Why do you think women make less than men in the workplace?

@Taskr36 (13874)
United States
September 29, 2010 2:23pm CST
I hear cries of sexism and glass ceilings over this kind of thing all the time. They passed the Ledbetter Act last year and now they're trying to push through another Fair Pay Act of some kind so there won't be a cap on punitive damages since the trial lawyers want more money and democrats want their support. Many European nations have also passed laws that were supposed to force businesses to pay women fairly as well. Somehow, none of this has really caused any significant changes. Has anyone ever considered that women are the reason women make less in the workplace? Now I won't claim for a second that gender discrimination doesn't exist. I just think that it's too easy a culprit and using it as the sole reason for disparities clearly isn't working. Now I'm sure some will call me a sexist for saying this but here it is: Women are NOT the same as men. Women are far more likely to ALLOW themselves to get paid less to begin with. I've had friends that when offered their first big job out of college just take what's offered to them. They didn't negotiate or make any attempt to get higher pay because they either felt that they were just lucky to get a job offer, or didn't think that they had a chance at more money since they were just out of college. On the reverse, I don't know a lot of guys who didn't at least TRY to squeeze a bit more money out of their prospective employer. I literally spent a week going back and forth when I got my first job as a librarian. That effort got me a starting pay of $46K instead of $44K. I've also challenged raises I've gotten from past jobs on more than one occasion when I thought my scheduled review didn't properly take all my work into consideration. Personally I think women are just raised with different attitudes and expectations in the workplace than men. I was taught to always fight for what I deserve and know my value in the workplace. I remember when I was 19 during an evaluation my manager told me that I was selling myself short and that I need to toot my own horn. It's advice I've never forgotten and it's served me well. Now I only know the women that I know so obviously what I've seen isn't necessarily representative of all women. I am curious though as there are many women on this forum. Do you feel that you sell yourself short? Do you actively fight for a good starting pay, or do you accept what you are offered feeling, or hoping that you are getting a fair deal? When you get a raise or evaluation, do you accept what your manager gives you, or do you fight for more recognition if/when you feel you aren't getting proper credit for your work?
3 people like this
10 responses
@jb78000 (15178)
29 Sep 10
taskr, this is all just cultural. ok in your country women are just believing they should get the same pay as men for doing the same jobs. um, i am the same age as you and i have always negotiated a decent salary. my mother had problems but that is a generation ago. i know the americas are conservative but...
@Taskr36 (13874)
• United States
30 Sep 10
Why do you think women make less than men in Europe then. Clearly we have different cultures, but the gender gap in pay is pretty similar being about 19% in the US and 17.8% in Europe. http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=418 Being as I've never lived or worked in Europe I can't make any guess as to how women are in the workplace there. Here in America though the women who seem to do best are the ones often referred to as ballbusters because they don't hold back during things like salary negotiations. They are definitely the minority though.
@jb78000 (15178)
30 Sep 10
ok, it is probably fairly similar. so sorry for that actually. just because i have been ok doesn't mean this is the same for all european women. gender equality is still very new here, and even newer in more conservative countries, so i'd guess we have a couple more generations to go still.
@fannitia (2172)
• Bulgaria
30 Sep 10
I'm sure that we don't have this situation in my country. We were in the former soviet block, we have a lot of problems, but not this. The gender is not a reason to give somebody a different salary if he does the same work as the others. But I believe that men and women are not the same, so some jobs are suitable for men and others - for women.
@jb78000 (15178)
30 Sep 10
the only jobs men might be slightly better at are physical labour ones, otherwise there really is not much difference.
@kukueye (1761)
• Malaysia
30 Sep 10
Well it depends actually.Previous where i work , the guys are paid more less and the women paid more, because the owner is perverts and love girls to be around.While guys paid are less still have to carry stuffs around the warehouse at the sametime serve customers need and repair stuffs as part of the job.While the girls are desktop job no need to overtime while the guys have to.So i guess it really depends on the boss u r working with.
