The US Department of Labor recently criticized Google suggesting that the tech giant was routinely underpaying its female employees. Eileen Naughton, Google’s VP of people operations, refuted this claim, pointing out that Google conducts an annual gender blind pay equality analysis which reveals any pay discrepancies, and if any exist among any demographic group, their pay is adjusted accordingly.
Glassdoor, the job board and company review site, reviewed thousands of salaries as reported voluntarily by Google employees and found that women and men working similar jobs generally are paid the same. Why then all the hub bub? Because at Google women are paid 16% less than men overall. This data doesn’t make sense if Glassdoor’s data suggests that men and women are paid equally for the same work. This is where the confusion exists. Men are not being paid more than women within the same roles, they are paid more on average because they occupy more senior roles that command higher salaries. At Google for example, 52% of males worked as software engineers while only half as many women occupied that highly paid role.
Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, said that men and women, for several reasons, are sorted into different jobs with different pay structures within the same company. This separation is what economists refer to as occupational segregation and is responsible for about 54% of the gender pay gap in the U.S.
Google is not paying women less than men for equal work but it does appear to be favoring men for more senior positions. Is this discrimination or is there a shortage of women from which to choose for the high paying roles such as software developer? Going further, are men better equipped to fill certain roles than women and vice versa? I have scoured the web and according to women, here are a few roles that men will never be better at than women and roles women will not be better at than men.
10 Jobs Men Will Never Be Able to Do Better Than Women
· Marketing and advertising
· Manager and supervisor
· Waiting tables
· Yoga/Fitness instructor
· Information clerk and customer care professional
· Gynecologist and obstetrician
· Nurse and professional caregiver
· Kindergarten and preschool teacher
10 Jobs Women Will Never Be Able to Do Better than Men
· Pro sports coach
· Plastic surgeon
· Police officer
· Construction worker
Clearly there are some roles such as mechanic, construction worker and firefighter that men seem more adept or at least more interested in doing while on the flip side more women are adept/interested in being teachers and caregivers. The physical design of men and women allows our genders to be better suited for some roles over others. Furthermore our upbringing often persuades men and women to pursue careers that might seem more masculine or feminine such as a male journalist covering business/finance while a female journalist might cover lifestyle/fashion.
The real question isn’t whether men and women are paid equally for doing the same job but whether women, by way of occupational segregation, find themselves in jobs that typically pay less? Even more troubling is a study out of Cornell University that found the pay for a particular occupation decreases as women take a more dominant role in it, suggesting that women’s efforts are not valued as highly as men’s. Once women take over, the occupation’s pay is seemingly downgraded.
In the end, no organization with half a brain is overtly paying a woman significantly less for doing the same work as a man. That is just asking for the type of scrutiny under which Google presently sweats. Organizations are simply sorting men into blue job baskets and women into pink job baskets and declaring all the work done by the blue basket workers to be more valuable and as such deserving of more pay. That is until women take it over.
More and more I see articles and posts adorned with pictures of the Terminator, sans flesh, with titles half-jokingly warning us of the day that robots will take our jobs away, as though robots are angry and want our menial jobs. Should we be concerned? Here are a few of the numbers for you to decide.
- In February White House economists warned us that low-wage workers, those making less than $20 per hour, are at an 83% risk of losing their job to a robot in the “years ahead”. How far away “years ahead” is, I am not certain.
- According to a study by Deloitte, eleven million jobs in the UK are in danger of being automated by 2036.
- The World Economic Forum predicts that robots will steal over 5 million jobs globally over the next five years. This survey was based on 371 global companies with a total of more than thirteen million employees.
- One out of every four full-time workers in an Amazon warehouse is a robot.
- Gartner predicts that by 2025, one-third of all jobs will be replaced by software or machines.
- University of Oxford researchers released a report in 2013 suggesting that 47 percent of U.S. jobs could be automated by 2033.
Most of the jobs seized by robots will be in the office and administrative sector which will greatly affect women. Though this coming storm of automation will create jobs, women will lose far more than will be created. Five jobs will be lost for women for every one gained while for men the ratio is three jobs lost for every one gained.
The news doesn’t look good especially for those in lower paying jobs. Workers complaining about their minimum wage salaries may not have any salary at all in the coming years. So should we go “Sarah Conner” on the factories churning out these automated machines and robots?
Put away your M-16 and plasma rifle for now. The VDMA Robotics and Automation Association released an interesting study that demonstrated increased usage of automation in the German automotive industry coincided with employment increases. According to the CEO of VDMA’s robotics arm, “New approaches at smart factories actually look into using human strengths and the machine’s strengths in an intelligent combination, so it doesn’t look like we are running into a situation where we will massively lose jobs.”
Sadly though if the robots do want to launch a revolution, we humans are primed for an overthrow. A recent study by Pew Research Center revealed that 80% of Americans believe their job will exist in 50 years. This belief does not jive with the predictions above. Is the human race in denial or even worse….in jeopardy?
Hasta la vista, humans!