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Warren Farrell, Ph.D., is the author of numerous international best-sellers on men and women, including Why Men Are The Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power. Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and Father and Child Reunion has led to Dr. Farrell doing expert witness work that has encouraged many judges to keep dads in children’s lives. Dr. Farrell’s released Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap and What Women Can Do About It in 2005 and Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men? A debate in 2008.

Warren is the only man in the US ever elected three times to the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in New York City. He has been chosen by The Financial Times as one of the world’s top 100 thought leaders, is in Who’s Who in America and in Who’s Who in the World. He has taught in five disciplines, most recently at the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego, and is ranked by the International Biographic Centre of London as one of the world’s top 2000 scholars of the Twentieth Century. You can visit him at www.warrenfarrell.com or E-Mail.

Cross-Examining Warren Farrell on Why Men Earn More
Do Women Belong in Combat? Part I
Do Women Belong in Combat? Part II: Why Hazardous Jobs Can Be So Much Less Hazardous for Women
Do Women Earn More for the Same Work?
11 Top Tips on How Women Can Earn More
How I Began the Discovery that Men Earn Less than Women for the Same Work
Guns don't kill people...Our sons do
How the Assumptions of Discrimination against Women Backfire against Women
Introducing Men’s Issues and Why Men Earn More
Is Pay Equity Ready to Enter a New Era?
Three Judicial Biases About Moms, Dads and Children
Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap
Why Pay is about Giving Up Power to Get the Power of Pay

Guns don't kill people...Our sons do


We need to find ways to stop the childhood injuries that lead boys to murder.

Our daughters do not kill. Why the difference? For boys, the road to successful manhood has crumbled. It's time we go beyond fighting over guns to raising our sons.

After Newtown, Connecticut, parents cried out, "What's making our children kill?" But it is not our children who are killing. It is our sons. All but one of the 62 mass killings in the past 30 years was committed by boys or men.

We respond by blaming guns, our inattentiveness to mental health, violence in the media or video games, or family values. Yes, all are players, but our daughters are able to find the same guns in the same homes, are about as likely to be mentally ill, have the same family values and are exposed to the same violence in the media. Our daughters, however, do not kill. Why the difference?

Start with suicide. Each mass murder is also a suicide. Boys and girls at age 9 are almost equally likely to commit suicide; by age 14, boys are twice as likely; by 19, four times; by 24, more than five times. The more a boy absorbs the male role and male hormones, the more he commits suicide.

No manly model.

For boys, the road to successful manhood has crumbled. In many boys' journey from a fatherless family to an almost all-female staff elementary school such as Sandy Hook, there is no constructive male role model..

Adam Lanza is reported to have gone downhill when divorce separated him from his dad. Children of divorce without enough father contact are prone to have poor social skills; to struggle with the five D's (depression, drugs, drinking, discipline and delinquency); be suicidal; be less able to concentrate; and to be aggressive but not assertive. Perhaps most important, these boys are less empathetic.

And just while their bodies are telling them that girls are the most important things in the world, these boys are locked into failure. Boys with a "failure to launch" are invisible to most girls. With poor social skills, the boys feel anger at their fear of being rejected and self-loathing at their inability to compete. They "end" this fear of rejection by typing "free adult material" into Google and working through the quarter-billion options. Online "success" increases the pain of real world failure.

Fragile fantasy success.

So, too, with these boys' relationships with video games. While girls average a healthy five hours a week on video games, boys average 13. The problem? The brain chemistry of video games stimulates feel-good dopamine that builds motivation to win in a fantasy while starving the parts of the brain focused on real-world motivation. He'll win at Madden football, but participate in no sport.

It's time we go beyond fighting over guns to raising our sons. With one executive order, President Obama can create a White House Council on Men and Boys to work with the Council on Women and Girls he formed in 2009. Why? No one part of government or the private sector has a handle on the solution.

A coordinated strategy is best developed at the White House level. The mere formation of such a council by the president alerts foundations, companies, families, teachers and therapists that our sons' "failure to launch" needs to be on their agenda. And politically, an effort to go beyond the rote ideological disagreements of the two parties could help build the unity to actually do something instead of fight to a standstill in a closely divided country.

There are few things a culture does as important as raising children. We can't continue to fail half of them.

Source: Warren Farrell is author of Why Men Are the Way they Are. He is co-authoring a book with John Gray, titled Boys to Men.

Introducing Men’s Issues and Why Men Earn More


I have committed to doing a monthly column for Gordon Clay’s Menstuff out of respect for the years of dedication to true diversity and to a female-positive approach that Gordon Clay has brought to men’s and relationship issues. Gordon has reached out to the average man by traveling the nation’s highways and creating a world-wide web site that is perhaps the world’s best web site on men’s and relationship issues. He has kept his own life simple so he could enrich the lives of others.

With “Men’s Issues: Facts and Perspectives 2005” I will ultimately introduce a broad range of issues. But for the first few months I will introduce some of the issues of my last three years of research—on the pay gap. If you wish to put the pay gap in perspective and you are a single person who might wish to apply it to your choice of a life partner, check out Why Men Are the Way they Are. If you are intellectually inclined, the best perspective will come from The Myth of Male Power. If you are a divorced mom or dad, it will fit best with Father and Child Reunion.

For me to be inspired to write a book, it must meet three criteria. Each book must say something most people believe is not true—otherwise why write? Second, I don’t confront a myth unless I feel that believing in it is causing harm to both sexes. Third, I ask myself, “If I die without writing the book, would someone else be likely to write essentially the same thing in the foreseeable future?” If the answer is yes, I don’t write that book. The result is that each book is a combination of self-help and hard news.

Once those three criteria are met, I confront style. Usually even the leading perpetrators of the most egregious myths, when their best intent is understood, can be written about with compassion. So in my current book--Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap and What Women Can Do About It –it soon becomes apparent that the belief that today’s gender pay gap is about discrimination is false. While I care about why it is false, and how that knowledge can benefit both women and men, I also care about helping us understand how almost all of us came to believe that myth. I don’t care as much about who misled us as about our need to be misled—our need to believe in women as victims and men as perpetrators. (Whenever we have a need to be misled, the “misleader” will appear.) When we understand our own role in the process, we understand ourselves. The belief in men-as-demons kills both sexes: Since we’re all in the male-female boat together, whenever either sex wins, both sexes lose.

So for January I’ll start with a short excerpt of the thirty-three page Introduction to Why Men Earn More. In much of Why Men Earn More I present hard data that includes twenty-five major ways any woman or man can earn more, and what the trade-offs are (see www.warrenfarrell.com for a chapter-by-chapter overview). In this excerpt, I introduce some experiences with my wife that created some insight for the book...

A Personal Introduction: How the Journey Began…

My motivations for writing this book include the very personal. My wife and I are raising two teenage girls, Erin and Alex. They are technically her daughters and my step-daughters, but, as their challenges become ours, they’ve gotten into my blood and certainly into my heart. At ages 17 and 18, they are entering the world of work. It is my hope this book helps them balance the need for money with the need for fulfillment—to not just make a better living, but to create a better life.

My journey with Alex and Erin started some eleven years ago. My tennis partner, Greg, told me his business partner, Liz, had just completed a divorce. He didn’t want to play cupid, but...

Liz is now my wife. At the time, Liz was living in a small rental fixer-upper with Alex and Erin. She was juggling her child-raising with starting her own little public relations business from a desk in her home. Working until midnight was not unusual. While some of Liz’s women friends shopped ‘til they dropped, Liz juggled ‘til she plopped.

Over the course of the next four years, Liz’s dedication had gradually paid off. Her business was booming, she was winning clients away from major PR firms...she had become a success story. That was the upside. On the downside, her blood pressure was dangerously high, and more than once she fell asleep beginning a sentence about work and woke up ending the sentence.

Now, as we sat down to “enjoy” breakfast, her eyes were already commuting to work….

“What’s happening, honey?”

“Oh, sorry.... It’s Kristin. She’s been seeing how well I’ve been doing and wants more money.”

“You’ve already increased her salary a few times, haven’t you?”

“Yes. But her landlord has a buyer for the home she’s living in. She’s been given her 30-days’ notice, and equivalent rentals are about twice the price. She’s panicking.”

“It’s getting close to Christmas. Do you have another raise planned for her?”

“Yes. And, as you know, I’ve given her an incentive for each media placement, so she makes about twice what she used to make.”

“Is there any way for her to make more money than she does?”

“Yes. She could work more hours a week, but I had to persuade her to work more than 30 hours a week because she wants to have time for her son, time to exercise, do yoga, meditate, and, as she puts it, ‘keep her life in balance.’”

