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The wage gap myth

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by car48 car48 (Member)

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Not trying to start a gender war here, but would like to get someone to defend the idea that there is a wage gap. This video pretty much sums up why there isn't one to me:

It is all about personal choice of the individual. If you make an apples to apples comparison of a man and a woman who make the same life choices, but there is a statistically significant difference in pay I will be all on board for correcting it. But I am a male in my mid 40's who just graduated and started working in nursing. Regardless of the reason I got into nursing so late (other prof., taking care of kids, whatever), I do not deserve, nor am I entitled to making the same $ as a female (or male) nurse who has been in the workforce for 2 decades.

Other life decisions count too. For example:

Male Nursing Statistics | Fastaff Travel Nursing

Highlights from this are:

  • While 3.2 million (91 percent) nurses are female, only 330,000 (9 percent) are male.
  • Men are best represented among nurse anesthetists. In 2011, 41 percent of nurse anesthetists are male.

So for the highest paid nursing job men represent more than 4x their general number. In addition to that Men make up 24% of the NPs.

Going further, men statistically take off less time from work, and work more overtime. You can chalk that up to child care if you like, but that is a decision made by the mother and father. There is no way to legislate that, nor should there be.

I do not buy the societal pressures argument either. My wife supported me when I went to nursing school... so what. That is what we decided. Nobody is putting a gun to anyone head saying what they can or can not do. Hell, I just had someone ask me last week "so what do they call a male nurse?"

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,945 Posts; 170,506 Profile Views

There is a gender wage gap.  And not just because men work more overtime or take less time off for childbearing.  I've been married to two nurses -- male nurses -- and each of them had less education, less experience and and less experience in the specialty than me, and both made more PER HOUR.  We were doing the same job, in the same hospital in the same UNIT, and they made more per hour than a more qualified woman.  I know this because I had access to the pay stubs.  I am not the only female nurse married to a male nurse to have made this observation.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

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It's not just the wage gap either. It's the opportunity for advancement, which of course also equals more pay.  In my experience male nurses were promoted before their equally or in some cases much more qualified female co-workers.  My employer lost some great nurses because of this, more than one or two quit after a less qualified male was given a management position that they had also interviewed for.  

As for equal pay for the same job? I am sure in a union facility that holds true since wages are determined by collective bargaining and sex isn't included anywhere in those negotiations but I wouldn't be at surprised to hear of males being paid more for the same job in non union places that aren't held to strict wage guidelines.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,945 Posts; 170,506 Profile Views

Two of those hospitals I worked in with my ex- were union hospitals.  And the less qualified male STILL made more per hour.  I am not sure how they managed to do that, because when I talked to HR, I was shown the salary guidelines.  The union showed me the same guidelines.  I was making what I should have been making per the guidelines; the less qualified male was making MORE.

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

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5 minutes ago, Ruby Vee said:

Two of those hospitals I worked in with my ex- were union hospitals.  And the less qualified male STILL made more per hour.  I am not sure how they managed to do that, because when I talked to HR, I was shown the salary guidelines.  The union showed me the same guidelines.  I was making what I should have been making per the guidelines; the less qualified male was making MORE.

That ain't right! 

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zoidberg has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Adult Med/Surg & Critical Care.

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As I guy, I get treated differently. By my fellow (female) nurses, by my manager (who gives me my raises yearly), by physicians, and so on. I avoid drama, get made charge nurse before equally/more qualified female nurses, I could go on. It is not always the advantages that are obvious. Think past just pay to why men may be promoted or hired to a management or leadership position before a female even though the male is not nearly as qualified. 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,945 Posts; 170,506 Profile Views

20 hours ago, zoidberg said:

As I guy, I get treated differently. By my fellow (female) nurses, by my manager (who gives me my raises yearly), by physicians, and so on. I avoid drama, get made charge nurse before equally/more qualified female nurses, I could go on. It is not always the advantages that are obvious. Think past just pay to why men may be promoted or hired to a management or leadership position before a female even though the male is not nearly as qualified. 

Thanks for acknowledging this.  I know several male nurses who are convinced they aren't getting treated differently unless they're being discriminated against.  And I know better, after having served on interview committees for promotions, or seeing the hourly rates.

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The "wage gap" people speak of is not a wage cap at all. It's based off of the annual earnings of men and women. Men do annually make more money than women because they dominant areas such as STEM degrees and higher earning degrees where women dominant in areas like nursing, cosmetology, etc. There's always exceptions to the rules obviously but I'm talking about on average.

