparable fields just one year out of college, it’s plain to see that when it comes to paying off student loan debt and getting ahead financially, Caitlin—and all women—are much worse off. Men and women pay the same amount for college, but the rewards they reap are very, very different.
The argument always stems around different degrees and choice of career, but the article also deals with this.
Among men and women with the same major and comparable jobs working the same number of hours each week, women’s pay still lags behind men’s by 7% (or 93 cents to the dollar).
So being a women automatically comes with a 7% handicap.

Your starting salary follows you all the way through your career. Your earning potential determines how quickly you get out of debt and how much money you will have for retirement.

I suggest you read the linked study as well

The pay gap has far-reaching consequences for women and their families. According to one estimate, college-educated women working full time earn more than a half million dollars less than their male peers do over the courseof a lifetime (Carnevale,
Rose, & Cheah, 2011). Having less money means that women have more limited choices. The pay gap influences the neighborhoods in which women live, the educational  opportunities they offer their children, and the food they put on their tables. The pay gap can have especially dire consequences for single mothers, since they are often the only breadwinners for their families
So hopefully we will hear less of this type of tripe
And that’s what is so dismally silly about this report. They have forgotten about age cohorts. They are comparing all women in the working population with all men. When we know that women currently coming to the end of their working lives were discriminated against in a manner that those starting them are currently not. So we cannot take the gender pay gap of current senior executives of being indicative of what is going to happen to the current generation of 20 years olds. But that’s exactly what they do: something which is, as I’ve now said a number of times, dismally silly.
Like hell we will, it is all they have got.

Originally posted to LaFeminista on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:07 AM PST.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy and In Support of Labor and Unions.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar. It is not a question of more, it is (20+ / 0-)

    demanding for the same.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:07:11 AM PST

  •  There's an attendent consequence as well (12+ / 0-)

    Income determines Social Security benefits as well.  So women can also look forward to a lesser amount when they retire or, as is happening all too often, forced into early retirement because of ageism as well.

    We have to work hard to remove wage inequality as well as the anti-worker law:  The Right to Work

    I hope we can all work hard to gather more Dem voters, precinct by precinct and banish the ALEC owned Governors forever.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:20:56 AM PST

  •  Even the hippest of the hip aren't so hip. (4+ / 0-)

    People discriminate against women without even knowing that they're doing it. Even people who are very open, tolerant, pro-equality, those I call "the hippest of the hip," harbor prejudices that adversely influence their perceptions and conclusions. It's not their fault -- they're humans, and sometimes they are the best our species has to offer -- but they still do it, and it's not fair, ethical, or legal.

    By the way, although I'm hard pressed to offer a citation for what I assert in the previous paragraph, I do know it's true from my personal experiences and from interactions with behaviorist psychology faculty at my former university.

    The pay gap has to be shouted out over and over again, because the forces of denial are too strong, even in the best of us.

    "...pero mi corazón me aconseja, que los nacionalismos - ¡qué miedo me dan!" - Enrique Bunbury (El Extranjero)

    by JustGiaco on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:32:54 AM PST

  •  A couple of devil's advocate thoughts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First of all, this article gives serious pause to any thought that pay discrimination is a 15 or 20% affair as is frequently cited around these parts. In reality, when you do the statistics correctly, the problem is a third to half as bad as commonly claimed.

    Secondly, we also do not know if discrimination is the actual cause of these differences, or if there are other factors at play. For example, it may be that women tend to be less aggressive about salary negotiations than men, or there could be other explanations.

    Not trying to start conflict here, just pointing out some thoughts. We have laws and reasonable education efforts against gender pay discrimination. What else can we do that isn't already being done to address this 7% gap?

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:54:38 AM PST

    •  The pay difference is real, some careers (6+ / 0-)

      are undervalued and some careers are still regarded as gender specific.

      The point of the paper was to counter the argument that the discrimination was only based on choice.

      The larger earning potential is still real.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:07:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What pay difference? (0+ / 0-)

        I'll buy the 7% for comparable work, absolutely.

        But I'm not going to nod my head that some supposed 15-20% gender penalty is a problem, at least, not a problem the way it is presented.

        some careers are undervalued [or seen as women's work]
        What careers? Material science engineers are always going to make more money than kindergarten teachers. That's just the way it is.

        STEM employers (myself included) would love for qualified females to apply for jobs. But when companies I've worked in hang out the shingle, men outnumber women applicants by like 10:1. How can this state of affairs be an employer bias?

        If the argument is that there is an educational bias, I can't help but agree. But that changes the problem from "employers discriminate" to something a lot harder to handle: educational and social factors that tend to channel girls into lower earning fields.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:25:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Male nurses earn more (6+ / 0-)

          than female nurses, even when adjusting for the fact that more male nurses go for the higher education nursing degrees - they receive better benefits and higher salaries in non-union positions.  

          Part of this is that most male nurses will negotiate their salaries and will change jobs more frequently to pursue the higher pay - they've been taught to do these things. Headhunters for hospitals will headhunt male nurses more aggressively than female nurses.  Male nurses often get larger pay raises because they are seen as the head of a family even when they are single, where female nurses aren't seen that way even when they are the head of their family so they get proportionately smaller pay raises. Female nurses often have greater seniority, which one would think would mean higher pay, but doesn't for the above reasons.

