Blogging Connection 1: A Response to “NICE WORK: something you already know about gender & wages”

October 4, 2010

In the blog Girl With Pen there is a very interesting post called Nice Work: something you already know about gender and wages. Economists at the University of Chicago and Harvard University conducted a study on why men make more than women even though they both have MBA’s from the same educational institute and started off earning the same amount when they graduated from graduate school.  Nine years later, men earned $400k when women only earned $250.  Why such a big difference?  Women who have children and family responsibilities hinder their career.  On the other hand, women who didn’t have children did not have such a big gap compared to men.  There was also another interesting point made in this post; women, who married men that earned lower than them, had a bigger gap compared to men in their field.  Whereas, women who married men who make more than them kept their incomes higher.

Deborah Siegel, the author, gives 3 ideas of how women can decrease gender inequality.  The first idea is for women not to have children; this will enable them to focus on their career.  They will not have to divide their attention and energy in several different places, which will increase their productivity.  The downside on this is that the majority of women dream about becoming a mother.  The balance of a family and career is one that every woman has to make for herself.  The second idea is for women to marry men who earn less than they do.  The negative aspect of this idea is that marriages and families when women earn more are less stable.  If women decided to pursue this idea they would not be able to marry freely.  The third idea is work flexibility.  Companies would have to encourage work flexibility; this is a modern idea and companies might not have the easiest time conforming to this concept.

I found this post to very eye-opening and interesting.  I knew that women made less than men in the work force, but it surprised me that after nine years men earned $150k more.  It is disturbing that women who decided to start a family are penalized by not earning as much as men.  The first two ideas that Deborah Siegel proposed are out of the ordinary.  Women shouldn’t have to choose between having children or their career; both of these are important aspects of their lives. The second concept was a little strange; women will not have the freedom to marry whomever they want.  Again, women are put in a dilemma which making a decision is very difficult.  Women are never put in a win-win situation.  The third idea however is a great idea.  Employers have to realize that both, men and women need time off from work when they have children.  They shouldn’t be penalized for wanting time off to be with their family.  The fact that gender inequality still exists on such a high level is concerning.  Our society is moving at such at a fast pace yet women are still being discriminated against.  Women need to be valued in the workforce as much as they are valued at home.

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