“Sounds like she’s making a healthy choice, but if you’re paying people to do yoga, let me know, I’ll quit my writing and work for you! Seriously, what’s her perspective on this?”

“Well, she feels her contributions are every bit as valuable as mine; that as a result of her keeping her life in balance, she brings the very best of herself to work; that she’s very bright, works hard, has good ideas, a positive attitude, and that, therefore, there shouldn’t be such a big gap between her pay and mine.”

“How do you feel about that?”

“Well, on the one hand, I think everything she says about herself is true. She’s very good, she’s gotten much better, she has good ideas, her confidence is building, and I’d sure hate to lose her. Besides, I don’t want her to have to live in a place she can’t stand. I know that she doesn’t have much money, that she doesn’t get child support, and that her parents don’t help her. I consider her a friend—I hate it when she hurts.”

“But something is still bugging you. When I looked up from the melon, your eyes had some hurt in them, almost like you didn’t feel you were being understood.”

“Yeah, that’s true. I guess I feel that I have basically the same qualities I had three years ago as a worker, but the reason I’m making more now is because I took the risk of working for myself without any security or benefits, without any guarantee of an income, or without any guarantee that my 50- to 60-hour weeks would have any payoff.”

“Also, you’re much more a prisoner of your work,” I added. “When there’s a deadline, you work the extra hours no matter what you feel like doing. And for the first few years we knew each other, you were generating business everywhere you went. A party, even a Thanksgiving dinner at friends’ was potential business. And even now, you rarely check out psychologically.”

“True. And you know how I hate traveling—especially going to Minneapolis in mid-week, having to rearrange everything with the kids, leave them, return jet-lag tired, and then deal with the results of their neglect – including my guilt.”

“What I hear you saying, then, is that you want Kristin to know that there’s something more to getting paid more than being a good worker who follows directions well, or even who executes creatively. Is your dilemma that you want to let her know the money you make comes because of sacrifices she’s not willing to make because she’s choosing to live a healthier, more-balanced life, yet you’re afraid to tell her that because you don’t want her to feel you don’t value her contribution?”

“Yes. And there’s one other thing. I want her to appreciate that one thing I do with my extra money is to create a security blanket for her—so that if we suddenly lose two of our clients and therefore most of our income, I can draw on savings and not have to let her go.”

“So you need a security blanket to give her a security blanket? And you want her to know there are no free security blankets?”

“Right,” Liz laughed.

“I hope you also want enough money so you can begin to cut back work, meditate, do yoga, and balance your life the way Kristin balances hers (hint, hint!).”

Shortly after this discussion with Liz, I was talking with some people after giving a workshop. A tall, silver-haired man hovered in the background. His patience was studied, as if calculating the costs and benefits of waiting. When the group dissipated, he stepped forward cautiously.

Do Women Belong in Combat? Part I


Four female Marines were just killed in Iraq (at the end of June, 2005). Immediately the headlines reflected the myriad of discussions as to whether women should be allowed in combat, and if so, with or without restrictions.

Rather than me give an immediate answer, let’s look at this issue from three perspectives: first, an unusual look at female career opportunities; second, its impact on men’s lives and careers; third, its impact on the military’s effectiveness. Then, I’ll conclude with some possible win-win solutions (creating opportunities for women without endangering men’s lives or limiting military effectiveness).

More than 400 Marines had been killed in the War in Iraq at the time that I completed the research for Why Men Earn More, in the Summer of 2004. One hundred percent were men. Despite many female Marines receiving combat pay, all of the deaths were deaths of our sons. Memorials were low key, and I had not noted one headline pointing out that 100% of the Marines who died were men. So before we translate this into a policy discussion, let’s look at the larger picture—how women can be so successful at getting hazard pay without the hazards—successful enough that it became the second of 25 ways to higher pay that I outlined in Why Men Earn More.

How do women get equal hazard pay with less than equal hazards—not just in the military, but in all hazardous professions?

It starts with an attitude toward the disposability of men vs. women. Every culture that has survived has done so by getting a cadre of people—called “men”—to compete to be disposable. This is so central to masculinity that when I wrote The Myth of Male Power, its subtitle was Why Men are the Disposable Sex. Every culture that has survived has trained its sons to call it “glory” to die—whether as gladiators or football players; whether as firefighters or soldiers.

Thus we have evolved what might be called a Catch-22 of hazardous occupations: The more hazardous the job, the more men; the more men, the less we care about making the job safer.

Hazardous Occupations
Fire fighting - 97% male
Truck drivers - 96% male
Construction - 98% male
Extractive occupations - 98% male

Safe Occupations
Secretary - 99% female
Receptionist - 98% female

The Catch-22 of hazardous occupations creates a “glass cellar” which few women wish to enter. Women are alienated not just out of the fear of being hurt on the job, but by an atmosphere that can make a hazardous job more hazardous than it needs to be.

Ninety-two percent of workplace deaths occur to men. The gender divide between hazardous and safe jobs gives us an important hint: understanding the gap is a key to understanding men and women, and therefore the underlying psychology behind why men earn more. We’ll see what it will ultimately take to get around this Catch-22 and, since that will be decades in coming, some more immediate secrets for women getting the benefits of hazard pay with virtually none of the hazards.

First, though, let’s take a hazardous occupations IQ test. Name three of the ten most hazardous jobs.

Okay. Now find them in the table above, the “Top Ten Most Hazardous Jobs.”

You probably guessed police, soldier, and firefighter. Although the most visible hazardous occupations, they are not among America’s ten most dangerous jobs. It’s more dangerous to be a “driver-sales worker.” Willy Loman finally gets his due.

With this overview under your belt, let’s return to the War in Iraq and how hazardous occupations give women equal pay with less than equal hazards.

How Hazardous Occupations Give Women Equal Pay with Unequal Hazards

Your daughter says, “Dad. Mom. I want to join the armed services.” You look at her beautiful face, her life flashes before your eyes, and you see a body bag.

Now’s the time to let her know the biggest military secret: She can join the military and be as safe-from-death as she would be at home. Here’s the way deaths in the military looked from a gender perspective as of July 2004.

War in Iraq
(March 2003 to July 2004)

Military Service

Female Deaths
Male Deaths
# Soldiers Deployed

Marines

0
195
26,000

Air Force

0
11
23,000

Navy

1
20
16,000

Army

23
656
73,000

Total

24
882
138,000

While females comprise approximately 15% of active-duty military personnel, and 10% of those deployed in Iraq only a bit more than 2.3% of the soldiers killed in hostile action in Iraq were female.

Since suicide bombings and ambushes that allowed for less protection of women-as-women were more common during the war in Iraq, the percentage of female noncombat deaths was higher, at 3.4%. Overall, women constitute 2.6% of the deaths, men 97.4%.

Why is this so? And how does this translate into military policy? Tune in next month...

Resources:

17 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, 2001) pp. 210-215, Table 39, "Median Weekly Earnings of Full-Time Wage and Salary workers by Detailed Occupational Sex."

18 US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in cooperation with State and Federal agencies, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2001. Table A-7. “Fatal Occupational injuries and employment by selected worker characteristics and event or exposures, All United States, 2001.”

19 Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2003, cited in Les Christie, “The Top Ten Most Dangerous Jobs in America, ” CNN/Money, October 13, 2003

20 Based on data from US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics ” National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries 2002” (press release, Sept. 17, 2003)

21 Department of Defense, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, as of July 24, 2004, from www.dior.whs.mil/mmid/casualty/castop.htm

22 Department of Defense, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, as of July 24, 2004, from www.dior.whs.mil/mmid/casualty/castop.htm

23 GlobalSecurity.org, as of May 15, 2004, from www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_orbat.htm

24 Defense Manpower Data Center, Sept. 30, 2003. Supplied by US Navy Captain Lory Manning, Director, “Women in the Military” Project at the Women's Research and Education Institute, (a policy think-tank in Washington, D.C.).

25 Department of Defense, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, as of July 24, 2004, from www.dior.whs.mil/mmid/casualty/castop.htm Women accounted for 13 of 556 hostile deaths.

26 Department of Defense, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, as of July 24, 2004, from www.dior.whs.mil/mmid/casualty/castop.htm Women accounted for 7 of 208 non-hostile deaths.

27 Department of Defense, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, as of July 24, 2004, from www.dior.whs.mil/mmid/casualty/castop.htm

Do Women Belong in Combat? Part II: Why Hazardous Jobs Can Be So Much Less Hazardous for Women


Item. Mohammed and Jessica. In the war in Iraq, an Iraqi attorney, Mohammed, witnessed P.O.W. Jessica Lynch being slapped and abused. He was upset enough that he walked six miles, found a U.S. Marine patrol, and, at the risk of his own life, alerted them to her whereabouts.

