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Glass ceiling

Is the pay gap greater for white-collar jobs than it is for blue-collar jobs?

By WITW Staff on May 19, 2016

It’s a well known fact that on average American men earn more than their female colleagues, but who knew that it’s worse for women in elite jobs? The Wall Street Journal came to that very conclusion after analyzing 446 popular professions. Doctors, compensation managers, and personal financial advisors are just a few of the occupations that have the biggest pay gaps. Claudia Goldin, an economics professor at Harvard University, says that wage transparency is not necessarily the solution. In a 2010 paper, she and her co-authors discovered that although women and men earned similar salaries shortly after receiving their M.B.A.s from the University of Chicago, about a decade later, women earned 57 percent of what their male classmates were earning. They argued that one factor could be motherhood: When women become mothers, they spend less time on their careers. “These particular occupations are not forgiving of taking time off and having kids,” said Goldin. This is especially so because many white-collar jobs offer huge financial rewards to those who job-hop and work the longest hours. “You work more hours, you work crazy hours, and you get not crazy-amount more — you get crazy-amount-squared more,” said Goldin. Other factors that could be contributing to the earnings gap is potential discrimination, and that women are less likely than men to negotiate for higher pay.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.


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