Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Which Part is Worth 25% More?

By Sheilah Zimpel

In my March column, "Job Alert--Uncle Sam Wants Little Ole Me for Homeland Security", I discussed the ridiculous e-mails I receive way too frequently from job-seeking sites. Do you use online sites like indeed.com, monster.com and careerbuilder.com? How in the world do you use them? What criteria should I enter to find some results that actually resemble reality? Should I attack from the flank, as they appear to, and search on “circus clowns” instead of “editors” to find jobs that match my skills? Or should I apply for the Dentist, the Homeland Security, and the Realtor job openings to see what happens? I love collecting rejection letters anyway, so I just might have to do that. Join me in applying for jobs that you are less than zero qualified for. Let’s see what happens—at least we’ll make some HR person’s day…

And speaking of jobs, unfunnily now, the federal government issued its first report since 1963 on the welfare of women in the U.S. (I guess no one gave a hoot for the 48 years in between.)

I’m sure the results will confound and amaze you (I’m thinking Sarah MacLachlan’s “Building a Mystery” for some reason):

  • More women than men have college degrees, but we still earn only 29% of the total household incomes in the U.S. (So only a third of us are considered primary breadwinners, I’m guessing, which is uncannily related to the latter point that we don’t earn as much as men do for the same job. We can’t earn more of the household income if you don’t pay us as much. Duh.)

  • Women are having children later: In 1970, only 4% of women gave birth for the first time at 30 or later. In 2007, 22% of us did. That’s part of our zine’s demographic, so I’m glad to hear it. More choice, more maturity, more freedom for women.

  • Women (and men) marry later: In 1970, the average age at first marriage was 20.8. In 2010, the average age is 26.1. For men, 23.2 in 1970 and 28.2 in 2010. (Now if we were the only ones who married later, then we’d have some nice May-December romances going on in our favor this time.)

  • 2008 college enrollment stats show that 57% of those enrolled are women, 43% men. We know whereof ‘credentialism’ we speak...(if you don’t have the right body parts, you’d better have more papers)

  • And women are less likely to be unemployed. In December 2007, about 4%; in December 2010, about 8% versus men’s 10% or so. (Butofcourse, because we work for less pay. Who wouldn’t hire us? We’ve always known how to do more on less.)

BUT A PAY GAP PERSISTS: Women earned only 75% of the percentage of men’s salaries in 2009.

Ugh. I just hit my head on that damn invisible glass ceiling that’s not supposed to be there anymore. (They call it a skylight now so we’ll think it’s an added amenity.) Hold the phone: We’re marrying later, starting families later, we have more college degree holders, more college enrollees, are more employable, and thus naturally earn…less? I see. We’re mature, free, independent, well educated, and employed, but still dumb suckers. They can see us coming. This royally chaps my arse. Now what am I gonna do about it? I might have to ask my (female) boss for a raise.

Now I know what job criteria to search for on those sites...

Source: White House Council on Women and Girls stats as quoted in Time magazine

1 comment:

  1. Tell it sista! I just don't get what it will take to make things equal all over. But at least here we have a voice. Too many women in other countries have no voice, no vote, no studies to show how to improve, and no outlet. On the other hand, in Denmark they praise a woman who will stay at home to take care of her children and offer a salary. They don't dummy her down when she goes to re-enter the workforce thinking she just took off work for a few years and lost all of her skills.
    Maybe we're somewhere in the middle, but it still doesn't work out to equal pay for equal work.


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