          In unionized nursing positions, pay and benefits are nearly equal.

          All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

          by Noddy on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:56:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Carnegie Mellon is the gold standard (3+ / 0-)

          Carnegie Mellon University: Undergraduate Women in Computer Science: Experience, Motivation and Culture

          They have a long term study of heir undergraduates which is incredibly revealing.

          Gender Gap in Previous Experience

          During the interviews with first-year CS students, many of the women speak of feeling less prepared than the other students in the department. To obtain more insight into this issue, we distributed a survey questionnaire to all first-year CS students regarding their experience and knowledge of computers prior to attending CMU. Our study confirms a significant gap between male and female prior experience, noted in other studies as well [2,3]. It is notable that 40% of the male respondents from the CMU first-year class passed the AP exam, thereby placing out of the CMU introductory level computing class. None of the first-year women placed out. Also, we found a correlation between females students' sense of feeling less prepared and their actual experience with computers prior to CMU.

          Gap Between Perceived and Actual Ability

          Despite this difference in how students evaluate themselves, there is a gap between women's perceived ability and their actual performance. Despite their modest estimates of their own standing in the class, three out of the seven first-year students made the Dean's List (which turned out to be about the top third of the class) in the first semester, and six of the seven women made a B or A average for the first year.

          This is the kind of thing that doesn't dissipate in job interviews.  Women are less likely to trumpet their achievements across the board.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:04:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Undervalued? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What kind of distortion do you think is preventing the market from setting the correct price for these professions' labor?

        •  Comparable worth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

          by LaFeminista on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:08:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Be careful what you wish for (0+ / 0-)

            From your own link:

            The imposition of comparable worth would likely raise pay in traditionally female jobs; appointing persons favorable to the concept to conduct the job evaluation would all but guarantee that result. But because the higher pay in female jobs would raise costs, employers would reduce the number of such jobs, by automating or by reducing the scale of operations, for example. Workers with the most skills would be more likely to keep their jobs, while those without the skills or experience to merit the higher pay would be let go. The ironic result is that fewer workers would be employed in traditionally female jobs. While the higher pay might induce more workers to seek these jobs, the reduced demand could not accommodate them. Less skilled women would lose out to more skilled women and, quite possibly, to men who would be attracted by the higher pay. What's more, some employers would respond to the higher wages by providing fewer of the nonmonetary benefits (like flexible hours) that help accommodate the needs of someone who dovetails home responsibilities and a job.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:53:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Can't say that I see any evidence for that. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The article you link was pretty even-handed on the matter:

            Critics of comparable worth question whether the type of discrimination the policy seeks to remedy is important or even exists in a meaningful way in our economy. If firms with a large fraction of their work force in traditionally female jobs held wages below the value of the employees' services to the firm, they argue, profits would be high. The prospect of high profits would attract other firms to the industry. To fill the new female jobs created, new firms would offer higher wages, raising wages industry-wide. The competition for workers could be thwarted only by collusion among employers. Most economists believe, however, that the prospect of collusion among literally thousands of firms is unrealistic because each firm has too strong an incentive to cheat on the collusive agreement by paying a little more in women's occupations. Moreover, critics of comparable worth point out that no evidence has been found that firms and industries with substantial employment in female jobs earn higher-than-average profits.
            That would be pretty much my objection as well.
  •  In my experience, the only time you get (9+ / 0-)

    equal pay for equal work is when a union is involved.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 06:15:11 AM PST

  •  My pain in the ass teahadist brother was spouting (4+ / 0-)

    this shit on my FACEBOOK wall just the other day.  I posted this cute little video with the quote "Monkeys who understand equal pay for equal work.  Made me laugh out loud."

    It is a video of two monkeys doing a simple task, and one is getting a cucumber, while the other is fed a grape.  Note I said nothing about men or women, just equal work for equal pay.

    My brother sends me this piece of shit article with some homespun goodness about men "taking jobs with less desirable characteristics."

    So, I embarrassed him in front of my friends with an article from American Progress which says basically that when you adjust for every other factor, there still remains a wage gap.  That beginning pay echoes over one's entire career.  

    I just don't understand how the son of a mother who fought wage discrimination while trying to raise three children could spout such bullshit.  If he wasn't 400 miles away I would want to shake a little sense into him.

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 07:10:53 AM PST

    •  since you are his brother, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, Sychotic1

      you are allowed to slap him upside the head!

      Maybe an extra one for your Mother.

      Might be worth the price of an airplane ticket!

      This is what my Teabagger relatives bring out in me, but of course, I don't do it, I let Reba do it for me:

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Nov: Voting Rights Martyrs

      by JayRaye on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:40:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We pay the princely amount of $9/hour to start (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you want to make $11 an hour, you can work in Receiving.

    That involves unloaded trucks with toxic chemicals in 100 degree heat or on a loading dock covered in snow, depending on what month it is.  $9 gets you the temperature-controlled and dry (but boring) assembly area with no toxic chemicals.

    One of our best receiving employees ever was a woman.  But she left to work at Walmart for more money.

    Strangely, not a lot of women apply in our department.

    Do we practice pay discrimination?  I honestly don't know.

    •  The question remains would they be paid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      less if they applied. Not all jobs have discriminatory pay scales, the overall tendency is however different.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 09:23:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site