Tag Archives: pay disparity

Gender Transitions Demonstrate Continuing Gender Differences in Pay, Workplace Experience

People who change gender illustrate the impact of gender on workplace experience and compensation, while holding constant the person’s education and experience.

Two Stanford professors’ experience in gender transition highlight findings by University of Chicago’s Kristen Schilt.

Joan Roughgarden

Joan Roughgarden – Jonathan Roughgarden

Stanford’s Joan Roughgarden, was an evolutionary biologist for more than 25 years as Jonathan Roughgarden before she made her male-to-female (MTF) transition.
Known for her work integrating evolutionary theory with Christian beliefs (“theistic evolutionism”), she reported feeling less able to make bold hypotheses and no longer had “the right to be wrong.”

Her experience contrasts woth Stanford colleague, neurobiologist Ben Barres, who made scientific contributions as Barbara Barres until he was more than 40.

Barbara Barres - Ben Barres

Barbara Barres – Ben Barres

After his female-to-male (FTM) transition, Ben delivered a lecture at the  Whitehead Institute, where an audience member commented, “Ben Barres gave a great seminar today, but, then, his work is much better than his sister’s.”

Schilt surveyed FTM and MTF to compare earnings and employment experiences before and after gender transitions.
with questions similar to 2002 Current Population Survey (CPS) survey items:

  • Last job before gender transition,
  • First job after gender transition,
  • Most recent job.
Kristen Schilt

Kristen Schilt

Female-to-male transsexuals (FTMs) reported that as men, they received more authority, reward, and respect in the workplace than they received as women, even when they remained in the same jobs.

Height and skin color affected potential advantages enjoyed by FTM:  Tall, white FTMs experienced greater benefits than short FTMs and FTMs of color.

In contrast, MTF reported reduced authority and pay, and often harassment and termination.

University of Illinois’s Donald McCloskey, for example, was told by his department chair – in jest – that he could expect a salary reduction when he became Deirdre McCloskey.

Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey

However, salary reduction was no joke for MTFs in Schilt’s survey sample.
Participants reported significant losses of 12% in hourly earnings after becoming female.

Additionally, MTFs transitioned on average 10 years later than FTMs, delaying the loss of labor market advantages attributable to male gender.

FTMs, however, experienced no change in earnings or small positive increases up to 7.5% in earnings after transitioning to becoming men.

Any gender transition was associated with risks of harassment and discrimination, reported more frequently in “blue-collar” jobs, particularly for those with “non-normative” appearance and not consistently “passing” as the other gender.

These “naturalistic experiments” confirm continuing gender-based pay discrepancies.

-*To what extent have you observed these gender-linked differences in compensation and workplace credibility?

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Price of Job “Flexibility” for Women: Lower Salaries

Claudia Goldin

Claudia Goldin

Women in professions noted for their schedule and location “flexibility” are shortchanged with smaller paychecks than men in equivalent roles, according to Harvard’s Claudia Goldin.
She analyzed higher-paying occupations, and validated the frequently-cited finding that women earn an average of 71 percent of men’s wages after controlling for age, race, hours and education.

In addition, Goldin found significant differences related to flexibility in work schedule or location or ability of colleagues to substitute for each other.
For example, women financial specialists earned 66 percent of men’s pay in the same field, but women pharmacists earned 91 percent of their male colleagues’ salaries.  Goldin-Womens salaries as percentage of mens

Comparable salaries were reported for male and female tax preparers, ad sales agents and human resources specialists, attributable to workers’ ability to substitute for each other.
Among medical professions, obstetricians and “hospitalists” have introduced “interchangeability” with trusted colleagues.

This difference is explained by higher pay for roles that require longer hours, physical presence for “office face time,” and 24×7 availability, known as “non-linear” occupations.

In these fields, like law and investment banking, women typically work fewer hours and earn less than men:  A lawyer who works 80 hours a week at a large corporate law firm earns more than double one who works 40 hours a week as an in-house counsel at a smaller business.

Francine Blau

Francine Blau

In contrast, women and men in “linear” occupations such as pharmacists, computer hardware engineers, and computer software engineers, report similar number of hours worked and earn equivalent incomes:  A pharmacist who works 40 hours a week generally earns double the salary of a pharmacist who works 20 hours a week, and as a result, the pay gap for pharmacists is one of the smallest.

Lawrence Kahn

Lawrence Kahn

The U.S. reports relatively larger gender-based pay gap than other advanced countries, found Cornell’s Francine Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn, and they attributed this wage disparity to “the very high level of U.S. wage inequality.

Uri Gneezy

Uri Gneezy

Another explanation for this discrepancy was that men in competitive environments improve their performance, but when women’s performance remains about the same as in non-competitive situations with they challenge men, reported University of California San Diego’s Uri Gneezy, Muriel Niederle of Stanford and Aldo Rustichini of University of Minnesota.

Muriel Niederle

Muriel Niederle

In contrast, women’s performance increased when they competed with women, suggesting that women are willing and able to compete, but may not experience the enhancing effect of the workplace “tournament.”  

Aldo Rustichini

Aldo Rustichini

This gender difference in competitive environments may explain women’s under-representation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) academic programs and job roles.
Supporting this hypothesis is the finding that competition and lack of mentor and peer support are linked to women’s voluntary exit from engineering programs, according to Goodman Research Group’s Irene F. Goodman with Christine M. Cunningham and Cathy Lachapelle of Boston Museum of Science.

Irene Goodman

Irene Goodman

These organizational climate factors have been tied to decreased feelings of competence, confidence, and optimism, reported University of North Carolina’s Beril Ülkü-Steiner and Beth Kurtz-Costes, with C. Ryan Kinlaw of Marist College, and these can undermine women’s work performance.