Mohammed represents Everyman. He represents the biological instinct in men to save a woman-in-jeopardy, even at the risk of his own life. However, the publicity for the woman-in-jeopardy reinforces our belief that women are more likely than men to be in jeopardy. For example, we all remember P.O.W. Jessica Lynch, and many recall the name Shoshana Johnson as the second female P.O.W., but few of us recall the name of even one male P.O.W.

This greater publicity for a woman-in-jeopardy hides this secret: Hazardous occupations are far less hazardous to women than to men. The discovery of this secret creates this opportunity for women: Women can get equal hazard pay for fewer-than-equal hazards; she can receive what I call a “death professions bonus” with not much more physical risk than in everyday life.

The dynamics that lead to this outcome are woven into every aspect of our biology, socialization and institutions—they are the unconscious motivations behind the 25 ways to higher pay and to why men earn more. “The rest,” as they say, “is details.”

The way this works can be quite touching. In male-dominated professions, traditional men tend to compete to be sure that women are cared for, mentored and protected. In return they ask for appreciation. And respect. For example, in South Africa, the laws eliminating apartheid also gave women the option of working in hazardous jobs such as mining. Many women—almost all single moms—have done so; some have tripled their pay. But in the same time period during which 300 male miners lost their lives underground, not a single woman lost hers. Why?

A male miner teaching a woman safety must teach her to sensitively “listen to the rocks”—to listen to their creaking and groaning as they adjust to the shifting weight of the mountain above, a symphony of stress and strain. (Or as the male miners might prefer, like a rock band.)

Similarly, pay is higher and hazards lower for women than men in some of the most treacherous occupations like working on a floating commercial cannery in Alaska. Lance Hough, an Alaskan canner I interviewed, put it this way: “The time pressure is enormous. You’re on an assembly line, having to process 10-20 tons of fish before the next boat comes in with tons more. Power tools like band saws that cut through 500 fish in an hour, or fish injectors with maybe 50 needles (that inject salt into fish fillets), get jammed, and the time pressure tempts the men to try to undo the jam without shutting down the machines. Instead of the fish getting sliced or stuck with needles, your arm gets sliced or your hand is crushed and stuck by the 50-needle fish injector.…“During salmon runs the pressure is even worse, ‘cause you’re only allowed 24 hours in certain areas to fish (for environmental reasons). Hands and arms get stuck and cut, and men get thrown into the icy waters and freeze to death. I’ve seen men who freak out and want “out “get dropped off on the closest piece of land, which could be a tiny island. Whether they find a way off or not I don’t know.”

“Are there any women doing this?” I asked.

“A few. Maybe one or two out of a hundred.”

“What’s it like for them.”

“I hate to say this, but if they’re at all attractive, they get to wash clothes or clean, and avoid that assembly line.”

“Do they get paid less?”

“No, they get paid more—it’s considered a higher ranking.”

Whether in a South African coal mine, an Alaskan fishing boat, or in the American military, men’s protector instinct toward women, and women’s protector instinct toward themselves (and children) keeps men more disposable than women. Here’s an example of the dynamic at work in the military.

At the military’s SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape) schools, concern about the well-being of women was so prevalent among male students that trainers now work to desensitize men to sexual assault and other abuse of women lest their sensitivity be used against them in war. We think of women in the military as being safer in part because they are still prohibited from the most dangerous assignments.

But this prohibition is just a reflection of the traditional male’s instinct to protect women. The “Protection Dilemma:” The Warrior vs. The Worrier Item. The Navy provides the pregnant woman with housing, health care and a benefit package that leads to twice the percentage of single mothers as in the civilian population.

The military currently faces a “protection dilemma”: Protect-the-country versus protect-the-soldier. Traditionally, protecting the country meant preparing the soldier to die for his or her country. Boot camp’s job was to train each soldier to be disposable—to be an unquestioning cog in the military machine. Why?

Questioning, and focusing on rights slow the machine down, compromising the country’s safety for their own. Traditionally, preparing to give one’s life for one’s country is preparing for disposability. Now that traditional mission has been altered.

The involvement of women—traditionally a group that men died to protect—has left the military with the dilemma of preparing warriors who may also be worriers–worrying about their own rights. The military has responded by worrying about the warrior. Currently, then, if a woman in the Navy becomes pregnant, as the Item above notes, the Navy provides her such an array of benefits--from housing to health care—that the Navy now attracts twice the percentage of single mothers as in the civilian population.

These benefits are now available for women without the same price men have traditionally been expected to pay. When a 1985 Navy study found that most women were not able to perform any of the eight most critical jobs required for people on ship, they redefined the jobs to be inclusive of women. For example, the job of carrying a stretcher, previously a two-man job, changed: It is now a four-person job. And the definition of “passing” changed: women at West Point are given 5:30 minutes to complete an obstacle course that the men must complete in 3:20 minutes.

If joining the military is not your thing, no problem. The same principal of the government incorporating women into the protector role and protecting the women who protect applies to police officers, fire fighters and rangers for the U.S. Park Services—all creating the same outcomes of equal pay for women, and often with fewer hazards.

The opportunities for women do not stop with working class hazardous professions. Among white collar professions under government jurisdiction, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), CIA, and FBI, the “protection dilemma” leads to the government providing women with equal pay for fewer hazards. For example, in the DEA, all but two of the 47 agents killed have been men.

In brief, all the portions of government that train and hire protectors face the “protection dilemma:” the process it takes to create a protector is a process of sacrifice, of willingness to be disposable, to be a servant. (The very word “hero” comes from the word “serow” from which we get our word servant. ) But personal empowerment also involves having the self-respect and self-esteem to care about one’s own life.

As the government incorporates the worrier’s demand for personal protection with the country’s need for the warrior’s protection, it becomes the perfect time for women to become involved.

What are the underlying reasons behind these differences—behind women’s strength as their facade of weakness, and men’s weakness as their façade of strength? Why do men unconsciously associate being abused with being loved?

And finally, next month Part III, some solutions...

Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap


When I was on the board of the National Organization for Women in New York City in the 1970s, I led protests against the male-female pay gap. I assumed the gap reflected both discrimination against women and the undervaluing of women.

Then one day I asked myself, If we can pay women less for the same work, why would anyone hire a man? And if they did, wasnt there a punishment called going out of business? In other words, did market forces contain a built-in punishment against discrimination?

Perhaps, I thought, male bosses undervalue women. But I discovered women without bosses--who own their own businesses-- earn only 49 percent as much as male business owners. Why?

When the Rochester Institute of Technology surveyed business owners with MBAs, they discovered money was the primary motivator for only 29 percent of the women, versus 76 percent of the men. Women prioritized autonomy, flexibility (25 to 35-hour weeks and proximity to home), fulfillment, and safety.

These contrasting goals were reflected in contrasting behavior: male business owners working 29 percent more; being in business 51 percent longer; having more employees; and commuting 47 percent farther.

To make a fair legal assessment of the value of these differences requires more than saying, for example, that people who work 33 percent more hours should earn that much more pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that people who work 33 percent more hours get about double the pay. For example, people who work 44 hours per week make more than twice the pay of those working 34 hours. (Not at the same job, but, for example, at a job like a national sales representative, that would not even be available to someone who could only work 34 hours per week.)

After a decade of research, I discovered 25 differences in men and womens work-life choices. All of them lead to men earning more money; and all lead to women having lives more balanced between work and home. (Since real power is about having a better life, well, once again, the women have outsmarted us!)

High pay, as it turns out, is about trade-offs. Mens trade-offs include working more hours (women work more at home); taking more-dangerous, dirtier and outdoor jobs (garbage collecting; construction; trucking); relocating and traveling; training for more technical jobs with less people contact (engineering); taking late night shifts; working for more years; and being absent less frequently.

These are just 10 of the 25 variables that must be controlled to accurately assess the pay gap. And they dont include three of the most important variables: ones specialty, sub-specialty and productivity.

Is the pay gap, then, about men and womens choices? Not quite. Its about parents choices.

Women who have never been married and are without children earn 117 percent of their male counterparts. (The comparison controls for education, hours worked and age.) Why? The decisions of never-married women without children are more like mens (e.g., they work longer hours and dont leave their careers), and never-married mens are more like womens (careers in arts, etc.). The result? The women out-earn the men.

The crucial variable in the pay gap is family decisions. And the most important family variable is the division of labor once children are born: children lead to dad intensifying his work commitments and mom intensifying her family commitments.

