By Sadia Ghazi.
In an article in the New York Times, published on March 18, 2016, Claire Cain Miller addresses the pay differences between men and women who have the same jobs. Miller explores where these differences come from and the influence they have on employees and employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data,
“the median earnings of information technology managers (mostly men) are 27 percent higher than human resources managers (mostly women); janitors (usually men) earn 22 percent more than maids and housecleaners (usually women)”.
This shows the blatant difference between society’s evaluation of the amount of men’s work versus the amount of women’s work. Even though information technology managers and human resources managers perform the same task, the field dominated by men gets higher pay than the field dominated by women.
Miller explains that historically, regardless of the career field, a woman’s work was valued less than a man’s work. A woman’s work is seen as simple and easy to do; even if the woman is just as educated and trained as her men counterparts the woman will be paid less. Miller explains that when computer programming used to be a women-dominated field it was not as praised as when computer programming became a men-dominated field. This job gained more prestige and started paying more when more men started becoming computer programmers.
Miller also explains that women usually do not ask for higher pay regardless of their choice in career field. In the article Miller quotes Dr. Paula England, a professor in sociology at New York University:
“It’s not that women are always picking lesser things in terms of skill and importance, it’s just that the employers are deciding to pay it less.”
The gender bias affects how the employers view their potential employees and it also affects how employees see themselves in a field where they are underrepresented.
Read more in the original article.
Sadia Ghazi is a Wayne State University honors student majoring in psychology; she is also debating in the Wayne State Debate Team. In the Wikid GRRLS project she teaches middle school girls online skills in Detroit Public Schools this semester
Image source: Wikipedia Commons.