Coffee heat rising

Gender Pay Gaps: A$k and ye shall re¢eive?

Goood morning! Comes a particularly stupid  article from the Chicago Daily Heraldjobs 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.

5 thoughts on “Gender Pay Gaps: A$k and ye shall re¢eive?”

  1. Perhaps a bit off topic….but it seems IMHO that wages in general have went the other way. I was just at “the store for big boys”….Home Depot…. and was talking to one of my favorite go to gals employed there. It seems in another life a few years back she had a good job that was outsourced to Mexico…China…Viet Nam…and has since, because she is in her 50’s, had trouble finding gainful employment. She started at Home Depot with the promise of advancement and a decent starting wage. Well 5 years later and she makes 25 cents more than she was hired at and her hours have been cut because the new hires come in at minimum wage. The TRULY sad thing is she makes less per hour today than she did in 1982…almost 35 years ago…..

    • Thirty-five years ago, would you have seen a woman selling wrenches at Home Depot? Have we seen the pinking of HD, too?

      Now I personally love to find a woman sales rep there — they actually seem to understand what I’m talking about, and they recognize that some things are physically beyond my abilities. But I also recognize that corporations will pay women less, and when they do, in the interest of fairness (heh!), they drop wages across the board.

      Seriously, though: what you’re saying about the ageism: 100% true. About the off-shoring: 100% true. About the retro-raises (that’s where you get a raise but end up earning less than you did before…), 100% true. About people making the same or less today than we earned 30 or 35 years ago, 100% true.

      It’s no wonder people are so furious they’re willing to vote a blustering clown into the White House.

      • ….which….IMHO a lot of Trump’s support comes from….He brings these issues to light and it touches a nerve…..He has no REAL answers….but he does acknowledge the problem. I think it’s a lot of things….a bit of greed….expectations….and folks shopping price. Hmmmm…..if you can believe the auto manufacturers they say (NAFTA) that building/assembling is actually “saving the industry”….ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I just priced pick ups they’re $40K ….what if they are 100% US they’d be $80K? My thought… corporate greed is the issue….

      • Augh, yes! Could you BELIEVE the price of a pick-up? I almost fainted when I saw what a RAM 1500 costs. A Ford…are you kidding???

        Now it has to be said, these days even an American car will run about ten times longer as cars used to run when they were marginally affordable. My van now has well over 135,000 miles on it…unthinkable, in the good old days of Detroit’s ascendancy.

        Let’s see…if a RAM cost 40 grand and ran as long as the Dog Chariot has run, it would cost what per year? $2,500 a year, not counting gasoline, registration, maintenance, and repairs.

        Wow! That’s more than the property taxes on my house, which are now about 1/10 (per year) of the house’s sale value.

  2. Oh, please don’t get me started on crappy pay! I work part-time at Tuesday Morning (started last September) and I was making slightly above minimum wage. Then Arkansas raised the minimum wage to $8 an hour. Good news for those who were making making minimum, but now I’m making minimum, too. Oh, and I’m also in my 50’s. I’m the oldest employee there and also, dare I say, the most dependable. ;o)
    I am attending a tech school to earn a Medical Office Technology certificate which I am hoping and praying will get me into medical billing. If not that, at least let it get me a job at a doctor’s office, hospital or insurance company. I’m too young to retire and I sure don’t want to begin drawing social security at 62. I wouldn’t be any better off than I am right now, unless a certain person who shall go unnamed leaves me a nice chunk of change.

Comments are closed.