The pay gap, then, is not the problem. It is a reflection largely of family decisions that we may or may not wish to change. The law can still attend to discrimination, but not by starting with the assumption the pay gap means discrimination.

Does the change in division of labor once children arrive imply mothers sacrifice careers? Not quite. Polls of people in their twenties find both genders would prefer sacrificing pay for more family time. In fact, men in their twenties are more willing to sacrifice pay for family than women (70% of men; 63% of women). The next generations discussion may not be who sacrifices career? but who sacrifices being the primary parent? The real discrimination may be discrimination against dads option to raise children.

Don't women, though, earn less than men in the same job? Yes and no. For example, with doctors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps physicians and surgeons together. The male doctor is more likely to be the surgeon, work in private practice, for hours that are longer and less predictable, and for more years. When these variables are accounted for, the pay is precisely the same. What appears to be the same job (doctor) is not the same job.

Are these womens choices? When I taught at the school of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, I saw my female students eyeing specialties with fewer and more predictable hours (dermatology, psychiatry). Conversely, they avoided specialties with lots of contact with blood and death, such as surgery.

But dont female executives also make less than male executives? Yes. Discrimination? Lets look. Comparing men and women who are corporate vice presidents camouflages the facts that men more frequently assume financial, sales and other bottom-line responsibilities (vs. human resources or PR); they are vice presidents of national and international (vs. local or regional) firms; with more personnel and revenues; they are more likely executive or senior vice-presidents. They have more experience, relocate more, travel overseas more, and are considerably older when they become executives.

Comparing men and women with the same jobs is still often to compare apples and oranges. However, when all 25 choices are the same, the great news for women is that then they make more than men.

Is there, nevertheless, discrimination against women? Yes. For example, the old boys network. But in some fields, men are virtually excluded try getting hired as a male dental hygienist, nursery school teacher, cocktail waiter, or selling even mens clothing at Wal-Mart.

The social problem with focusing our legal binoculars only on discrimination against women is that the publicity those lawsuits generate leads us to miss opportunities for women. For example, we miss 80 fields in which women can work, for the most part, fewer hours and fewer years, and still earn more than men. Fields such as financial analyst, speech-language pathologist, radiation therapist, library worker, biological technician, funeral service worker, motion picture projectionist.

Thus women focused on discrimination dont know which female engineers make 143 percent of their male counterparts; or why female statisticians earn 135 percent.

Nor did my daughters know that pharmacists now earn almost as much as doctors. As I took my binoculars off of discrimination against my daughters, I discovered opportunities for them.

The biological instinct of most judges and attorneys, like all humans, is to protect women. When there was no societal permission for divorce, husbands supplied womens income for a lifetime so women had the protection of an income-producer who could not fire her. When divorces became more common, the government became a substitute husband.

The instinct to protect women trumped rational analysis of whether unequal pay was caused by discrimination or by the differences in men and womens work-life choices. It prevented us from even thinking of radical questions such as Do women who have never been married earn more than married women because they have less privilege (fewer options) than married women? And if so, is mens tendency to earn more than women because they have less privilege (fewer options) than women? Is the pay gap not about male power, but about male obligation and female privilege?

The result? Employers today often feel in a precarious relationship with their female employees. Will the woman submitting her employment file today be filing a lawsuit tomorrow?

My goal is to give women ways of earning more rather than suing more, thus erasing the fear of companies to pursue women so as not to be sued by women; to give companies ways of teaching women how to earn more; and give the government ways of separating real discrimination from its appearance. This is the world I want for my daughters.

Is Pay Equity Ready to Enter a New Era?


The highlight (professionally) of September, was having an op ed column published in The New York Times. The way I titled it for submission is the way it is titled here.

This New York Times op ed on men’s issues is a breakthrough. It is the only op ed on men’s issues that I am aware of since Bernie Goldberg published one prior to his publication of Bias. And he, of course, was with CBS’ 48 Hours at the time, and was therefore a media insider. I outline how thoroughly the New York Times has historically censored men’s issues in Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, in the chapter on the lace curtain. When I was on the Board of NOW, they printed every op ed I submitted (three); until this one, since I have been articulating men’s perspectives, they had refused all twenty-seven subsequent submissions.

I say “men’s issues” because the women’s movement’s foundation was built on the belief that men made a dollar for each 59 cents made by women, and that this was the primary example of how men made the rules to benefit men at the expense of women. This justified affirmative action, women’s studies, and the underlying belief that men used their power against women, not for women. Once this foundation was laid, domestic violence as a men’s thing seemed like just more of the same.

Gender pay discrimination is so ingrained, that it takes a whole book (Why Men Earn More) to respond to the many beliefs that have been corollaries to this seminal one.

So here’s to a New York Times that first featured an interview with me about Why Men Earn More in the Spring, and now features this op ed. Circulate this to your friends and colleagues. Then let me hear your feedback, and let me know if you read this monthly column. Thus far I have heard nothing from anyone who has read any of my Menstuff columns, so this will be the final one if that does not change.

Exploiting the Gender Gap

Nothing disturbs working women more than the statistics often mentioned on Labor Day showing that they are paid only 76 cents to men's dollar for the same work. If that were the whole story, it should disturb all of us; like many men, I have two daughters and a wife in the work force.

When I was on the board of the National Organization for Women in New York City, I blamed discrimination for that gap. Then I asked myself, "If an employer has to pay a man one dollar for the same work a woman would do for 76 cents, why would anyone hire a man?"

Perhaps, I thought, male bosses undervalue women. But I discovered that in 2000, women without bosses - who own their own businesses - earned only 49 percent of male business owners. Why? When the Rochester Institute of Technology surveyed business owners with M.B.A.'s from one top business school, they found that money was the primary motivator for only 29 percent of the women, versus 76 percent of the men. Women put a premium on autonomy, flexibility (25- to 35-hour weeks and proximity to home), fulfillment and safety.

After years of research, I discovered 25 differences in the work-life choices of men and women. All 25 lead to men earning more money, but to women having better lives.

High pay, as it turns out, is about tradeoffs. Men's tradeoffs include working more hours (women work more around the home); taking more dangerous, dirtier and outdoor jobs (garbage collecting, construction, trucking); relocating and traveling; and training for technical jobs with less people contact (like engineering).

Is the pay gap, then, about the different choices of men and women? Not quite. It's about parents' choices. Women who have never been married and are childless earn 117 percent of their childless male counterparts. (This comparison controls for education, hours worked and age.) Their decisions are more like married men's, and never-married men's decisions are more like women's in general (careers in arts, no weekend work, etc.)

Does this imply that mothers sacrifice careers? Not really. Surveys of men and women in their 20's find that both sexes (70 percent of men, and 63 percent of women) would sacrifice pay for more family time. The next generation's discussion will be about who gets to be the primary parent.

Don't women, though, earn less than men in the same job? Yes and no. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps together all medical doctors. Men are more likely to be surgeons (versus general practitioners) and work in private practice for hours that are longer and less predictable, and for more years. In brief, the same job is not the same. Are these women's choices? When I taught at a medical school, I saw that even my first-year female students eyed specialties with fewer and more predictable hours.

But don't female executives also make less than male executives? Yes. Discrimination? Let's look. The men are more frequently executives of national and international firms with more personnel and revenues, and responsible for bottom-line sales, marketing and finances, not human resources or public relations. They have more experience, relocate and travel overseas more, and so on.

Comparing men and women with the "same jobs," then, is to compare apples and oranges. However, when all 25 choices are the same, the great news for women is that then the women make more than the men. Is there discrimination against women? Yes, like the old boys' network. And sometimes discrimination against women becomes discrimination against men: in hazardous fields, women suffer fewer hazards. For example, more than 500 marines have died in the war in Iraq. All but two were men. In other fields, men are virtually excluded - try getting hired as a male dental hygienist, nursery school teacher, cocktail waiter.

There are 80 jobs in which women earn more than men - positions like financial analyst, speech-language pathologist, radiation therapist, library worker, biological technician, motion picture projectionist. Female sales engineers make 143 percent of their male counterparts; female statisticians earn 135 percent.

I want my daughters to know that people who work 44 hours a week make, on average, more than twice the pay of someone working 34 hours a week. And that pharmacists now earn almost as much as doctors. But only by abandoning our focus on discrimination against women can we discover these opportunities for women.

Cross-Examining Warren Farrell on Why Men Earn More


Every author completing a book tour feels a bit like the proverbial elephant might feel if it could hear the blind men describing it after their quick hands-on: “oh, it’s a snake;” “no, it’s a tree trunk...” Like the elephant, we’re the whole thing. We’re astonished to hear how others “read” us. Few interviewers read enough to even know the questions to ask. As for us authors, our answers at the end of the tour are often far better than they were at the beginning.

