Friday, November 02, 2007

Bit of Research on the Gender Wage Gap

Apropos of the Women's Leadership Institute which I'm taking part in tomorrow at Yale:

Also this summer
Linda C. Babcock, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University, looked at gender and salary in a novel way. She recruited volunteers to play Boggle and told them beforehand that they would receive $2 to $10 for their time. When it came time for payment, each participant was given $3 and asked if that was enough.

Men asked for more money at eight times the rate of women. In a second round of testing, where participants were told directly that the sum was negotiable, 50 percent of women asked for more money, but that still did not compare with 83 percent of men. It would follow, Professor Babcock concluded, that women are equally poor at negotiating their salaries and raises.

2 comments:

LaDonna said...

I finished grad school in August and will be starting my first professional position. I only have part time/intern experience so I didn't try to negotiate a higher salary. I did however ask about relocation reimbursement. My employer said they'd reimburse me for movers/mileage/1 night of hotel stay. The amount the are willing to reimburse for is so generous that I will be hiring professional movers. I will be working in academia, where salaries might be more based on experience.

Anonymous said...

Any discussion of a "salary gap" assumes the conclusion before beginning the discussion.

* What's your career choice and why
* What jobs are you applying for and why
* How willing are you to relocate - and why
* What other job offers have you received (not hoping to get.. what have you actually received) and what values are they relative to your current request

I challenge you to find one case where every variable other than gender is precisely equivalent. Because none exists, this discussion is purely intellectual hogwash.

People with skills in demand set their own salary because it always costs more to hire someone new than keep an experienced worker. If you don't like your job, switch. If you can't switch in your city, move to the city where you can find employment. I've moved over 5000 miles in the past 24 months to get where I am.. it is possible, but you have to be willing to succeed before you get to have a calm, comfortable life. If you don't want to work that hard.. that's YOUR choice, not someone else's fault.

Women outnumber men by 4:1 in my department. There's not a lack of high-paying jobs or opportunities for anybody.. there IS, however, a lack of people willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.