Sunday, May 13, 2007

Upcoming Pay Gap Smackdown with Rep. Maloney

I wrote recently here about the problems with the AAUW's report on the "pay gap." Using the information in that blog posting, I wrote a 750-word commentary that appears in my local paper, the Flint Journal ("Graduates, Be Assured That Gender-pay-bias Claim Not Well-founded").

Next week, a 625-word version of my commentary will be distributed nationally as a Pro-Con "Pay Gap Smackdown" between me and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who is one of the leading drivers in Congress on the issue. Stay tuned to CD for specific placements in newspapers around the country on that one.


At 5/13/2007 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the article. After working for GM for many years, I've seen the male-female promotion problem first-hand.

Male and female engineers come from college (GMI and now Kettering University) and start as equals. However, senior management is careful about long-term important assignments. History shows that a majority of 22 to 35-year-old male engineers can complete a two-year project from planning to implementation. On the other hand, female engineers in this age group often have maternity breaks. Multi-million dollar projects have enough problems without changing engineers midstream, so females are often denied these slots. This may be illegal if it could be proven, generalizing the entire female engineering group is probably wrong, but that’s how it is. Engineers from highly successful projects are the ones who are noticed by those who do the promoting; therefore, they are the ones promoted. Accordingly, females lose out by the visibility factor and by seniority loss from leaves of service. Nobody ever said life was fair.

After reading your article, I think it could have been strengthened considerably by citing a few sources other than “evidence shows.” You’re disputing what many people would consider an authoritative source, the AAUW, with what looks like your opinion. You’re obviously a white male from your picture (and I know you are), so I’m not sure how well that plays out to a general audience. Maybe I am spending too much time reading scholarly research and LSAT material and trying to pick apart that kind of stuff, and it’s fine just as it is. Regardless, I agree with your main point that there is more to female wage discrimination than meets the eye at first glance.


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