Well, my book tour is over, and while my own summary of my research for Why Men Earn More will be in Op Ed form in the New York Times for Labor Day, I thought it would be fun to create my ideal questions and the answers I wish I had given even at the tour’s beginning... You have my permission to use this in whole or in part for publications with which you have a connection.

Q: You say men earn more, but not for the same work—for different work. What is this “different work” that allegedly leads to women’s lower pay?

Farrell: Men and women make 25 different work-life choices. Each leads to men earning more money; and each leads to women having better lives.

Q: Women’s lead to better lives? What do you make of that?

Farrell: Once again, the women have outsmarted us! It’s great for my two daughters; and great for creating flexibility in who works and who cares for the children. But it means men need also to learn from women.

Q: Are you saying the road to high pay is a toll road?

Farrell: Yes, essentially, it is a road with at least 25 different tolls. The trick is discovering which tolls are worth it. For example, a traveling nurse gets paid about twice what a stationary nurse gets paid. For a single person, traveling may be a plus; for a parent, a negative.

Q: Why does it nevertheless still appear men earn more than women for the same work?

Farrell: Because in most fields men still do earn more for the same job title. For example, technically, male doctors earn more than female doctors. But male and female doctors behave very differently. The man is more likely to be the surgeon (vs. GP or psychiatrist), work in private practice (vs. HMOs), work hours that are longer and less predictable, for more years. It is only when everything is equal that the women earn the same or more. I used to teach at the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Diego. I saw my female students even in their first year expressing preference for shorter, more predictable hours, and a desire to avoid surgery.

Q: Wait. Aren’t male executives paid more than female executives?

Farrell: Comparing the earnings of male executives to female executives is also comparing apples and oranges. Women are 15 times more likely to become female executives prior to the age of 40. So the female executive has fewer years of experience. More important, the men are more frequently executives of larger national and international firms—firms with more personnel and revenues; the men are more likely responsible for bottom-line sales, marketing and finances, not human resources or pr. It’s apples and oranges.

Q: So if men and women make twenty-five decisions that lead to the pay gap, are these different decisions innate? And if they’re not innate, what are they about, and what’s the evidence?

Farrell: They are not innate. They are about the division of labor that occurs when a couple has children. Thus, women who have never been married and are without children earn 117% of their male counterparts.

Q: Seriously? Is that because never-married women are winners and never-married men are, well, losers? That is, the women are better educated, work longer, and have more experience?

Farrell: No. The 117% figure is for men and women with equal education, equal hours worked and the same years of work experience.

Q: Then how is it that women who have never been married and never had children earn more? Why the reversal?

Farrell: Men without family responsibilities make career decisions similar to women’s: they prioritize jobs in the arts and social sciences that pay less, etc.; conversely, these women’s decisions are more like men’s: jobs in math, science, engineering, sales; a willingness to travel more, etc. When the sexes’ work-life decisions are comparable, the women earn more.

Q: Is the gender pay gap, then, really about the gender gap in the division of labor among married couples?

Farrell: It is mostly about the division of labor when couples become parents. That is, dads love their family by increasing their commitment to the workplace, even when most would prefer time with their family. Moms love the family by dividing their commitments between work and children. If the pay gap were about discrimination against women, never-married women without children would not earn more than their male counterparts.

Q: Is there discrimination against women?

Farrell: Yes. Men are still the top executives, and men criticize each other and have sexual humor that gets repressed when women are around—which makes them uncomfortable. I have a whole chapter in Why Men Earn More on discrimination against women. But there is also a much less visible discrimination against men.

Q: Discrimination against men? Some examples?

Farrell: It is difficult to almost impossible for a man to get a job as a dental hygienist, nursery school or first grade teacher, cocktail waiter, restaurant host at Denny’s, a housekeeper in any hotel, selling women’s or men’s apparel at Wal-Mart or Costco. And of course, male models make only about 20% of female models.

Q: Is there other evidence that points to family decisions being primary and discrimination against each sex being about equal?

Farrell: Lots. Women who own their own businesses earn only 49% of male business owners. That is, women make 80% of what men make when their bosses are usually men, but 49% when their bosses are themselves.

Q: Why?

Farrell: Different goals. When the Rochester Institute of Technology surveyed business owners, they discovered money was the primary goal of only 29% of the women, vs. 76% of the men. Women wanted flexibility with family opportunities, freedom, control, no commute. Women have always run their own small business with no one to fire them—it was called the family.

Q: When we stop focusing our binoculars on discrimination do we discover opportunities for women?

Farrell: Myriad. For example, there are now 80 fields in which women earn more than men—fields such as financial analyst, speech-language pathologist, radiation therapist, library worker, biological technician, funeral service worker, motion picture projectionist.... Female engineers (who sell their company’s product) make 143% of their male counterparts; female statisticians, 135%. Go figure.

Q: So you’re saying a woman with binoculars focusing on discrimination misses opportunities--like knowing these 80 fields, or the 25 ways to higher pay? You said there is a myriad of opportunities the preoccupation with discrimination makes women miss. What are three others you discovered doing the research for Why Men Earn More?

Farrell: OK, here are three of them...

1. For women with fewer skills and less education, join the Marines or Air Force. Only two women in the War in Iraq have been killed in the Marines and Air Force combined, and both Services offer opportunities that translate well to civilian life, such as training in administrative work, weather, computer fields and health services. These fields, then, provide the dual benefit of safety and job training. Neither can be said of fighting on the front lines.

2. Pharmacists now earn almost as much as doctors, plus they have far more control over their lives, and do not experience the emotional taxation of being intimately involved with patients as they die.

3. People who work 44 hours per week make twice what people earn who work 34 hours per week. The extra hours, if well used, lead to disproportionately fast promotions, and job opportunities that would not otherwise be available.

Q: So this Labor Day is a cause for celebration.

Farrell: Yes. Especially for our daughters.

Q: Where can we find out more?

Farrell: See www.WarrenFarrell.com.

Q: A web site with a name you couldn’t forget, eh?

Why Pay is about Giving Up Power to Get the Power of Pay


As I am being interviewed by John Stossel for a feature on Why Men Earn More for 20/20 (it aired May 27th, and will soon be on www.warrenfarrell.com) I mention that “pay is about giving up power to get the power of pay.” John thinks. “I think I get it, but it’s one of those few sound bites that needs an explanation.” Of course he’s right, so let me deepen the explanation I alluded to in May’s column...Power and Pay: The Pay Paradox

I define power as “control over one’s life.” If we become a doctor to get the approval of our parents, we don’t have power, we have a problem: dependency on approval. Private power that does not include public power is meaningful; public power that does not include private power is meaningless. Let’s apply this to earning power...

We often hear that men earn more money and therefore have more power. No. Pay is not about power. Pay is about giving up power to get the power of pay. Sometimes it is about giving up what we’d love to do to gain the power to send our daughter to a better doctor.

Here’s the pay paradox that Why Men Earn More explains: Men earn more money, therefore men have more power; and men earn more money, therefore men have less power (earning more money as an obligation, not an option). The opposite is true for women: Women earn less money, therefore women have less power; and women earn less money, therefore women have more power (the option to raise children, or to not take a hazardous job). Obviously, these are only general patterns—the same general patterns that produce the gap in pay.

This paradox is woven into each of the 25 ways to increase pay. That is, each way can either increase or decrease power. If we become successful at work and a failure at home, we have both increased and decreased our power. We’re in Who’s Who In The World and Who’s Nobody At Home.

Low pay makes us feel powerless unless we are conscious of the decisions we make to accept low pay as a trade-off for the slice of life we receive in return. Then we feel powerful and happy, rather than angry because we feel like victims of discrimination.

If earning money feels like power, then each of the 25 ways to high pay will feel empowering—they’re all ways to earn more money. But if having control over your life feels like power, then picking and choosing the nuggets that can be tailored to this stage of your life and your personality will be empowering.

How to Do What You Love and Still be in Demand

In Why Men Earn More we discover the economic price women pay when they seek the careers that are more fulfilling, flexible, and safe.

Here’s the rub. Careers that are fulfilling, flexible, and safe usually pay less. The pay can be lower because more people compete to be fulfilled, causing the supply to exceed the demand for the most-fulfilling jobs. Thus a librarian with a master’s degree may be upset if she is paid little more than a garbage collector who dropped out of high school. But a person wishing to be a librarian finds herself competing with more people, since more people enjoy reading books than smelling garbage. Similarly, an art historian with a Ph.D. earns less on the unemployment line than a coal miner in the mine, because more people prefer discussing art than contracting black lung disease. The librarian and art historian work in safe environments; the garbage collector and coal miner do not. Since fewer people have a death wish, we pay people more to do work they aren’t dying to do: I call this “the death professions bonus.”

