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Sujet du devoirWhy is her paycheck Smaller?
By HANNAH FAIRFIELD
February 28, 2009 The New York Times
Nearly every occupation has the gap – the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the size of the paycheck brought home by a woman and the larger one earned by a man doing the same job.
Economists believe that discrimination as well as personal choices within occupations are two major factors. They also attribute part of the gap to men having more experience and logging more hours.
The polarization of the labor market, where women choose careers that already have high percentages of women while men choose careers dominated by men, is thought to account for a large part of the overall gap. More women work in the service sector, where wages are low. Higher percentages of men are in management and business. Even within some of the most lucrative occupations, like medicine and law, women have migrated to specialties that earn less than others. A female doctor, for example, may choose family practice over surgery.
“Desire for a certain flexibility or a certain lifestyle drives career choices” said Stephanie Boraas, an economist at the Bureau of labor Statistics.” Women often choose jobs that have more flexible hours, which can work well with child care”.
But why do men who are bus drivers or insurance agents, jobs with similar numbers of men and women, earn more money than their female counterparts?
To push employers to reduce discrimination, President Obama has signed a bill expanding a worker’s right to sue for wage inequalities. The bill was named after Lilly Ledbetter, an Alabama woman who, at the end of a 19-year career as a supervisor in a tire factory, found that she had been paid less then her male colleagues. Ms. Ledbetter is now the face of wage inequality, but she is hardly alone: female managers of production workers earn nearly 30 percent less than male managers.
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