Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Warren Farrell researches the incomes of men and women and finds the real reasons for differences between them:

First, men do not earn more than women for the same work, but for different work. Dr. Farrell identifies twenty-five such differences (e.g., willingness to take the most hazardous jobs, and work in more technical fields such as engineering; do more traveling, moving, and so on).

Second, the most startling truth: women now earn more than men--for the same work. Not at the same job title--male doctors, lawyers, and accountants all earn more than women. Why? Though their titles are the same, they do not work at their jobs the same way--the men are more likely to work more hours, be in private practice, or work for big private firms (vs. HMOs or nonprofits). In the case of physicians and surgeons, the men are more likely to be the surgeons, requiring more specialization, and dealing with the trauma of people dying under their knife, as well as working uncontrolled hours (cardiac surgeon); the women are more likely to avoid surgery, to prefer working with little blood, with healthier people, during predictable and normal work hours (psychiatrist or pediatrician).

Third, Dr. Farrell, in the spirit of "what women can do about it," startles women with 80 fields in which women now earn more than men--despite women's different work patterns. He tells women how much each of the twenty-five ways to higher pay are worth, and what the lifestyle trade-offs are. For example, people who work 44 hours a week make almost twice as much as those who work 34 hours per week?

High pay, as it turns out, is about trade-offs. Women's choices balance income with a desire for fulfillment, safety, potential for personal growth, flexibility, fewer hours per week, and proximity-to-home. These lifestyle advantages lead to more people competing for these jobs and thus lower pay.

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