How can we do what we love and still be in demand? The first principle involves checking out whether someone else’s idea of bad news is your idea of good news.

For most people, the bad news is that the highway to high pay is often a toll road. The good news is that what is a toll to one person may be nirvana to another. I would personally hate to work as a cook in a hot kitchen; for Erin, my stepdaughter, that’s nirvana. Similarly, most people would prefer to work indoors rather than being in what I call an “exposure profession" exposed to the wind, rain, sleet, and snow.

However, many park rangers choose their jobs exactly because they will be outdoors.

So one use of Why Men Earn More is to select opportunities that suit you and create higher pay because they don’t appeal to others.

A second, more fascinating principle (in my opinion) is seeking what you love to do in a field that represents what you hate to do. Let’s say you’d love to be a therapist, but in your town they’re a dime a dozen. You’ll be able to discover where therapists are most needed by looking at professions whose training is the opposite of that of a therapist— for example, the military.

You check out the military because you know that to prepare people to die, the military cannot afford to attract large numbers of people who will be in touch with their feelings and sensitivities. The motto of military training is, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” not “When the going gets tough, the tough call a therapist.” So the military cannot easily draw people from within its ranks to become therapists.

Exactly for this reason, there’s a vacuum in the military to fulfill the needs a therapist fulfills. Military men and women have families, and families need feelings. Stuffing feelings leads to volcanoes of anger, lost tempers and domestic violence. Thus the need for a therapist. The lost tempers and domestic violence may lead to divorces, leading to mother-dominated families, leading to sensitive sons who feel rejected by a military dad who sees his son’s sensitivity as failure. Thus the need for a therapist.

Once this principle—seeking what you love to do in a field that represents what you hate—is understood, it can be used by virtually any personality and tailored to your stage of life. Thus, if you’ve been a soldier rather than a therapist, but are tired, wounded, or no longer wish to risk your life, look to the places where you despise what is going on. For example, you may be repulsed by the school system, or by families where you feel the parents have put their needs first and gotten divorced. You are saddened by underachieving children brought up without good discipline, boundaries, or values.

Your military background, then, gives you an understanding of the need for boundary-enforcement, discipline, and the value of pushing a child to do what she or he didn’t think could be done and was too lazy to try. You hate the words “self-esteem,” even as you sense that a child who is encouraged in this way ultimately feels a lot better about her- or himself.

By using the principle of seeking what you love to do in a field that represents what you hate, you’ll discover how much you are needed, for example, to run a school system or to teach in a boarding school—often with children who have discipline problems. These children, often from parents unable to enforce boundaries with consequences, are in need of leaders who learned to always have a consequence for any violated boundary.

Well this June column is running long; almost forgot my boundaries...

Do Women Earn More for the Same Work?


(I commented last month that if I did not receive emails from readers sent to warren@warrrenfarrell.com, I would not continue the column. I got a few emails, so that saved it for November. I look forward to your response.)

We saw in the Introduction that never-married men who never had children earn only 85% of their female counterparts—even when both groups worked full-time, were college-educated and in the same age group.[i] This helps us see that men who don’t have to support families don’t make the trade-offs it takes to get higher pay; and that family decisions may determine pay far more than workplace discrimination.

I discussed how a nationwide study found male and female professional, administrative, technical and clerical workers made the same pay when their titles were the same, and their responsibilities were both the same and of equal size.[ii] Had this study also taken into account factors like the number of hours worked, years in the field, absences from the workplace or willingness to move, all of which tend to lead to men earning more pay, it is probable the study would have revealed that had the women worked equal hours, etc., they would have earned more than the men. And this was two decades ago.

As we looked at individual fields, the same pattern holds. Among engineers, when women and men started at the same time, worked in the same work settings, with equal professional experience, training, family status and absences, the female engineers received the same pay.[iii] Among physicians, when men and women worked the same hours, and factors like the specialty and practice settings were the same, there was no difference in pay. [iv]

Thirty-nine large fields have more than a 5% pay advantage for women—with female sales engineers earning 143% of their male counterparts. [v] This is only the larger fields. In somewhat smaller fields, such as modeling, we will see that top female models earn about five times more than their male “equivalent.”[vi] Modeling is only a fraction of what we will explore in the next chapter on the genetic celebrity pay gap.

Since pay equity can hardly be mentioned without hearing “glass ceiling,” or hearing that a woman has to work twice as hard to get half as far, let’s recall how prior to the age of forty, women are 15 times more likely than their male counterparts to become top executives at major corporations.[vii] We saw that 21% of top female executives at major companies are under forty; while only 1.4% of the male executives are under forty.[viii] We asked whether the women reach executive levels sooner because these women work twice as hard. We found that wasn’t the case—that, in fact, the male executives work more hours, do more travel, do more moving, earn more MBAs, have more job continuity, and make more of almost all of the sacrifices discussed in this book.[ix]

Nevertheless, facts can be different from feelings. How do women executives feel about their progress?

Women-First Club Merges with Women-Quality-of-Life Club

When female executives were surveyed nationwide to see if their career or their husband’s had progressed better (Table 16), the female executives were more than seven times as likely to feel their own careers had progressed better than their husband’s. The female executives were also almost six times as likely to feel their careers progressed faster than their husband’s; four-and-a-half times as likely to feel their careers had been financially more rewarding than their husband’s; and almost twice as likely to feel their careers had also been more rewarding in other ways:

Table 16
Responses of Female Executives as to Whose Career Has..
.[x]

.

Yours
Husband's

Progressed better?

65%
9%

Progressed faster?

67%
12%

Been financially more rewarding?

70%
15%

Been more rewarding in other ways?

43%
22%

These findings are quite astonishing since the husbands of executive women are no slouches (executive women tend to “marry up” or not marry at all [xi]). The survey results are indicators of the efforts of companies to make women’s careers better than men’s, promote women faster than men, make women’s careers psychologically more rewarding than men’s, and even financially more rewarding than men’s.

Sources:

[i] Based on raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 Panel, Wave 2. The data is median earnings. Latest available data as of 2004.

[ii]Mark Sieling, Monthly Labor Review, June, 1984, p. 32. His source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1981 Survey of Professional, Administrative, Technical, and Clerical Pay (PATC survey). The Monthly Labor Review is a publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The USBLS did not record the gender of the workers, but Mark Sieling derived it from the raw data from those companies which did include the gender. The USBLS has updated this survey, calling it the Occupational Compensation Survey (OCS), but no one has repeated Mark Sieling’s efforts.

[iii] Laurie A Morgan, “Glass-Ceiling Effect or Cohort Effect? A Longitudinal Study of the Gender Earnings gap for Engineers, 1982 to 1989” in American Sociological Review, Vol. 63, August 1998. pp. 479-493.

[iv] Lawrence C. Baker, Ph.D. “Differences in Earnings Between Male and Female Physicians”, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 334 No. 15 (April 11, 1996), pp. 960-964. Table 1, p. 961. Dr. Baker is at the Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University Medical School.

[v] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-26, “Usual Weekly Earnings of Employed Full-Time Wage and Salary Workers by Detailed Occupation and Sex, Annual Averages 2003” (unpublished table). To be eligible for this table, the occupations listed had to have at least 3,000 male plus 3,000 female workers, increasing the probability that these wages’ averages are statistically significant.

[vi]Interview of Heinz Holba, president of L. A. Models, on July 29, 1997, by Betty Mazzetti Hatch, founder of La Belle Agency (which discovered Kathy Ireland, etc.), upon my request. Holba’s assessments were based on his experience with both his own models in Los Angeles and New York, and with the industry worldwide.

[vii] Korn/Ferry International and UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, Decade of the Executive Woman: Survey of Women In Senior Management Positions in the Fortune 1000 Industrial and 500 Service Companies (Los Angeles: Korn/Ferry International, 1993), p. 48, Table 86, “Age.” All executives were vice presidents or above.

[viii] Korn/Ferry International and UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, Decade of the Executive Woman: Survey of Women In Senior Management Positions in the Fortune 1000 Industrial and 500 Service Companies (Los Angeles: Korn/Ferry International, 1993), p. 48, Table 86, “Age.”

