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The continuing gender gap in wages - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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November 24th, 2009


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02:33 pm - The continuing gender gap in wages
Here's a troubling article about how the gender-based wage gap perpetuates when more women move into a professional field. The most striking point is:
"The same gap is often seen within engineering itself. Bioengineering has been growing to the point where we could see a 50/50 split of women and men majoring, and there have been some reports of salary staying flat or going down. Engineering fields where women are less than 20 percent pay more." Arreola says more study is needed to conclusively determine a cause for this pattern, but the implication is chilling: Once women break into a field in noteworthy numbers, its value goes down.
Here's one particular explanation for how this occurs,
One possible explanation for the average pay going down in fields with more women is that the ladies aren't negotiating their salaries as assertively as men do -- but then, why is that again? Well, there were those studies that showed, as Harvard public policy professor Hannah Riley Bowles put it, "[M]en were always less willing to work with a woman who had attempted to negotiate than with a woman who did not. They always preferred to work with a woman who stayed mum. But it made no difference to the men whether a guy had chosen to negotiate or not." So if men are doing the hiring, women might be less willing to push for a higher salary, for fear of not getting the job at all or being penalized in other ways once they do, while men are free to ask for more with no consequences.
However, it seems clear that there's more than this going on, and what we have in part at least is the visible result of the still widespread assumption that a field with a significant percentage of women in it is a field that is no longer as deserving of high wages.
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[User Picture]
From:krinndnz
Date:November 24th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
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That is definitely troubling. Thanks for pointing it out.

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