a survey of public relations professionals, showing
that women with less than 5 years of experience make $29,726
while men with the same amount of experience make $48,162.
For P.R. professionals in the 5-10 year category, women
earn $41,141 while men earn $47,888. In the 10-15 year
category, women earn $44,941 and men earn $54,457. In
the 15-20 year range, women earn $49,270 and men earn
a salary survey of purchasers
demonstrating that for professionals in the field of
purchasing with 3 or fewer years experience, women earn
$35,900 and men earn $47,700. For purchasers with 4-6
years experience, men earn $52,100 while women earn
$38,300. Female purchasers who have 7 to ten years of
experience earn $42,300 while their male counterparts
earn $56,400. For those with 11-15 years experience,
women earn $43,500 and men earn $63,400.
a study of women in the telecommunications
industry documenting a gap even when education was the
same. For example, among video programmers, women with
advanced degrees earn 64.6% of their male counterparts,
and women with college degrees earn 80%.
of wage discrimination can be found in Department of
Labor audits. The DOL conducts routine compliance
reviews of companies that are federal contractors. Their
findings include violations by companies such as:
- Texaco, which agreed to pay
$3.1 million to 186 female employees who were found
to be systematically underpaid compared to their male
- Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield,
which paid $264,901 in back pay to 34 women managers
who were paid less than male managers of equal qualifications
- US Airways, which agreed to
pay $390,000 in back pay and salary adjustments to
30 women managers who were paid less than their male
- Corestates Financial Corp.,
which agreed to pay nearly $1.5 million in back wages
and salary adjustments to women and minorities. The
Labor Department found instances in which employees
with more seniority or better performance reviews
were paid less because they were women or minorities.
- Other recent settlements include
those by American University, American Greetings Corporation,
Aramark Corporation, Fairfax Hospital, Marriott Corporation,
Let's not ignore the women
who face real-life experiences with discrimination.
In a class action suit, more than 900 women recently
filed claims of bias against Merrill Lynch -- some of
them were told that they were paid less than men because
the men had families to support. Universities in California,
Idaho, and Georgia have all settled cases of bias. After
conducting an in-depth study, MIT recently admitted
discriminating against female professors and moved to
change their practices. Private companies such as Ingles
Grocery Stores and Home Depot have also settled cases.
In May, Kodak conducted an internal study of its pay
practices and voluntarily provided $13 million to women
and minorities after finding discrepancies based on
sex or race. In June, the EEOC sued PETCO Animal Supplies
in California on the basis that it paid female managers
in its East Bay stores substantially less than
their male counterparts.
Individual wage discrimination
cases are hard to prove and very costly to pursue, and
we need better enforcement and stronger laws. But in
the meantime, we cannot ignore documented cases of discrimination.
Some of the women who fight and win don't have children,
so taking time out of the workforce is not an issue.
recognize that wage discrimination exists, too.
According to a 1998 survey by the Washington Post, the
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University,
43% of men believe that a major reason why women do
not advance to top-level executive and professional
positions is because men don't want women to get ahead
in the workplace. This survey echoes previous polling
data on perceptions of inequalities.
the 74% figure really all about? The median earnings
of women working full-time, year-round are 74% of the
median earnings of men working full-time, year-round.
Part time workers do not affect this figure.
every woman, the wage gap is different. The wage
gap is affected by many factors, including a woman's
race, age, education, occupation, and geographic region.
African American women earn 63 cents on the dollar and
Hispanic women 54 cents compared to white males, who
face no discrimination.
about the rest of the women? An old figure quoted
by opponents of pay equity solutions says that a group
of women -- those between 27 and 33 who have never had
a child -- earn 98 cents on the dollar. Even if this
was true (which means women still earn less than men),
where does that leave working women who are younger
than 27 or older than 33? This single statistic has
been used repeatedly by opponents since 1994, although
they leave out scores of more current salary studies
and surveys that find unexplained gender wage gaps.
The bottom line: Women
know wage discrimination exists.
Working women see the outdated attitudes that still
exist today. Women are told by managers that men make
more because they have families to support. They are
asked about their "family-life" in interviews.
They are told by employers that women are not capable
of doing the "higher paying jobs" such as
management. They are ignored or retaliated against when
they pursue equal pay through normal company grievance
procedures. These are just a few of the many, many real-life
examples NCPE hears about.