Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

20 April 2010

Equal Pay Day 2010: Wage gap in science and engineering

Today is Blog for Equal Pay Day! 

This post isn't meant to be lazy, but I realized that the idea I had for today I already did over at Girl w/Pen. Yes, I've finally gotten to the point in my writing where I have forgotten what I've written about. It took a web search to remind me. Oh, so pathetic...but back to today's post....

One reason why I am passionate about piquing girls' interest in science and engineering as a career path is the money. Even in this recession, starting salaries for computer-related and engineering careers are on the rise. They are also usually higher than any other field. This can be quite a carrot for sticking out a second semester of Calculus or even organic chemistry.

But I also tell my students that there is a wage gap for scientists and engineers. Back in 1999, the National Science Foundation found that the wage gap for engineers was only 13 cents. Not bad. Overall for science, engineering and math, it looks like the wage gap in 2001 for starting salaries was 24 cents.

Some have theorized that the difference in the wage gap between science and engineering can be attributed to the market. Since there are less women in engineering, they can usually negotiate a better salary since they are more in demand. Some have also theorized that the biological sciences are facing dropping salaries since more women are entering...This is yet to be proven...salary wise anyway.

Bottom-line is that the wage gap impacts all women. Even in uber-women dominated careers like nursing, men out earn women.

And of course the gap widens for women of color as seen in these lovely graphics that the Feminist Looking Glass posted from NPR. Although considering the serious lack of people of color in science and engineering, I'd love to look at that wage gap.

Other Equal Pay Day links of note:


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