Sometimes I get inspired to look at some stats, and today, I looked at the ‘wage gap’.
UK figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 2010 Provisional Results
11158000 fulltime m
1478000 parttime m
7071000 fulltime f
5184000 parttime f
average weekly fulltime m = 40.4h
average weekly parttime m = 17.6h
average weekly fulltime f = 37.4h
average weekly parttime f = 18.4h
fulltime m hours: 11158000*40.4 = 450783200
parttime m hours: 1478000*17.6 = 26012800
fulltime f hours: 7071000*37.4 = 264455400
parttime f hours: 5184000*18.4 = 95385600
total m hours: 476796000
total f hours: 359841000
Female hours as a percentage of male hours: 75.5%
median weekly earnings m: 497.1
median weekly earnings f: 316.2
Female earning as a percentage of male earning: 63.6%
So it would appear that women are being shortchanged by 15.8% ((1-(63.6/75.5))*100)
But. And this is crucial.
- Fulltimers earn more per hour, in general, than parttimers. So a disparity arises here. Comparing parttime to fulltime hourly wages, there’s an 36.2% difference in wage for both men and women. Combine this with 88% of men being fulltime and 58% of women being fulltime, and a sizeable difference will obviously arise. Accounting for hours and parttime reduces the supposed gap of 36.4% to 8.62%, ie it accounts for over 75% of the supposed gap.
Figures show that part timers earn per hour 63.8% of what fulltimers earn.
Combine this with previous figures:
If we take 1 to be the full time payment, and .638 to be the parttime payment, we can see what you would expect women to earn relative to men if every job was equivalent.
Men: 450783200+0.638(26012800)= 467379366.4
Women: 264455400+0.638(95385600)= 325311412.8
Women are 'expected’ to earn (325311412.8/467379366.4)*100 of what men earn - 69.6%
So accounting for part-time hours, there’s a gap of (1-63.6/69.6)*100 = 8.62%
36.4% to 15.8% to 8.62%
- Men get more additional payment. This includes overtime (which makes up more than 50% of 'additional payment’ in both men and women). Additional earning accounted for 6.6% of the mean weekly earnings for men and 3.2% for women. What does this mean? Women do less overtime and earn fewer bonuses/commission primarily. In both these areas women get ~1/3 of what men earn on average. In shift-work women get 30% less than men, so it appears women are working better shifts too, more men work graveyard.
This is speculation now, supported by logic, not with the figures, but if men are working more hours, more overtime, do harder shifts and earn more commission, they’re more likely to progress in their career, working their way up to a higher pay grade.
Men are known to haggle their initial pay while women don’t take the risk, and so they naturally start with the upper hand (note if your collegue did this, and you didn’t, this isn’t discrimination against you)
Men work in more physically demanding jobs, probably a testosterone/muscle thing. They’re usually paid more.
Men work in more hazardous conditions, could be a testosterone (and its limiting effect on fear) thing, or it could just be that that’s what’s available. Anyway, this earns more.
Warren Farrell has listed 25 things like this that contribute to women earning less than men, and none are down to sexism.
Do I expect therefore that the 8.32% can be accounted for with more controls? Undeniably.
In the end, as Warren Farrell once questioned, “If men are paid more for the same work, why would anyone hire a man?”