Income Disparity by Gender & Race

Thanks to Blog

My notes:

Thanks to Bucksome Boomer for kicking my ass into gear to write this:

I am not surprised by the numbers, although there are factors that contribute to this:

1. Women’s work is not LESS valued, they’re just cheaper, and as a result, in more demand than we think, just based on cost alone.

Managers are smart, rational people.

If they see a woman at $40,000 a year, and a man asking for $60,000 a year, they won’t just pick on gender alone.

Sometimes it’s just economics and what will save the company money, considering that women can and will do the same job as a men.

2. Women don’t tend to enter fields that pay more money — they shy away from IT, math, sciences, engineering, finance… all things that are typically considered “male” occupations.

They’re encouraged to become teachers, designers, nurses, go into marketing, etc. I am not saying those are bad occupations or that they cannot make good money there, it’s just reality.

3. Women aren’t expected to be career women, and/or they’re out of the workforce for quite long and have to start at the bottom rung again.

It’s just that men are expected to work their whole lives and not take time off to care for their kids. I am not saying it’s a bad thing if a man stays at home, or if a woman stays at home, but boys grow up with the expectation of working their whole lives.

4. Along the lines of not being career women, we also don’t put in the hours it takes at a job.

Simply put, we don’t want to and would value our time more than money, and it isn’t our priority.

5. We don’t know how to negotiate or fight.

I had to learn all of that very quickly in the past 5 years on how to ask for more money, be more assertive, confident and to feel valued — because I am. That is not something that is taught to girls at a young age, because you always hear something like: “And what man will want you for a wife if you are going to act like that?”

Along the same lines, we aren’t expected to negotiate or fight.

I always get guff from brokers (mostly men, actually) who feel that I should just be happy getting what I get per hour, even if it’s $20/hour less than what a man would charge.

Not only because I’m a woman, but because I am young.

I don’t buy or subscribe to that stereotypical BS, and I stay firm on what I expect as a rate.

If they want me, they’ll take me, and most of the time when I’ve asked for what I wanted and was not persuaded or swayed to take less money, I’ve gotten it.

So to be honest, we kind of get what we deserve.

If we don’t ask for anything, we won’t be given raises.

If we don’t want to put in the hours to make it at that job, then we don’t deserve the salary that goes with it.

(It can be a choice too, because when I worked for a company, I CHOSE not to be a manager whose work consumes her life. I specifically did not want to rise in the ranks.)

If we decide to stay at home, we cannot expect to pop back into the workforce after 15 years at the same salary and value. We start at the bottom, just like any PERSON would, being out of the workforce for so long.

If we decide to work and try to do the work-life balance thing, we cannot expect to earn more money if we don’t ask our husbands and partners don’t help out as well, to balance the workload, or if we simply feel like we should be able to do it all.

That being said, I know women do get paid $0.75 on the $1.00, but it makes me wonder if any of the above factors don’t help contribute significantly to WHY we get paid less.

I also don’t believe in getting the job just because of race/ethnicity and gender, to fulfill some silly diversity quota.

As a manager, I’d want the person who is the best for the job, and if a man has been working his whole life, putting in the hours (and perhaps neglecting his family), asking for raises, and doing what it takes, I am going to pick his resume and his skills over a woman who hasn’t done the same thing.

It may not seem fair at first glance, but take out the gender-specific pronouns or swap them, and see if you feel differently about the above situation.

Even just looking at the graph, you can see the salary differences between races of a single gender, so gender isn’t the biggest factor in why we get paid less.

A very interesting topic indeed.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.