Compensation, Jobs, and Gender

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Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Harvard business review

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A recent National Academy of Sciences study reports that earnings of working women in the US average less than 60% of men's earnings. Similar studies indicate that, after adjusting for education and work experience, nearly half of the gap remains. To explore public opinion on the wage differential issue, a questionnaire was mailed to 5,000 randomly selected subscribers of Harvard Business Review (half male and half female). Survey questions were divided into 6 categories: 1. how salaries ought to be determined, 2. factors contributing to the earnings gap, 3. prospects for change, 4. effectiveness of proposed remedies, 5. consequences of attempts to reduce the salary gap, and 6. reactions to the comparable worth issue. Findings include: 1. agreement that skill, effort, and responsibility are important determinants of wages, 2. a strong belief by women that they are discriminated against in hiring and compensation, 3. little belief that change will occur soon, and 4. lack of consensus as to what criteria should be used to determine job value.

Published Article/Book Citation

Harvard Business Review, 61:4 (1983) pp.170

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