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All Else Being Equal: Disputing Claims of a Gender Pay Gap In Tech 427

An anonymous reader writes "Synthia Tan writes that when you investigate the actual data, controlling for non-gender factors (like number of hours worked) the gender pay gap seems to disappear. 'A longitudinal study of female engineers in the 1980s showed a wage penalty of essentially zero.' In some cases women make more than men: women who work between 30 and 39 hours a week make 111% of what their male counterparts make." The researchers were studying more recent data, too; what are things like on this front where you work?
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All Else Being Equal: Disputing Claims of a Gender Pay Gap In Tech

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  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @09:49AM (#46395669)
    I really have no idea what any of my colleagues earn (within salary bands), but I have no reason to think there is a difference. Certainly both make and female seem to be as happy with their packages.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @10:00AM (#46395751)

    The focus now needs to be on why women don't enter as many high paying fields (and whether that is even a problem at all).

    I think a big part of it is that those jobs tend to come with a shitty work/life balance and cultures that encourage crazy hours (especially in engineering type positions). Women tend to be more into the work/life balance and tend to have more time obligations outside of work (kids being the big one).

    The only other argument that makes any sense to me is established culture, which kinda ties into that. An office full of mostly guys is going to have a very guy culture, same as an office full of women is going to have a women culture. All the little silly office stuff on it's own probably doesn't matter, but collectively I could see it making a job unappealing. I have a hard time listening to a female coworker talk about her kids for like a half hour at lunch.. an office filled with women who do this constantly would probably drive me insane, so I can see the reverse being true.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @10:36AM (#46395995) Homepage

    Now THAT is an insightful rhetorical question.

    Employers, especially today, have loyalty only to their money; their profit margins; their bottom lines. It doesn't actually fit that there would be institutionalized sexism if only because it is not the most profitable way to do things. All of these "-isms" are lies. Who profits from the lies? Turns out a lot of people do. Look to the budgets and pay of SPLC leadership among others. These non-profits are very expensive to run.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @10:48AM (#46396129)
    The most amusing thing about President Obama going on about gender pay inequality is that one of the few places where it is significant is one of the places where he has the most control over it, White House staff. There have been several reports that women who work at the White House are paid significantly less than men working at the White House, even when they are filling the same role.
  • Re:this isn't new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sribe ( 304414 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @10:48AM (#46396131)

    Even if the wife has a full time job, she still has to do the majority of the work at home.

    Says who?

    I remember when I first read about these issues, 30 years ago, one of the surveys claiming that women did the majority of work at home, counted exterior house maintenance, yard maintenance, and car maintenance as mens' hobbies instead of work at thome.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @11:19AM (#46396447)

    I know, troll. But I'm serious. It's a factor in manpower planning, especially in smaller teams.

    Jeesuz.. are you indoctrinated with political correctness or are you just prematurely trying to fend off flames? I've worked with many female engineers and scientists, and was married to one for nearly 20 years.

    Three biggest factors I see:

    1. Women stop to have children, and the *may* come back to the work force. Many never do, so there aren't as many females in senior paying positions.

    The next two are anecdotes I've noticed over my own career that seem to be a constant theme (e.g. I legitimately think there's a trend):

    2. Women are weaker negotiators during the hiring and raise/evaluation phases. While there are some monster bitches out there, they're not called the 'fairer sex' for nothing. Men are much more likely to take a stand and risk their job for what they deem to be 'fair'.

    3. Women get sick of the engineering work environment, the lack of personal fulfillment, and say 'to hell with this, I'm out of here".

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @12:06PM (#46396937) Journal
    I'm the wife in the situation. I just wrote my husband an $800 check for my cut of the mortgage and food last month. Problem?
  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @01:41PM (#46398097) Homepage Journal

    My life experience? The women beside me have always made pretty much the same money I have made. Two enlistments in the Navy - an E1 made the same pay as another E1, without respect to age, color, religion, ethnicity, OR gender. An E5 made the same money as another E5, etc. I earned a nice chunk of change for sea pay, which few women had any access to back then - but that has changed today.

    As a truck driver, I was paid either percentage of load, or paid by the mile. The women drivers out there made the same percentage, or the same cents per mile - just like any other driver, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, cultural or religious background.

    In construction, ditto. A journeyman carpenter draws journeyman carpenter's wages, a first class helper draws first class helper wages, and a master carpenter draws master carpenter's wages, and no one cares about your hairstyle, or what you might wear off the job, or how many kids you have, or whether you delivered those kids yourself.

    I've been in the workforce for - uhhhmmm - 42 years now. At no point in time have I ever worked beside a woman who did the same work I did, but made less money than I.

    Wait - that's a slightly inaccurate statement. Seniority counts. I've worked beside a number of women who made MORE than I, because they tend to be more stable in their employment. I've often been junior to a woman. She takes a job, she likes it, and she stays on that job for decades. Me? Hell, I've changed careers a number of times. I've never had seniority anywhere. So, yeah, women often make MORE money than I.

    The work that appeals to me usually pays better than the work that appeals to MOST women - but I've not seen or been privy to any actual barriers to women doing the same work I do. I have zero desire to be a waiter, only slightly more desire to be a nurse, or nurses' aid, or an orderly. I've cooked, but I don't want to cook anymore. I don't want to work in child care, or senior care. Women often LIKE those jobs, I don't.

    I think the world is less sexist than a lot of people THINK it is. Or, the US is less sexist than you claim.

  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @02:19PM (#46398681) Journal

    but most women I have talked to that dropped out of STEM did so more because of problems they encountered with coworkers and managers.

    Most of the men I know that have dropped out of STEM did so because of problems they encountered with coworkers and managers through out their careers. They got tired of the crap, but the stuck it out for a long time. From what you are saying, women don't stick it out as long. BTW, you don't mention what the problems were. Was it because the manager wanted her to work 60+ hours per week? Was it because she was expected to be available on vacation? Was it because she was expected to be on-call? Was it because the co-workers got tired of swapping shifts, on-calls, etc?

    The same quality of work is often praised more for a male then a female

    Really? do you have any evidence to back this up? Or, is it that you considered your work to be the same quality as your male counterparts and your boss didn't?

    Your post is just you grasping at straws to justify your preconceived bias.

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