[ix] Korn/Ferry International and UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, Decade of the Executive Woman: Survey of Women In Senior Management Positions in the Fortune 1000 Industrial and 500 Service Companies, p. 22

[x]Korn/Ferry International and UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, Decade of the Executive Woman: Survey of Women In Senior Management Positions in the Fortune 1000 Industrial and 500 Service Companies (Los Angeles: Korn/Ferry International, 1993), p. 50, Table 94, “In Comparing Your Career with Your Spouse’s, Whose Career Has:” All executives were women of vice-presidential level or above. Women have felt this way for more than a decade. The precise percentages follow:

.

Yours
Husband's

Progrressed better?

64.5%

8.6%

Progressed faster?

67.1%

11.7%

Been financiallymore rewarding?

70.3%

15.4%

Been more rewarding in others ways?

43.3%

21.7%

[xi]See Jacqueline Simenauer and David Carroll, Singles: The New Americans (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982), p. 15, for the largest study of singles in the 1980s, which found that women earning high incomes are almost twice as likely to want to remain uncommitted as are women earning low incomes; for cross-cultural data documenting this pattern in 37 cultures, see David M. Buss, The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating, (New York: Basic Books 1994). See also Warren Farrell, Why Men Are The Way They Are (New York: Berkley Books, 1988), Chapter 2 and Chapter 6; and the section just below (“Marrying Up” as Workplace Discrimination) in this book for discussions of the resistance of women at all economic levels to marrying men they believe will not be earning as much as they. While my own research documents this as including executive women, there is a need for better research than mine. It is fascinating that no academic survey, government survey, or Gallup-type poll has even asked this question of a large, random sample audience. Thus perhaps the single most powerful remaining form of discrimination between the sexes remains less-than-perfectly documented, or, put another way, remains an excellent opportunity for a researcher with courage.

11 Top Tips on How Women Can Earn More


Overview

First, before the 11 tips, let me review a few principles...an overall attitude.

Power is not about earning money; power is about controlling one's life based on one's values and priorities. Pay is not about power; pay is often about giving up power to get the power of pay. Power and pay are about trade-offs. If you're getting paid less than a man, before you assume discrimination, look at the 25 things men are more likely to do to get paid more. Women tend to trade income for fulfillment, flexibility, family, and safety. Rather than focusing your binoculars on discrimination, focus them on opportunities, such as the more than 80 fields that pay women more than men, or the 39 large fields that pay women at least 5% more than men. Based on my research for Why Men Earn More, I believe that while men earn more for different work, women today earn more for the same work--when they work in the exact same job for the same type and size of firm, same number of hours, travel and relocate equally, produce equally, have equal years of experience, and so on. You do not live in a world in which men have stacked the deck against you. Both sexes discriminate for and against both sexes.

11 Specific Tips

For women with fewer skills and less education, join the Marines or Air Force. No woman in the War in Iraq has been killed in either, and both offer opportunities that translate well into civilian life, such as training in administrative work, weather, computer fields and health services--which also happen to be the fields that keep one safe.

Pharmacists now earn more than doctors, have far more control over their lives, and do not experience the emotional taxation of being intimately involved with patients as they die.

Investment banking and financial analyst are two excellent choices for women who want to earn a lot, earn more than their male counterparts, but do not like taking major risks with money. Female financial analysts average $69,000 per year, 118% of their male counterparts. CEOs are selected from among those assuming bottom line, financial responsibilities for a company, not human resources or public relations, so these fields also pave the way for women who want to break alleged "glass ceilings".

Be more willing to take financial risks, whether by selling and working on commission, or working toward being a venture capitalist. Venture capitalists typically earn between $100,000 and $300,000 per year. Here are some other fields that pay women more than men that many women may find appealing:

Speech language pathologists ($45,000 man; $35,000 woman; make 29% more than men) Statisticians (35% more than men) Advertising and Promotions Managers Motion Picture projectionists

If you are a woman, start a construction company. You don't need to lift a hammer or nail. You do need to be able to organize those who do. All government agencies and universities and many companies are required to hire a certain percentage of female-owned construction companies.

Becoming a dental hygienist is one of the fastest growth fields, it virtually excludes men, has a pleasant environment, no stress, and controlled hours.

In medicine, take your eyes off doctors and consider nursing, or being a medical assistant or physician assistant. All are projected to be among the fastest growing fields in the next decade. Nursing can pay more than $100,000 per year as a traveling ("gypsy") nurse or as a nurse anesthetist. Only female nurses are allowed to see and touch the bodies of both sexes, giving hospitals an incentive to hire women. Medical Assistant requires nothing more than on-the-job training. Physician assistant, requiring only a Bachelor's, pays very well.

People who work 44 hours per week make almost twice what people earn who work 34 hours per week. The extra hours, if well used, lead to disproportionately fast promotions, and job opportunities that would not otherwise be available. To get those ten extra hours, hire out your repetitive chores--they cost less than what you'll be getting paid for your extra ten hours, and you'll be helping someone who needs the money.

The most important career decision you will ever make is the choice of your spouse. If you want family, well-raised children and a very successful career, there's a way to have it all. Marry a man who is happy to raise the children while you raise the money. Those men are available if they know you will respect them. Children raised by dads in intact families do extremely well socially, psychologically and academically.

If you want to pursue your dream without being poor, work in computers or engineering for a few years, then take off a year or two to pursue what fulfills more but earns less.

Female sales engineers get paid 143% of male sales engineers. Consider becoming an engineer or computer scientist. They constitute the majority of the highest paying fields now, and will in the future. There are hundreds of scholarships available only to women for female engineers and computer scientists, and women's pay exceeds men's until the women choose to work fewer hours, or travel/move less or work for a public agency rather than a private firm.

How the Assumptions of Discrimination against Women Backfire against Women


I promised in January to begin to share with you some of the ways the assumptions of the discrimination against women are both untrue and backfire against women.

Remember that silver-haired man who I introduced to you in the January column? When we ended the column, he was about to speak with me. He started “Listen, I’ve got a problem. In the past few years, our company has been sued for sex discrimination three times.”

“You must be pretty involved with your company.”

“How’s that?”

“You use ‘I’ and ‘our company’ interchangeably.”

“Oh,” he laughed, a tad embarrassed. “Well, the lawsuits are wreaking havoc on the company and me. They’re forcing us to put into legal fees what we should be putting into products and into raises for people who are working, not suing.

“And the other thing is, it’s destroying morale. And not just among the men. After I gave a speech about the importance of hiring women, even one of my female managers said, ‘I like what you’re saying about hiring women, but the higher up in the company I go, the more afraid I am to hire a woman for the company, ’cause all three of the lawsuits we’ve received have been from women. I’m afraid of being the one to hire somebody who will sue the company.’”

I switched to a softer, more of a tell-me-in-confidence tone. “Tell me…off the record. Are you paying women less than men?”

He thought long enough to make me assume the answer was “yes.” Then he surprised me. “No. In reality, no. But sometimes it appears that we do.”

“How so?”

“Sometimes we promote a woman faster than we would a man, giving her the same job title as a man, but she has fewer years with the company.”

“So you pay her less?”

“Yes. We’d pay anyone with fewer years less, but we move good women more quickly than we move good men—which is really discrimination against men, but it ends up looking like discrimination against women when we pay them less for less seniority.”

“Sort of ironic, huh?”

“Yeah. In fact, it’s worse than that. Last year, I asked who was willing to relocate to bail out two of our problem branches: one in Alaska and one in Kansas. No one volunteered. So I offered extra pay. Then one of the men says, ‘Maybe. I’ll have to check with my family.’ I ask if there are any women who want to go. The reaction is, ‘Are you kidding? To Alaska?’ Well, one single woman did perk up a bit, about there being a lot of single guys there, but then she unperked when she recalled that the cost of living is higher there. So I offered even more money to go to Alaska.”

I laugh, “I can see it coming. She still says no; he says yes, but now myou’ve got a guy with the same job title earning much more than his mfemale colleague.”

“Yep, nail on the head. It looks like clear-cut discrimination, until you realize that anyone with more years would have higher pay, and that anyone who took that job in Alaska would have higher pay.”

“So you want to be fair—even acknowledged for bending over backwards to promote women—but when you’re fair, the men get higher pay because they make more sacrifices, and even when you promote women faster, the men sometimes still get higher pay because they have more years of experience.”

“Yes,” he said. “And the HR people look at the raw data of men getting more pay and falsely conclude women are subject to discrimination. I feel this myself until I look more closely! Anyway, the result of no one understanding this is a lawsuit, an aggrieved woman, damaged morale, and even women managers who are afraid to hire women! Why don’t you write a book called what to do before you sue?”

I smile. From the impatience in the night custodian’s eyes, our delay isn’t giving him higher pay. As we’re “swept away,” I promise to give his situation some thought. That conversation was about fifteen years ago. I’ve given it some thought.

