Posted by on April 23, 2014 - 1:42pm

It’s 2014 and women are still getting paid less than men in the workforce. While we’re all aware that this is happening, what’s less clear is why it’s happening. Earlier this month, some politicians voted down the equal pay bill by saying “There’s a disparity not because female engineers are making less than male engineers at the same company. The disparity exists because a female social worker makes less than a male engineer.” This statement implies that women get paid less than men because they choose to work in lower-paying jobs—but this is wrong. The majority of the pay gap between men and women “comes from differences within occupations, not between them.” Harvard University labor economist and scholar, Dr. Claudia Goldin calculated that placing more women into higher-paying occupations would “erase just 15 percent of the pay gap for all workers,” and the rest of the pay gap problems stem from within the workplace. In the medical industry, for example, women doctors and surgeons earn only 71% of men’s wages, even when controlling for age, race, hours, and education!

Dr. Goldin describes how the wage disparities lie in workplace flexibility in terms of hours and location. Dr. Goldin writes “The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours.” Indeed, occupations that value long hours tend to have the widest wage gaps. Dr. Goldin found that employers compensated those who spend longer hours at the office disproportionately more than they pay employees who do not. In other professions, the pay gap is smallest when one employee can be easily substituted for another and the workers are paid in proportion to the hours worked. Women with children have been found to value flexibility in their schedules or to work remotely at times--a problem within the current value/reward system within professions that value long hours. Until employees and professions learn to be flexible and equitable between the sexes, wage disparities will continue to persist.

Source: The New York Times

Posted by on March 4, 2014 - 5:39pm

President Obama was right in his recent State of the Union address to call it an “embarrassment” that women are paid only 77 cents compared to men in 2014.

It’s possible, but we have a long way to go and we can’t do it without you.

Help do something about it today by sharing this image illustrating the gender-based wage discrepancy:

Posted by on January 13, 2013 - 11:11am

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently published a report indicating that the pay gap, or the earning difference between men and women, is still an issue today, and often manifests in the very first paycheck a female college graduate receives.  The AAUW’s October 2012 report, Graduating to a Pay Gap, women are paid about 82 cents per dollar paid to their male counterparts one year after graduating college.  According to this report, after controlling for variables such as hours worked, type of occupation, college major, employment sector, and other factors associated with wages, the pay gap shrinks but does not disappear, indicating that “about one-third of the gap cannot be explained by any of the factors commonly understood to affect earnings, indicating that other factors that are more difficult to identify—and likely more difficult to measure—contribute to the pay gap” (AAUW, 2012).

Why does the pay gap matter?  The pay gap can have far-reaching implications for women and their families.  If women make less money over their lifetime than their male counterparts, they have more limited choices regarding where they can afford to live, what they can afford to feed their children (AAUW, 2012), and what sorts of healthcare they can afford for themselves and their loved ones.

A December 15, 2012 article in the New York Times suggests that negotiation is the key to reducing the pay gap for women.  The fact that the pay gap still exists is disheartening, but it looks like the power to change the tide may be within our reach.

Posted by on October 12, 2012 - 8:27am

For women, it has been a long struggle to reach the executive suite. Research by Assistant Professor David Matsa shows that once women make it to the top, they pave the way for those who come later.

“Women who sit at the boardroom table are in a unique position to propel female colleagues to the highest levels of management,” Matsa says. “This then, in turn, paves the way for other women to gain access to higher positions in the company.”

Matsa and his co-author, Amalia R. Miller, found that a woman’s presence on the board of directors increased the likelihood that women would gain top executive positions, including CEO. Likewise, women’s salaries increased under these circumstances, suggesting that female board members may be responsible for some of the convergence in the gender pay gap for top executives.

“Once (women) have that power, when interested they can help others achieve high positions as well,” Matsa said.

Matsa’s research, “Chipping Away at the Glass Ceiling: Gender Spillovers in Corporate Leadership,” is one of several papers on gender and leadership featured in this month’s special issue of Kellogg INSIGHT. The issue highlights research by a host of Kellogg professors on a series of provocative questions, including:

Also featured in the issue is research by Nicole Stephens, who explores whether small tweaks in the language college administrators send to welcome incoming students has an impact on the later academic performance of first-generation college students.

“We can change the way we communicate with students and how students are asked to interact with others in the classroom so that interdependence can be incorporated,” Stephens concludes.

Read this month’s issue of Kellogg INSIGHT

Source:  Northwestern News