Discrimination not the only factor in pay inequality
Gender wage gap still huge
In 2006, women earned about 75% of what men working in the same occupation earned, according to The Editors at JIST, authors of the newly-released reference Salary Facts Handbook.
[ 2008-03-05 ]
Today, disparities in pay among men and women still exist. In Salary Facts Handbook, the editors at JIST reveal the 20 best-paying jobs for each gender. Many of the occupations in the lists reveal significant gaps between men and women employed in the same occupation. For example, male economists earn an average of $103,254US per year, while women economists earn an average of $88,406US per year.
Often, professionals are quick to blame gender discrimination for why women seem to struggle to earn equal pay for equal work. The book acknowledge that such discrimination has played a role in the wage gap between men and women, but that many other factors also widen the gap.
"For most occupations female workers earn less, but this is not always the result of discrimination in the way wages are determined. In some cases the disparity results from choices female employees make about their work arrangements. For example, some women leave the workforce or work part-time hours for a few years while their children are very young. In other cases, comparable male and female workers may be earning similar pay, but in the past male workers have greatly outnumbered female workers. Therefore, female workers are more likely to be relative newcomers who are earning less," says Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., a senior product developer at JIST.
The book shares several strategies women can use to maximize their chances of receiving a fair wage. They suggest that women:
- Do some research to learn about occupations that have a better ratio of female-to-male wages.
- Seek jobs within organizations that have programs in place to recruit women for positions where they have been under-represented.
- Be on the lookout for a manager who is a determined and inspiring mentor. Such a manager can accomplish as much for a woman's career as a formal program might.
- Speak with other women who currently work for a particular employer with whom they may be interested.
- Remember to consider the availability of female-friendly benefits, such as paid maternity leave.
Salary Facts Handbook is available at all major bookstores and from the publisher (www.jist.com).