Never Gonna Not Talk About the Wage Gap

Bloomberg Businessweek compared salaries of men and women with MBAs in 2012, and they made some findings! (GUESS?? CAN YOU GUESS?!?!)

1. “In general, women were much closer to erasing the wage gap a decade ago.”

Okay pausing here in case you misread that like I did the first few times I read it—that sentences does NOT say “they were closer … than a decade ago.” It just says “they were closer … a decade ago.” Meaning, ten years ago, the wage gap was smaller than it is now. THEN was BETTER than NOW. Okay just wanted to make sure that’s clear, carry on.

2. “[In 2002], they were closer to parity with men in eight of the the 11 sectors than they were in 2012—including lucrative fields such as investment banking and finance. The pay gap has widened even in nonfinance-related fields, such as information technology. Even in entrepreneurship, where women have significantly narrowed the pay gap, they’re still nearly a dime away from pay parity with men.”

Okay but there has to be some REASON for this, right? Some reason that isn’t SEXISM because it is 2013, as you know, the future, etc. Are there any fields they found where women make MORE money??? THERE HAVE TO BE.

3. “Women outperformed men on salary in just three industries: human resources, investment banking, and nonprofits. Two of those fields—human resources and nonprofits—tend to attract more women than men, which may explain why women in these jobs are earning more than their male counterparts. Their pay gains in a field like nonprofit work, which has one of the lowest annual salaries, did little to shift the overall gender-pay gap in their favor, however.”

Okayyyyyy great news awesome news wonderful news.


10 Comments / Post A Comment

“Two of those fields—human resources and nonprofits—tend to attract more women than men, which may explain why women in these jobs are earning more than their male counterparts.” No it doesn’t.

deepomega (#22)

@stuffisthings Yes it does. If the problem is institutional sexism (men who hire women pay them less) than a field with more women doing the hiring would suffer less from it.

@deepomega Ah, but I refute your argument, because most of the people in HR are women!

sintaxis (#2,363)

@deepomega It can also tie into the fact that in non-profits, there is usually very little negotiating room on salary; women would be more likely to get the same deal as men when negotiations are off the table (because when negotiation is present, women tend to get the short end of the stick).

MissMushkila (#1,044)

@stuffisthings Human resources at many companies don’t actually make the decisions regarding who is hired, they just do the paperwork. Even at places where HR collects, sorts, and chooses resumes, actual interviews are usually conducted by work managers.

@MissMushkila Just joking! deepomega is right about the meaning of course, but the wording was still fishy.

Markham (#1,862)


Quick thoughts on HR:

Capable women (and people of color) are often “pushed to HR” because as far as company functions go, it’s kind of low on the list of importance. No front line executives (who drive functions that generate profit) is thinking: “our stock will do better if we have a good HR group”.

Also as someone who has executive and Sr. Manager roles, I can tell you that HR has very little to do with salaries.

For the group I ran (we operated in multiple countries) I set the pay scale for all the roles, my manager signed off and we just fit it into the overall pay scale for the company, which was set by the COO and CFO.

When I hired people the pay was based on the role, our budget and of course pressure from my manager and COO to pay as little as possible.

HR just processed paperwork and got yelled at by managers when they didn’t do it fast enough.

Considering all the stuff I saw related to the wage gap, I should probably write something on that experience one of these days.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

Can I send my vagina back now? It’s not worth this trouble.

RocketSurgeon (#747)

I consider myself lucky to have a civil service job, where every salary is set at every title and your gender doesn’t matter. Or at least I don’t think it does.

ETA: A guy who works at the same title in the same division, for about the same amount of time, with the pretty much the same qualifications, made $3k more than me last year. Dang it.

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