Originally Posted by Forrest95M
Pretty speechless on that one, providing a claim without any factual evidence, the Huffington post's motto
Well, the problem (and the reason claims like this live on), is that it's actually true. On average, women do earn 20-30% less than men across the entire labor force.
But that doesn't tell the whole story.
For starters, women tend to enter lower-paying career fields then men, across all levels. Compare the typical male : female spread in people who pursue college degrees in education / social work / literature / gender studies vs. those who pursue engineering / accounting / computer science. Like it or not, some people deliberately choose to enter fields of study which lead to employment in fields which, on average, pay less than others.
And it gets even trickier. Take a field of study which, on average, is at the higher-paying end of the career spectrum, which attracts roughly equal numbers of male and female matriculants, and in which neither physical ability nor STEM education is particularly vital: Law.
While in law school, I was exposed to quite a lot of opinions and information concerning various legal careers. And my takeaway here is two-fold.
First: women were much more likely than men to express interest in legal careers which involve public defense, family & marital law, pro-bono / indigent services, etc. These jobs might give you some sense of civic pride, but they pay for ****.
Second: among those who do pursue corporate law (contracts, patents, compliance, etc), there exist two basic career paths. The first is derogatorily known within the industry as BigLaw, in which one works for a large firm which bills its corporate clients by the hour. As an example, in the book & movie The Firm
, the lead character worked for a BigLaw firm. In this field, you live and die by the number of billable hours you generate per year. The hours are insane, you're basically on-call 24/7, and the burnout rate is high.
Then, by contrast, you have House Counsel. Big corporations have their own in-house attorneys who handle most of the routine day to day stuff. It can be a tad dull, but you live a pretty normal life. It's mostly 9 to 5, no travel, pretty much like any normal office job.
I'm not saying that house counsel pays especially badly, but it's the kind of job that BigLaw attorneys gravitate towards after they've made partner, stockpiled a few million, and are looking to slow down and enjoy life. A male friend of mine out in CA, about my age, who was a BigLaw attorney in NYC and later LA, took a job about a year ago as house counsel at Mitsubishi after he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and the doctors basically told him flat-out that he was going to die if he didn't slow down.
Now guess what the gender distribution of 3rd year law students who pursue employment in one field vs. the other is?
That same trend holds true across most professional fields. It may sound sexist, but recruiting data confirms that females are much more likely to prioritize things like a predictable work schedule and flexible hours over raw salary. I've seen it myself; broadcast engineering (like most other engineering fields) is very much a sausage-fest, and the very few female job applicants I've interviewed seemed a lot more interested than average in things like work schedule and vacation time, and were willing to make concessions to get them.
So, yeah, as a broad generalization, women do earn less than men. They choose to.
How to "fix" this? Simple: refuse them admission to academic programs which lead to lower-paying salaries, and discriminate against them during the hiring process by denying them concessions related to flexibility in scheduling and time off. Sounds fair, right?