Utne Blogs > Politics

Is Your College Degree Too Girlie?

by Danielle Magnuson

 


Tags: Georgetown University, equal pay for equal work, fair pay, wage gap, sex discrimination, education, college, social justice, feminism, transparent business model, politics, Care2, Danielle Magnuson,

GraduatesMy master’s degree is worth less than my husband’s bachelor’s degree, according to a survey report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Of course, I don’t need the survey to tell me, since I know it from our paychecks, wherein I earn 79 cents for every dollar he earns. Hey, I must be doing something right: That’s one generous penny more than the national average.

Yes, the most recent census reveals that women workers are still paid a scant 78 cents on the dollar earned by men. If I wanted to make as much money as my husband, the Georgetown report says, I would need to earn a PhD. “All told,” writes Kristina Chew on Care2, “over their lifetimes, women with the same educational achievements as men earn about a quarter less than their male counterparts.”

Naysayers argue that these statistics are skewed by women with advanced degrees who exit the workforce for years to be stay-at-home moms. But the survey accounts for the time-off disparity, and the report makes clear that its numbers are actually a conservative estimate of the gender wage gap, concluding, “The findings are stark: Women earn less at all degree levels, even when they work as much as men.”

Solutions, anyone? Mine is to move salaries out of the realm of used car haggling and into that of a modern and healthy transparent business model, wherein each employee’s wages are listed in the employee handbook for all to see and shared with new hires during the interview process. Just one dreamy step toward equal pay for equal work.

Source: Care2 

Image by j.o.h.n. walker, licensed under Creative Commons.

nico sermoneta
12/3/2012 9:56:17 PM

I work as an officer on Cargo ships. There are far too few women in my field. However, I do know quite a few of them, and they earn exactly what their male counterparts earn. Our wages are largely determined through collective bargaining. It's a boy's club, and they face challenges and discrimination, that men never face, but I still wonder what two degrees you are siting in this article. My wife has 3 masters degrees in literature. I have a BS in environmental science, but I earned an unlimited tonnage shipping license with my bachelor's degree. When she is successful as an educator she can change people's lives, but if she messes up, they just fall asleep instead. If I'm successful nobody notices, but if I mess up, Exon Valdez. I suspect that earning gap has more to do with the fields we push young women into, than anything else.


jerry van zuuk
8/29/2011 9:38:01 AM

Dreamy is right. In the job market, it's not just how many years you went to school that matters, but also what field your degree is in. Also, if women want to earn what men earn, they will need to be willing to do the same dangerous, dirty, demanding and unpleasant jobs that many men are willing to do.