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Mind the Gap

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And speaking of wages… there’s this gender gap we should probably talk about.

                                        Photo by Sylvain BourdosImage

I’m sure you’ve heard about/experienced it. There are charts like this that show us how much more men make than women in the same jobs.


And even charts that show us that, all things considered, the wage gap among social workers is not too shabby compared to some other fields.


But wait! Aren’t those of us who do this kind of work, social work, mostly women? And there is still a wage gap in a field dominated by women where men get paid more? Yep. An article from ThinkProgress says “But even within those industries where they are the vast majority of employees, women are paid significantly less than their male counterparts.” ThinkProgress has an interesting chart too.

We even saw some data in the wage and benefit survey that WSCADV conducted in 2011 that corroborated this story. Because we got few actual responses from advocates who identified as men, the numbers do not tell us the whole story. There may be perfectly good reasons for why these few men advocates made more than their women counterparts (more experience, maybe their actual position wasn’t a choice on the survey so they chose “advocate”)? But the data showed that, even when compared to their female counterparts within their same code on the urban/rural scale, the male advocates made about $3.00 more per hour. So maybe we are not immune to the “glass escalator” phenomenon that is happening in the workforce, where men entering professions traditionally occupied by women are gliding up the ladder, increasing their pay and status more quickly than women. What do you make of all this? What can we do?