@1346795 (808)
• Greece
30 Sep 10
Because the most times they are interested at other things like boyfriends, kids etc more that their job. A lot of time they work just for money leaving and not for a carreer.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
30 Sep 10
I have a few friends who are senior executives and they tell me that the problem is that many women (single or married) do not want to go through what it take to be a senior executive. To move up the latter these men had to travel around, sometimes for several weeks at a time. They would be moved from one job location to another for one or two years at a time. One man told me that during his mid career years he was moving from country to country for business ever 1 1/2 to 2 year. Women who did this are the ones who are the senior executives. Many women do not like to move around and do not like 60 to 70 hour work weeks 52 weeks a year. The American Medical Association did a study of Woman Dr. They found that women tend to work shorter weeks, take more vacation time and retire earlier than men Dr. I found in the education field women tended to want to move from teaching to central office and skip the Building Level administration. Many were unwilling to move away from friends and would stay in a small geographic area. Men who did not want to move also found them selves limited in career moves. I am sure that in some companies there is some discrimination against women just as a field dominated by women tends to discriminate against men.
@djbtol (5501)
• United States
30 Sep 10
According to an article from The Hill, the gender pay gap is a myth. I have seen similar studies in the past, so I know this is not a new revelation. Currently women have an unemployment rate of 8% compared to 9.8% for men. Also, women are receiving 58% of the BA and MA degrees being issued. A General Accounting office director says "our analysis neither confirms nor refutes the presence of discriminatory practices." Their best data, and he is still not certain enough to say their is a gender gap. The article goes on to explain why The Fairness Act will vastly expand the role of government in our compensation decisions. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/121441-gender-pay-gap-is-a-myth
• United States
29 Sep 10
There has always been gender bias in the workplace. We women make less than men because we can have families, when we get pregnant we have to go on maternity leave, which cost companies and places money. It all comes down to "women cost more than men in the workplace".
@matersfish (6313)
• United States
29 Sep 10
Well, if we're speaking about the NBA vs. WNBA, I think it's fairly obvious. Beyond that, I don't really know much about the subject, like how it's averaged out to begin with, so I can't comment in much detail. As long as women are not intentionally discriminated against, I don't think it's that large of an issue. Of course, I'm basing this on the assumption that, to calculate this "stat," they choose some professions and average it all out. Because of motherhood, that's already not really "fair" to do. Guys don't have babies, and I don't care how much that chick that had a baby wants to be called a guy. She's not a guy. Okay, I'm off topic now. I'm interested in reading people's responses about the subject, because it's not one I usually involve myself in.
@Rollo1 (16777)
• Boston, Massachusetts
29 Sep 10
There are many reasons women may earn less or find that their careers don't progress up the ladder as quickly as men. Part of it has to do with women themselves, but not because they don't demand enough (although that might affect some women and men). Women suffer little breaks in their career often when they have children, especially if they elect to take some time off from work in order to stay home when the kids are young. Anytime you insert a break into a career you lose acceleration. Another reason is that women may choose a job based more on location and flexibility rather than base salary. Again, if she's a mother, she has to consider how flexible her hours and her schedule is and can she work without finding conflicts between home and work concerns. Employers who are closer to her home location and who offer staggered hours, flexible schedules or who are not likely to punish an employee for time off for personal concerns are more likely to be on her list of top choices than the employer who is an hour's commute and has strict hours even if they are willing to pay more. There is a need in corporate America to stop the sometimes punitive behavior companies sometimes display when it comes to female employees with families. Although men shoulder a much larger portion of home duties these days, it is still the wife who, more often than not, is the one who takes time off to stay home with sick children or pick them up at school when they're ill. In some companies, that is viewed as unreliability and it affects career and compensation. I have known some women who toot their own horns very loudly and others who don't. But I do agree that it's necessary for a woman to be bold and speak up if she wants the recognition that a man might get with a lot less effort. I even know of one woman who did not get a promotion she was up for and was told that the guy who did get it needed it more than she did, because he had a family - she was a single mother. Even though she was the sole support for her child, he was given more consideration because he was a family man. The old network is still in place in some companies.
@Netsbridge (3243)
• United States
29 Sep 10
I think that it is because most women often choose not to speak out. I have also noticed this feminine passivity in other aspects of living in the US: Though we often dramarize the oppression and suppression of women in other nations, I have indeed found that more US women are abused than women in other nations. And when you consider the fact that we have US laws upon US laws to address almost anything, this issue becomes mere wonder.