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Work/ Career
I "stumbled" across this website and had to respond to some content I had found there... I am a 34 year old male who makes $72,000/year. I am in software development, and have many peers around me - both male and female - who make higher and lower salaries than I. But some of the highest paid individuals are of Indian (India, not Native American) and Asian descent.

Why is this? Shouldn't my salary be the same? Am I being discriminated against?

Fact of the matter is, these people outperform me in skill-level, knowledge, and application of themselves. Because of this, they deserve to earn more than I. Because of this, I don't make as much as they, nor do I deserve to receive a salary I haven't earned. Some of the women are the best at what they do, especially the one's who are single as they can devote the necessary energy and time to the project that is required by the company's business direction. I - on the other hand - have a family and thus cannot dedicate the long hours required by the organization. Should I be compensated anyway for the time I can't give? Is this truly equitable, and if so, by what standard.. moral, ethical, or otherwise?

The excerpt below was taken from the website:

"Why is There a Wage Gap?
The wage gap exists because most women and people of color are still segregated into a few low-paying occupations. More than half of all women workers hold jobs in sales, clerical and service jobs. Studies show that the more an occupation is dominated by women or people of color, the less it pays. Part of the wage gap results from differences in education, experience or time in the workforce. But a significant portion can not be explained by any of those factors; it is attributable to wage discrimination. In other words, certain jobs pay less because they are held by women or people of color."

Help me with the reasoning... Because "a significant portion can not be explained by any of those factors", it follows that "it is attributable to wage discrimination"? Everything I have mentioned above from actual observation and evidence contradicts almost all of what has been set forth in this excerpt. What is the empirical evidence for the conclusions above?

Sincerely Anticipating a Response, John


Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM and for your "sincere concern." I had some trouble following your reasoning and, therefore, may be misunderstanding your point, but it seems to me that you are arguing that you are an exception to the rule-i.e. you are a white male who gets paid less than non-white male and female co-workers. You go on to admit that you are less qualified and not as good as a worker, and ask if you should be punished because you don't have the same freedom in your schedule to give more time. As for this point--the problem in this instance, isn't so much the workplace, but what happens out of the workplace. To be more specific, the workplace remains un-family friendly, therefore, it almost punishes people who have out of work responsibilities--less energy, children, elderly parents, etc...--and rewards those whose primary committment is their jobs. This is the fault of individual workplaces--the majority of workplaces, not properly weighing their employees lives.

The other problem you mention--actually just seems to be a confusion. The piece that quote specifically talks about low-wage jobs and given that you make $72,000-- more than double the average American--one, you personally don't qualify as a low-wage worker and, two your industry--software development doesn't qualify as a primarily female occupation. Contrary--you are in a male dominated field, making much more money than the average American. You may be working less than your co-workers, but one, it doesn't sound like you deserve it, and two, are clearly the exception to the rule. What this quote is meant to underscore is that if you look at any profession that is more than 70% female--it is categorically--yes this is a generalization--speaking a low-wage job (i.e. less than $25,000 a year). Note, again that this is an average. Conversly, if you look at professions that are 70% male (i.e. the tech industry, capitol finance, etc...) it is a high-wage job.

I hope that my "sincere concern" for those--male and female, white and black and Indian--who are really stuck in low-wage jobs is clear.


Amy

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