Both Liz and the male executive valued their female employees. Both credited their competence, intelligence, and effectiveness. Both respected their decisions to keep their work lives and personal lives in balance—in fact, Liz was envious of it. Yet both Liz and the corporate executive were grasping for a way to tell their female employees what they could do to receive higher pay.

Helping women achieve higher pay is a core goal of this book. But an even more important goal is helping women understand the trade-offs involved—and to determine whether higher pay is worth the trade-offs. In my research, I have uncovered 25 differences in the way women and men behave in the workplace. Taken together, these 25 differences lead to men receiving higher pay and women having better lives—or at least more balanced lives.

In March I will share with you some of the specific assumptions that lead us to falsely conclude that the gap in pay between men and women is about discrimination against women.

Three Judicial Biases About Moms, Dads and Children


I’ll focus on three judicial biases about moms, dads and children that has evolved from a combination of my research for Father and Child Reunion and my expert witness work on custody issues. I am planning a teleseminar on this issue that will go into greater depth, but this column will offer some of the highlights.

When I do expert witness work, I confront from most judges three biases that I myself was also surprised to see proven invalid when I did the research for Father and Child Reunion. The first bias is the stability bias; the second is the mother bias; and the third is the 'If-the-couple-is-in-conflict-joint-custody-will-not-work' bias. All of these biases apply to parenting after a divorce.

The Stability Bias

Judges understandably reason that amid the instability of divorce, children are best stabilized by staying in the home they are accustomed to with the parent who has been the primary parent. I call this "geographical stability". The research shows that geographical stability does not create psychological stability. For children of divorce, geographical stability is "one parent stability"; this article explains why "one parent stability" is psychologically destabilizing. For example...

Studies show that after divorce the children who do best psychologically have about an equal amount of exposure to both mom and dad--especially if both parents live near each other, and there is no bad-mouthing. The psychological stability of two-parents equally involved leads to the children also doing better academically and socially, and being healthier physically.

Why does two parent stability trump geographical stability? No one can be 100% sure, but a blend of research and observation offer clues. Three quick assertions in quasi-headline form.

First, the job of a child growing up is to discover whom it is. Who is it? It is half mom and half dad. It is not the better parent. It is both parents. Warts and all. So we are not talking here about fathers' rights, mothers' rights or even the child's right to both parents. We are talking about a new paradigm: the child's right to both halves of itself.

Second, children with minimal exposure to one parent seem to feel abandoned, often psychologically rudderless.

Third, dads and moms, like Republicans and Democrats, provide checks and balances. Moms tend to overstress protection; dads may overstress risk-taking-there has to be a balance of power for the child to absorb a balance of both parents' values. One parent dominating tends to leave the child with a stereotyped and biased perspective of the values of the minority parent, and ultimately a lack of appreciation for that part of itself.

The Mother Bias

Most judges do believe children do best with both parents, but if they must live with one, mom is given the edge. In fact, the new research I report in Father and Child Reunion very clearly shows that children brought up by dad are more likely to do better psychologically, physically, academically and socially than those brought up by mom.

I will explain in the teleseminar not only some of the twenty-five measures that create this counterintuitive conclusion, but also what dads do unconsciously that so often works to the benefit of the child. At the same time, I will also explain why it would be erroneous to conclude that men make better dads than women do moms (e.g., dads usually have more income).

  • The "If-the-couple-is-in-conflict-joint-custody-will-not-work" Bias.
  • Conflict-- especially bad-mouthing-- hurts all parenting arrangements.
  • The more the conflict, though, the more important it is for the child to see both parents about equally, because conflict leaves the child vulnerable to feeling that the parent it does not see has abandoned it-- does not love her or him. The less the child sees a parent the easier it is form a negative and caricatured stereotype of the unseen parent that leads to the child feeling negative about that half of her or himself.
  • Finally, a system that says, "If the couple can't get along in court how are they going to get along enough to share the children?" creates an incentive for the mom to initiate conflict. Why the mom? The Mom Bias teaches mom that if she can erase the joint custody option, she is more likely than dad to be given custody of the children. This awareness creates an incentive for a mom who wants full custody to not co-operate with the dad.

The three biases in combination lead to many options after divorce not being considered. The teleseminar and Father and Child Reunion explore some of those options.

My experience thus far is that virtually all judges are focused on doing what is best for the children, as are most moms and dads; that the above responses to these biases address the issues that prevent judges from giving more priority to securing both parents' equal involvement; that once judges know this, their rulings are much more likely to incorporate this prioritization.

How I Began the Discovery that Men Earn Less than Women for the Same Work


I promised that in April I would answer the question, “If male bosses are to blame for discrimination, why are women who own their own businesses earning only 49% of their male counterparts—that is, why are women netting less when they are their own bosses than when they have male bosses?”

As I explored businesses owned by women versus men, I discovered that nowhere is the male-female difference in priorities clearer than in the difference between these businesses. I discovered how running one’s own business tended either to follow what I came to call “the high-pay formula” in exchange for lifestyle trade-offs, or follow “the low-pay formula” in exchange for lifestyle payoffs.

I began to scout around. I discovered that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found as long ago as the early 1980s that companies paid men and women equal money when their titles were the same, their responsibilities the same, and their responsibilities were of equal size—for example, both regional buyers for Nordstrom’s, not one a local and one a regional buyer. But although this was published in the official publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, I had never read of the study in a single paper or heard of it in the media.

To my surprise (in those years of my innocence), once gender equality was found, the gender comparison was not only ignored but never updated.

At the same time, a longitudinal survey found that when women and men started at the same time as engineers; worked in the same work settings; with equal professional experience, training, family status, and absences; the female engineers received the same pay. It too was neither publicized nor updated. I began to see that we study what gets funded, and what gets funded depends a lot on what’s likely to be found.

“Is it possible,” I asked, “that men and women have different work goals and treat work differently?” If so, would pinpointing these differences be more helpful to women than assuming male bosses didn’t value them?

As I freed my mind to consider alternative perspectives, I vaguely recalled a statistic in Jessie Bernard’s The Future of Marriage, one of the favorite books among the early feminists. I had half-registered this statistic at the time, but probably discarded it from full consideration because it created too much cognitive dissonance with my assumptions of discrimination against women. I pulled it off the shelf for a second read.

Yes, there it was, in an appendix: Census Bureau figures show that even during the 1950s, (which Alex studies in ancient history class!) there was less than a 2% pay gap between never married women and men, and never-married white women between 45 and 54 earned 106% of what their never-married white male counterparts made.

I thought about these findings in relation to affirmative action. Obviously, this was prior to affirmative action. In fact, this pay equality had occurred even prior to the Equal Pay Act of 1963. And prior to the current feminist movement.

I was sure this example, though, was an aberration. I began checking. Of course, almost all studies showed men earned more, but as soon as I checked on unmarried women who had worked every year since leaving school, I found that they too earned slightly more than their male counterparts—and that was as far back as 1966. And in 1969, even as I was claiming discrimination against female professors while doing my doctorate at NYU, nationwide, female professors who had never been married and never published earned 145% of their counterpart male colleagues. This is not a typo: The women earned 45% more than the men.

A feminist colleague objected with a half-smile, “Never-married women are winners; never-married men are losers.” She clarified, “I mean never-married men are not as educated, are less likely to work hard. That’s why women don’t marry them. Never-married women can take care of themselves, so they don’t get married.”

I checked. Sure enough, never-married women were more educated. So, I decided to check out the latest data among educated men and women who worked full-time. The results? The men earn only 85% of what the women earn; or put another way, the women earn 117% of what the men earn.

If all these findings had a common theme, it was, “It’s marriage and children, stupid!” Well, with each chapter of Why Men Earn More, we’ll see more about how our paycheck is influenced by our family role, and how we can use this information to tailor our family’s need for our income versus our time.

When I shared these findings with some of my colleagues, the response (aside from having fewer colleagues!) from a couple of them was, “Not so fast... it’s really the part-time women who are subject to discrimination.” Maybe. So I checked that out, too.

To get 2004 data on part-time workers required obtaining unpublished Census Bureau data. I was surprised at what it revealed: a part-time working woman makes $1.10 for every dollar made by her male counterpart. (Men and women who work part-time both average 20 hours a week.)

Now that we have a sense that the world is not about discriminating against women to benefit men, I will give us in our May column something we can all use to help our daughters, mothers, wives or female partners earn more: my “11 top tips on How Women Can Earn More,” as culled from Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap-- and What Women Can Do About It.

© 2010, Warren Farrell

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Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim. - Betty Friedan



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