 Beth Kurz-Costes

Beth Kurz-Costes

Wage parity is more likely for those who optimize performance during cross-gender competition and select roles with a high degree of “interchangeability” and “linearity” between hours worked and salaries.

C Ryan Kinlaw

C Ryan Kinlaw

Another solution for those who prefer to earn more than average for their occupation is to work longer hours and more continuously throughout their careers.

-*How can women increase performance with competing with men?

-*What occupations have a “linear” relationship between hours worked and compensation?

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Premium Pay to Attract Diverse Women Candidates?

Companies must pay more to attract and hire women from diverse backgrounds because there are few qualified female and nonwhite candidates – and because these candidates are highly sought by employers.

Deborah Ashton

Deborah Ashton

Myth or reality?, asks Deborah Ashton of Novant Health.

Myth: American women earned significantly less than men, so it is unlikely that diverse women enjoy a salary advantage over men.

In fact, women in the U.S. earned $0.82 for every $1.00 earned by American men in 2013, up from $0.79 the year before, according to the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics earnings survey.

Daryl G. Smith

Daryl G. Smith

Nana Osei-Kofi

Nana Osei-Kofi

More education may not result in higher or even equitable salaries for African-American, white, and Hispanic women: The gender pay gap actually increases as when these women complete higher education levels.
In fact, workers with the least education actually experienced the least pay gap, but they are rewarded with “equal opportunity poverty.”

Sandra Richard Mayo

Sandra Richard Mayo

Men, regardless of race or ethnicity, earn more than women of any race when education level is held constant, except for Asian women with at least a Bachelor’s degree, who earned more than African-American men – the lowest-earning group of men.

Caroline Turner

Caroline Turner

These data and related studies reviewed by Claremont Graduate University’s Daryl G. Smith, Nana Osei-Kofi of Oregon State University, Azusa Pacific University’s Sandra Richards Mayo,  and Caroline S. Turner of Arizona State University, do not support claims that most diverse female candidates are paid more than men.

Patricia White

Patricia White

Likewise, Patricia E. White of the U.S. National Science Foundation, found no evidence for “bidding wars” to attract, hire and retain diverse women job candidates.

The gap in pay equity continues, and affects women across all ethnic and racial categories, with particularly adverse impact on Hispanic and African-American women. Deborah Ashton Table 1

-*How frequently have you encountered the myth of salary premiums to attract qualified diverse women and men job candidates?

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Equal Pay Act’s Fiftieth Anniversary: Progress but no Parity

Equal Pay Act 1963

Equal Pay Act 1963

When U.S. President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women earned 59 cents for every $1 earned by a man.

Today women are up to 77 cents on the dollar, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jacqueline Berrien.
She noted that the wage discrepancy is even larger for African American women and Latinas.

Jacqueline Berrien

Jacqueline Berrien

Women MBAs graduating from top U.S. business schools in 2012 fared slightly better than the national average, with 2012 Stanford alumnae earning just 79 cents for every $1 earned by a male grads, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual surveys of 24,716 recent MBA graduates from each year’s top 30 U.S. business schools since 2002.
Given the substantial investment of time, money, and effort in obtaining these advanced degrees, women graduates may question this Return on Investment (ROI).

Women from the MBA classes of 2012 averaged 7.3 percent less than their male counterparts with average salaries of $105,059.
This wage disparity is more than triple the 2.2 percent gap women MBAs experienced in 2012 on average earnings of $83,404.

The survey considered pay differences by industries and found women lagged behind men in pay in eight of 11 sectors in 2012, including accounting, finance, marketing, and operations.
The gap has increased across industries since 2002, even in non-finance fields like information technology and entrepreneurship.

The largest pay differential was in highly-compensated financial fields like venture capital and private equity field, where women earned only 82.5¢ for every dollar men made — about 10 ¢ less on the dollar than in 2002.
In contrast, consulting offered the closest pay parity in 2012, with women earning 99¢ for every dollar of male classmates’ salaries.

Women earned more than men in three industries: human resources, non-profits, and investment banking.
The first two industries tend to attract more women and be lower-paid than other fields.

EEOCBerrien, of the EEOC, opined that with the current backsliding in parity progress, the gender pay gap is predicted to close in another 44 years, in 2057 — provided that there is no further deterioration of pay equity advancement.

CB Insights reported that in California from January-June 2010:CI Insights Founder Gender - 2010

  • 89 percent of series A and seed-funded companies had all male founders, compared with only 8 percent that had founders of both genders, and just 3 percent of businesses with all female founders
  • 82 percent of company founders were white, compared to 18 percent that were Asian or Pacific Islander

Equal Pay DayThe 2013 Silicon Valley Index, compiled by economic think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley found significant income disparities by race in addition to gender from 2009-2011:

  • African-American residents’ income dropped 18%, compared to a 4% decrease across the U.S.
  • Hispanic resident’ income decreased 5%, similar to the rest of California
Catherine Bracy

Catherine Bracy

Catherine Bracy observed that the average woman in Silicon Valley, California’s “economic powerhouse”, earns 49 cents for every dollar men make in Silicon Valley, when averaging incomes of African American and Hispanic women residents.

NerdWallet analyzed data from the U.S. Census for 366 metro areas to determine the lowest pay gaps for women in small, medium, and large cities, and concluded that on balance, Silicon Valley was one of the “best places for women to work.”

Wage discrepancy in one of the U.S.’s most economically viable areas, whether around the national average or well below, demonstrates that 50 years after the Equal Pay Act, the average female worker in the U.S. is far from earning an equal wage.

Happy Anniversary, Equal Pay Act of 1963, and Many Happy Returns of the day for at least 44 years, until women’s pay may be equal across industries and geographies.

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