Goood morning! Comes a particularly stupid article from the Chicago Daily Herald: jobs with the highest gender gaps. Videography, it develops, is right up there at the top. Surprise! Pay in media companies tends to be 6.6% lower for women. Start low and get lower?
Hilariously, some expert on the topic remarks, “Establishing fair pay is going to be one of the big challenges tech and media companies are going to face.”
Where’s the “challenge” here? How hard is it to simply pay the same rate to everyone who holds a given job with a given seniority? And that does NOT mean lowering men’s pay so as to get away with paying everyone a lower rate.
This article suggests that women make a point of learning what their colleagues earn and then asking pointedly for raises to reach that rate.
At a large university I got a higher rate than my male counterpart who came on at the same rate I did, by repeatedly asking for raises. After about eight years, I was earning exactly $2 a year more than he did.
But yes. In some industries nagging the boss for a raise works. SDXB discovered, at the time reporters tried to unionize Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., that he was highest earner among his colleagues, including guys who had been there for many more years than he had. That, he said, was because once or twice a year he went in to the boss and asked for a raise. And he was good at his job…he was a multi-award-winning investigative reporter.
The phenomenon I mention above, in which raises across the board are lowered to what employers imagine women are worth, is called “the pinking of the newsroom” in our parts. When The Arizona Republic started hiring women, salaries across the board dropped. They paid women less, and they used that as an excuse to pay men less. Overall, pay dropped drastically.
One could argue that’s just a function of de-unionization, off-shoring of jobs, and repression of the US middle class, all of which indeed are real phenomena. But IMHO it’s not a coincidence that dropping pay across the board occurred at about the time women gained access to jobs that used to pay a living wage. Pay for a workforce doesn’t come up. It goes down whenever possible. When women are paid less, eventually men are paid less, too.