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高薪领域的男女收入差距巨大,原因何在?

Kim Churches 2018年11月14日

女性与男性收入差距变化不仅陷入停滞,而且在某些高薪行业收入差距还最明显。

过去十年,历来由男性主导的高薪职业里女性不断取得突破。到2016年,法学院录取的女生人数超过男生,医学院也类似。

如此多的女性进入待遇优厚的领域,可能让人觉得两性的收入差距会缩小。遗憾的是,事实并非如此。女性与男性收入差距变化不仅陷入停滞,而且在某些高薪行业收入差距还最明显。

美国大学女性协会(AAUW)最近分析美国劳工部人口调查局的数据发现,女性外科和内科医生每挣0.71美元的收入,男同事收入为1美元,收入差距达到29%。而整体来看,男性挣1美元收入时,女性可以挣到0.8美元,也就是说,两性医生收入差距比社会整体差距高出9个百分点。

两性金融业经理收入差距更大,达到35%。在法律领域,男性的平均年薪为14.027万美元,比女性的10.6873万美元多达24%。

为何高薪行业的男女收入差距如此之大?有一串熟悉的理由可以解释:女性在自身领域往往选择收入偏低的工作及专业。比如女医生更倾向从事小儿科的工作,而不是报酬更相对优厚的骨外科。此外,在很多专业领域任务最为繁重时,女性通常已为人母。于是,家庭责任可能影响长时间辛苦工作,而要晋升高层或者合伙人级别努力工作相当有必要。

还有迹象显示,即使是成就最突出的职业女性,和公司协商薪水时也没有男性积极主动。长远来看对收入会形成滚雪球一样的巨大影响,因为用人单位一般根据员工此前的收入设定薪资水平。

现实是,性别歧视和男性至上主义明显对两性收入差距有影响,特别是在男性的传统优势职业。

现在,是时候改变了。毕竟,两性收入差距不单单是女性面临的问题。如今,负责养家糊口的女性越来越多,尤其是在专业领域,男女收入差距对所有人都造成伤害:孩子、家庭、社群,乃至整个社会。专业的行业亟需顺应时代,满足职场的新需求,不要好像还停留在热播家庭喜剧《天才小麻烦》的上世纪五六十年代。

幸运的是,有些好苗头已经出现。女权运动#MeToo掀起了美国全国范围的对话,人们开始关注尊重女性的重要性,还有什么能比男女收入平等更体现尊重女性?很多商界领袖渴望吸引80、90后的所谓“千禧一代”才俊。他们认识到,员工需要也期待包容与平等。因此,包括Adobe和Salesforce在内,更多的企业定期进行薪资调查,发现可能存在的收入不平等,然后做必要调整。一些企业开始明白,管理层增加女性人数的必要性和价值,也要改进经营方式和企业文化,支持女性发展。这不仅关乎企业的价值取向,也能确保以良好的商业理念作为底线。

此外,我们还发现倡导收入平等的立法已更进一步。在2018年立法议事期,美国40个州和华盛顿特区都有积极缩小收入差距的立法行动。更令人鼓舞的是,费城和盐湖城之类约20个州和司法辖区已禁止雇主询问求职者过往薪资,以过往薪水为准正是维持两性收入差距的常见做法。

毋庸置疑,消除收入差距道路很长。但正因为有种种历史遗留问题,才要在实践中引以为鉴,赶上现实的脚步,在高薪的专业领域真正做到不分性别,同工同酬。靠着人们坚持不断努力,真正实现永久性消除两性收入差距指日可待。(财富中文网)

作者金·彻奇斯是美国大学女性协会(AAUW)首席执行官。该协会致力于通过宣传、教育、研究和慈善行动提升女性权益。

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

Over the past decade, women have been making serious inroads into high-paying professions traditionally dominated by men. As of 2016, more female students have been enrolled in law schools than male. Ditto for medical schools.

With so many women entering lucrative fields, you might think the gender wage gap would be shrinking. But sadly that’s not the case. Not only is it stagnant, but in fact, women in some of the highest-paying professions are losing out the most relative to men.

A recent American Association of University Women (AAUW) analysis of U.S. Census data found that women physicians and surgeons are compensated only 71 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts—a 29% gap, and 9 cents behind the 80 cents on the dollar women are paid overall.

The difference is even more pronounced for financial managers, where there’s a 35% gap. And in the legal field, the average salary for men is $140,270—a full 24% more than the $106,837 women earn.

There’s a familiar litany of explanations for why even high-earning professionals face a big gap: Women tend to gravitate toward lower-paying jobs and specialties within their fields. Female doctors, for instance, are more apt to work in pediatrics than the more lucrative specialty of orthopedic surgery. Additionally, women tend to become moms at the same time when the demands of these professions are the heaviest—and their family responsibilities might hinder them from putting in the grueling hours necessary to become a partner or move into the C-suite.

There’s also evidence that even the most accomplished professional women may not negotiate their salary as aggressively as men do. And that can have a snowball effect on earnings over the long haul, since employers often base people’s pay on their previous compensation.

But the reality is that sexism and discrimination, plain and simple, also play a role in maintaining the stubborn gender wage gap—especially in traditionally male-dominated careers.

Now’s the time to call this out. After all, gender pay equity is not just a women’s issue. With more women assuming the role of primary breadwinners in their families—particularly in professional fields—the gender wage gap hurts everyone: kids, families, communities, and society as a whole. It’s high time for the professional workplace to adapt to accommodate the demands of the new workforce—not continue to operate as if we were still in a Leave It to Beaver episode.

Fortunately, there are hopeful signs on the horizon. The #MeToo national dialogue has focused attention on the importance of treating women with respect—and what better way to show respect than with equal pay? Many business leaders, eager to attract talent from the millennial workforce, realize that employees demand nothing less and expect inclusion and parity. As a result, more firms, including Adobe and Salesforce, are regularly conducting pay audits to identify potential inequities in their compensation—and making the necessary adjustments to achieve pay equality. And some employers understand the need and value of increasing the number of women in their leadership ranks and improving business practices and cultures that support women. Because not only is it values-based, it makes good business sense for the bottom line.

What’s more, we’re seeing pay equity laws move to the next level. During the 2018 legislative sessions, 40 states and Washington, D.C., had active legislation aimed at closing the pay gap. Even more encouragingly, some 20 states and jurisdictions, from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City, now prohibit employers from asking job candidates about their salary history—a practice that has been shown to perpetuate a gender pay gap.

No doubt, we’ve still got a long way to go. But it’s past time for practices to catch up with modern realities, where high-earning professionals get paid what they’re worth no matter their gender. The inroads we’ve been making are getting us on the pathway to close the pay gap once and for all.

Kim Churches is the CEO of the American Association of University Women.

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