Link from PBS - Working poor
Women make 69 to 80 percent of men's salaries
By: Angie Favot
Brigitte Bechtold is angry women get paid less then their male counterparts.
"It indicates that we live in a society that values women less than it does men," the sociology, anthropology and social work professor said. "It is largely the result of pay discrimination by gender on the part of employers."
Males are earning more than women in the workplace, according to a study recently released by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.
According to AAUW, women earn only 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn one year after college graduation. Ten years after graduation, women fall further behind, earning only 69 percent of what the men earn.
The study followed men and women who have obtained a college degree recently and uses longitudinal data from the U.S. Department of Education's Baccalaureate and Beyond databases.
Bechtold said the data is from men and women who graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1993-94 and 1999-2000 with follow-up questions in subsequent years.
Sociology, anthropology and social work associate professor Angela Haddad said she also is unhappy about the pay gap.
"It's pretty clear that discrimination is behind the pay gap," she said. "I think that employers need to be made more aware of some of the inequities they create when negotiating pay with their employees."
Bechtold said a legitimate portion of the pay gap is a result of women taking time off to raise children.
The pay gap affects the economy because on average, it provides working women with 25 percent less pay than working men, Bechtold said.
"Since women buy different types of things than men, producers take into account who is likely to buy their products and make available a different mix of goods in the economy than they otherwise would," she said. "Second, women have to work 100 hours for every 75 hours worked by men, on average, to be able to attain the same standard of living and have the same buying power as do men."
Haddad believes stricter laws calling for equality and pay are the best solution to this ongoing problem.
"I am optimistic over time that we will take more positive steps toward equality," she said. "It helps when people are made aware of this inequality."
Bechtold said pay discrimination is illegal and the obvious solution is for the government to strictly enforce the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act.
"Increased penalties for discrimination will help end this employer practice," she said.
On a local level, Bechtold said CMU should create a career counseling service that educates future employees on how to negotiate their wages.
"Education can play a role in teaching employers and potential employees that discrimination in pay is unacceptable," she said.
© Copyright 2008 Central Michigan Life
^ This is a link to a blog that I sometimes read for fun--it's called Fiesty Femmes and it operates on the same platform as GWSS 1001. Check it out if you feel like it! It has been inactive for awhile but I still think they're interesting perspectives.