In jobs with fewer men, women earn more
U. WARWICK (UK) — Women get to the top of their profession easier and earn relatively more money when they choose careers not dominated by men.
A study of 20 industrialized nations found that in countries where men and women worked in different occupations, there was not such pay inequality between them.
Researchers from the University of Warwick and several other universities used statistics for each country on the proportion of women and men in each occupation, and the overall average gap in pay.
They correlated these to show the relationships between workplace segregation of the sexes and the gap in their pay. The study is published in the journal Sociology.
The biggest inequality in pay was found to be in Japan, with Slovenia being the fairest to women. In fact, on average women earn slightly more than men in Slovenia.
Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, and Hungary also saw average pay between men and women almost equal. In these countries men and women work in different occupations to a greater extent than in many of the other countries looked at.
Researchers discovered that the gap between men and women’s pay was larger in countries where they worked in the same job.
Women in the Czech Republic, Austria, and the Netherlands all fared badly in comparison to men, as they are more likely to work in the same occupations as men. The gap between their pay and men’s is higher than average, with the UK’s gap also higher than average among the 20 countries.
Professor Girts Racko attributes the surprising results to the fact that when there are few men in an occupation, women have more chance to get to the top and earn more. But where there are more equal numbers of men and women working in an occupation the men dominate the high-paying jobs.
“Higher overall segregation tends to reduce male advantage and improve the position of women,” says Racko.
“The greater the degree of overall segregation, the less the possibility exists for discrimination against women and so there is more scope for women to develop progressive careers.
“For instance, within nursing, men disproportionately fill the senior positions . . . but the fewer the number of male nurses, the more the senior positions must be filled by women.
“Perhaps our most important finding is that, at least for these industrially developed countries, overall segregation and the vertical [pay gap] dimension are inversely related. The higher the overall segregation, the lower the advantage to men. This is directly contrary to popular assumptions.”
Source: University of Warwick
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