Is the Disparity in Salaries Based on Sex, a Thing of the Past?

This is a tricky subject. Through history there has been a tendency for men to make more money for the same jobs. There has been legislation passed to end these disparities in wages. An amendment in 1963 was passed “Fair Labor Standards Act,” which prohibits the discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages in same workplace who perform substantially equal work, by employers. There is still push back in some areas, because men in general are stronger and are able to do more physically demanding work, and it is therefore felt that they should get more pay. Nobody is saying that incentive pay based on productivity is improper or illegal. But there are a lot of jobs where physical strength is not an issue, and that is where this amendment really has bearing. But I did say this subject is tricky. I am referring to how studies on salaries are computed. Without a doubt there are more male CEO’s than female CEO’s. This disparity is shifting, though. Men have typically been in the work place a lot longer. Change comes slowly. Just like there are fewer female business owners and fewer female billionaires. So if you factor in all salaries you are going to get skewed results showing that there are sex related disparities. However, if you eliminate the CEO’s salaries from the figures, the numbers are much more in line. I work in a hospital, where nursing has traditionally been a female career path. Salaries here are based on skill level and by years of service. There are typically 4 levels of nurses. Med surgical nurses (Level 1), Intermediate Care Nurses (Level 2), Intensive Care Nurses (Level 3) and Nurse Practitioners (level 4). Each level has progressively higher salaries, based solely on skill not sex. This is the trend throughout the country. Frankly it has been long over due. If you can do the job you should get the same pay irregardless of sex. Also there has been an increasing trend to open up traditionally male centric careers like active duty military positions (ie front line soldiers). It turns out that women make great soldiers to. What a novel concept.

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