Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hit and run

Madness at work. I know lots of folks have witnessed downsizing and layoffs, but this is my first time seeing it up close and personal. It's intense. As a result, my intended post didn't get written today.

In the meantime, go check out this graph at the NYT website, which does a beautiful job of depicting the gender wage gap for many professions. I was surprised to note that what I'd consider my field (medical scientist) had the largest gap of all (37%). I really would have expected it to be smaller, at least closer to the chemists (27%). I wish they'd done this on an hourly rate basis rather than a weekly rate, because it's possible that men might work more in overtime than women which would skew the results. I also wish they'd accounted for years of service to make it a truly fair comparison. Many of the higher paying jobs don't offer pay for overtime (instead paying a flat weekly/monthly salary), so that excuse for the difference certainly doesn't hold water. Disappointing that this is still such an issue.


At 2:47 AM, March 21, 2009, Blogger Carolyn said...

...and that overall wage-gap plot might have looked like we were converging a couple years ago - but now it kinda look like we might be tracking in parallel! Poop!

At 5:22 PM, March 21, 2009, Anonymous Tom said...

I'd also be curious to see the wage comparison normalized by years of service. My experience is that an employee with more years of service in a position is more likely to have a higher salary for a given job. Women are more likely to take an extended leave of absence during their career, which will impact their salary increases.

It would also be interesting to compare the data for big and small employers. Food for thought.

At 12:57 PM, March 28, 2009, Blogger Camellia said...

I know one of the reasons I became a teacher and stayed a teacher was the equal pay for equal work with equal experience, with equal educational attainment, on the "union" negotiated salary schedule. The salary differences occur because of extra duty done by men, whether as coaches or department chairs. Women also have access to many extra duties, and with ambition, can earn the same and more than men. I know I managed that in the latter years of my career: I was the highest paid teacher in my district my last active year, out earning even varsity coaches.


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