Women Still Earn Less
If you think women have shattered the glass
ceiling, you'd better think again. The latest figures from the US
Department of Labor show that in 1998, the weekly median wage for women
($456) who work full-time is only 76 percent that of men who work full
time ($598). Meanwhile, a study released in June 1999 by the Society for
Human Resource Management (SHRM), found that 89 percent of human resource
professionals believe women face barriers to career advancement.
Age had an impact on the figures. The
salaries of younger women were 89 percent of that of their male
counterparts, the study showed. In older age groups, the disparity was
much greater. For workers ages 45 to 54, women's earnings were 70.5
percent of men's; for 55- to 64-year-olds, the earnings ratio was 68.2
Race influenced the salary differences,
too. The earnings of black and Hispanic women were 86 percent of black and Hispanic men. However blacks and Hispanics as a whole earned less than
their white counterparts.
Women who worked full-time in professional
specialty occupations had weekly median earnings of $682, which was higher
than the salary of women in any other group. Within that group, women who
worked as doctors, lawyers and pharmacists had the top salaries. Women
were less likely to be employed in higher-paying occupations such as
engineers, software analysts and architects. In contrast, women who worked
at wage and salary jobs paid by the hour earned an average median wage of
$8.24 per hour. Details of the US Dept. of Labor study are available at http://stats.bls.gov/cpswomen98.htm .
In the study conducted by the Society for
Human Resource Management, corporate cultures that favor men, stereotypes
and preconceptions of women, lack of women on boards of directors,
exclusion from informal networks, and the perception by management that
family responsibilities will interfere with work were cited as the main
barriers to career advancement.
Copyright 1999, Attard Communications, Inc.
About the author
Janet Attard is the owner of Attard Communications, Inc., which provides
editorial content, online community and web development services. She is the founder of
the award-winning Business
Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is
also the author of The
Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business
Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with
Limited Budgets. She can be
reached at (631) 467-6826 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.