I agree that you should be paid for the job you do, if you are a Doctor you should be compensated as such, if you are a mid-level manger or a fast food employee you should be compensated as such.  In 2011, male or female can hold many of the same positions, but women only earn 80% as much as men.  It could be for traditional reasons but studies show that the gap is closing and women are no longer accepting these statistics.

Moneywatch.com stated that a MBA study showed that men and women graduate and begin earning around the same but after 10 years men earn significantly more.  The reason stated motherhood, more days off, and career breaks.  I must say this is a very strong argument for the men.  If women are not gaining the experience or working the hours, they will not increase their salary, motherhood becomes a greater priority than getting ahead.  Women also tend to take lower paying jobs like teaching, nursing the study showed 1out of every 8 followed this career path.  I also think it’s because men are better negotiators and demand their worth in a way that’s respected, women are less forceful and don’t get the same type of respect, even if they do demand it, they can be perceived as bitchy.  Don’t give up hope women of the working world!

The study also mentions that because of the recession and the smart women in the world the gap may be closing.  The recession knocked out many predominantly male jobs, like construction and high level management.  This lessens the confidence of men and the careers like teaching and nursing become more appealing because they offer job security.  Women are also out numbering men in college attendance and we all know that a degree will put you in a better negotiating position and offer a higher salary; women are also moving away from the barefoot and pregnant life role to the success roles in the work force.  Watch out gentlemen the ladies are defying the behavior of previous professional females and demanding the salary gap be decreased and call it bitchiness if you want, I call it being confident, and asking for respect just like any man would. 

Many men and women both work in many roles across the world and considering all variables align why should men still be paid more than women?

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Comment by Nancy McGarry on April 1, 2011 at 11:18am

I wonder if the statistic refers to men making more $ than women in terms of equal pay for roles of equal value.  This wouldn't take into account years of experience or background.  Pay equity is about simply looking at the value of a role and determining if women and men are making equal salaries.  In general, yes a woman will make less if she takes time off to have children.  The statistics, if it's based on pay equity are taking into account women and men already in the same roles, everything else being equal.  For example if I take 6 years off to have children and I am back in the work force in a recruiting role but I have altogether 10 years of experience and a man is in the same role with 16 years experience, we should be making the same amount of money based on the role. 

And speaking to the gap factor - as a recruiter, I try not to put too much emphasis on resume gaps and more on the quality of experience.  It's not really my business why a candidate wants to take time off.  In my experience, many times it's because they have had children or there's been a death in the family or they want to travel.  It's life experience, and it doesn't mean they wouldn't necessarily be dedicated to their work.  Sometimes it means they would be more dedicated because they take the time to do the things that are more important than making money. 

Comment by Jacki on April 1, 2011 at 1:06pm


I like your comment about the quality of the work being a key factor and not necessarily the time or sequence of work.  I also think it is a sad commentary in our society that child rearing is still seen primarily as a women's role.  Parenting takes two and in a culture where there are many dual career parents, I'd like to see work culture shift to accommodate both parents to participate in both their child's life and their work.  The traditional work schedule forces women to make a choice, but the technology and tools are available so that people are able to meaningfully participate in the work enviornment in non-traditional ways. 

Men's and women's contribution to the work place should be evaluated and valued based on the performance of the individual, not gender.  In addition, promotional opportunities which raise a persons level of pay should be based on equitable criteria in performance and value to the organization - not life stage. 

Comment by Kimberly Roden on April 1, 2011 at 1:53pm

I'm going to hold off on my thoughts until I finish reading this book I just started:  Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cop....


Comment by Rachael McDermott on April 1, 2011 at 2:35pm
Nancy, I would think that even if there was equity within a workforce and the same roles made the same salary range, someone with 16 total years of experience would still make more than someone with 10 years.  Not much more because they would need to fall within a certain range but wouldn't they earn a little more?  Maybe I'm not understanding your comment correctly.  Can you clarify?  Thanks.
Comment by Jason Monastra on April 1, 2011 at 4:26pm

All interesting comments....Kim I cannot wait to hear what that book has to say.  However there is a political aspect of the salary game that has not been mentioned during this discussion.  It is sad, but this is true.  When a man takes a hard stand on negotiations, he is seen as wise and solid business person.  When a woman makes a stand, she can be seen as overbearing or a Bi***.  Why is that?


In the federal market where we work, it is amazing to see the old boys club in effect and the push down on certain positions.  I had a very recent comment from an IT manager that told me that he only hires women for helpdesk roles.  They sound better on the phone and people like them more.  However all of the helpdesk managers that oversee this base are all men.  What is that about?


Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes and unfortunately I find it all too often, running into it and having to educate my clients on the benefits of diversity.  This is not a one way straight however, women do the same in protecting their own.  Several of the key application managers I work with only hire women.  They said they work better together and therefore it is better for the group. 


I could go on and on.  But all of these aspects have an impact on pay.... 

Comment by Nancy McGarry on April 1, 2011 at 4:34pm

Jason, I think thats primarily why there's still a gap...


Rachael, I think you did understand my comment correctly.  What you said makes sense.  As long as the roles hold the same value, the 16 year experience candidate should potentially make the same (if not a little more) than the 10 year experience candidate.  I've also seen multiple situations where the reverse is true.  Some university grads make the same amount as veteran consultants doing the same role.  The point is that the value of the role is taken into consideration when it comes to pay, not necessarily the number of years of experience of the candidate......... or the sex.

Comment by Jason Monastra on April 1, 2011 at 4:41pm

The value of the role should play a part in determining pay.  However as I think we would all agree that it is a pillar of the decision making process.  When discussing a 16 yr person over a 10 yr person, there are other factors that are more subtle that could pose salary discrepancies.  What about soft skills, communication ability and rapport with the hiring authority.  People who they like, who they can work with side-side daily...not necessarily the best fit for the role.  All roles are hired on 40% technical skill set match, 60% soft cultural fit match.  There is a great deal of ambiguity in that.  You could be the best fit, nice man/woman and get paid less than someone else since the manager enjoyed their interview with that person better.  Compensation has a great deal to do with the subjective human nature of the person in charge.  Unfortunately there is no formula for mastering that!!

Comment by Nancy McGarry on April 1, 2011 at 4:46pm
You bet Jason.  My comment was based on 'all else being equal'.  We have to factor out everything else in order to weed out discrimination.  Those 'subtle factors' could be deemed discriminatory.  Unfortunately we have to factor them out because we have to determine why women are continually making less than men in the roles that are of the same value.
Comment by Jason Monastra on April 1, 2011 at 5:03pm

I think it really comes down to negotiations.  I do not believe that men are better negotiators than women, however I believe that the perception of their negotiations are seen completely differently by a hiring authorty. 


Great example is when we do contracts.  My partner, a woman is fantastic at getting business and gets more of the business than I do overall for the business.  However she has issues with margin negotiations even with the same managers that I service.  Now we play off each other and she calls me on a conference when we are closing a contract so that I negotiate all pricing since she knows we will get better margins.  Crazy, but they like her sales style to get the business but give her crap about dollars.  I get on the phone and negotiations are swift and easy. 

Comment by Nancy McGarry on April 1, 2011 at 5:29pm

Jason, I'm not sure that all hiring authority see women differently. Maybe your partner is just better at sales and you are better at numbers.


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