I also want to point out like what OP said, women take off more time annually then men do. So of course we are going to make less if we pursue degrees that don't make as much money or if we take more time off. Again this is annual... this is not per hour. Men and women make the exact same money per hour for the same position, with the same qualifications, starting at the same time.

ALSO, before anyone mentions it, please do not pull the "we don't have the same opportunity" as men card. In many STEM programs across the country, you are at an advantage if you are a woman in terms of getting in because they need and want women to join such male dominated fields. The majority of us women just don't because most of us find interest in other things and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. As women, we actually have advantages in getting into college in general over men, look at the stats. If I remember correctly there are more women ever going to college and actually more than men, which is a good thing!

And women overwhelmingly dominate the nursing field and also "manager" or higher up positions within the nursing field. So to act as if it is normal for men to advance much quicker than we do in the nursing field would be false.

 

I am by no means trying to downplay what women have gone through in the past in this country and are still going through in different parts of the world. My point is if you go out searching for something, you're probably going to find it (men making more than women) but the overwhelming majority of professions are very equal and almost favor us women today when it comes to opportunity.  

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,945 Posts; 170,506 Profile Views

43 minutes ago, AbbyLane said:

The "wage gap" people speak of is not a wage cap at all. It's based off of the annual earnings of men and women. Men do annually make more money than women because they dominant areas such as STEM degrees and higher earning degrees where women dominant in areas like nursing, cosmetology, etc. There's always exceptions to the rules obviously but I'm talking about on average.

I also want to point out like what OP said, women take off more time annually then men do. So of course we are going to make less if we pursue degrees that don't make as much money or if we take more time off. Again this is annual... this is not per hour. Men and women make the exact same money per hour for the same position, with the same qualifications, starting at the same time.

ALSO, before anyone mentions it, please do not pull the "we don't have the same opportunity" as men card. In many STEM programs across the country, you are at an advantage if you are a woman in terms of getting in because they need and want women to join such male dominated fields. The majority of us women just don't because most of us find interest in other things and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. As women, we actually have advantages in getting into college in general over men, look at the stats. If I remember correctly there are more women ever going to college and actually more than men, which is a good thing!

And women overwhelmingly dominate the nursing field and also "manager" or higher up positions within the nursing field. So to act as if it is normal for men to advance much quicker than we do in the nursing field would be false.

 

I am by no means trying to downplay what women have gone through in the past in this country and are still going through in different parts of the world. My point is if you go out searching for something, you're probably going to find it (men making more than women) but the overwhelming majority of professions are very equal and almost favor us women today when it comes to opportunity.  

I didn't have to look far to find men making more than women who were doing the exact same job as them, in the same hospital and in the same unit.  The women were making less despite having a higher degree (BSN as opposed to ADN or diploma), more experience (5-12 years more experience) as nurses AND in the specialty, and despite the women actually doing more (charge, precepting, teaching classes, chairing unit level committees or belonging to hospital-wide committees, rewriting and updating policies and procedures and being published.). I found it in my own household and five old friends who are also married (or have been married) to male nurses have told me that THEY had noticed the same thing in THEIR households.  The men make more per hour than a female nurse in the same unit in the same hospital and hired at the same time (or earlier) even when the female nurse has a higher degree, more experience, more experience in the specialty and goes above and beyond the basic job description.  

In each and every hospital where I have worked that my husband made more than me, the HR department would swear up and down that there are strict pay guidelines and a matrix accounting for education, years of experience and seniority.  Those matrices were ranges, though -- my pay was in the matrix, but his starting pay was at the highest level of the matrix.  And then with each pay increase, the gap widened.  Even though we both got 4% raises, 4% of  more is more.  

I've heard it argued that men work more hours, and that, if true, could account for a higher annual salary.  Women take more time off?  Maybe -- but I'm not talking annual salary, I'm talking hourly pay.  Men tend to get more lucrative degrees?  It may account for the difference between what a man makes in engineering, say, and what a woman makes in nursing.  But it does not account for male nurses making a higher hourly wage than a female nurse, nor does it account for a male engineer making more than a female engineer.  

Men are disproportionally promoted over equally qualified or MORE qualified women, even in female dominated professions such as nursing, teaching and social work.  (The "Glass Escalator Effect").  It is NOT false to claim than men normally advance much quicker than women in the nursing profession.  This is well documented.  

In short, the overwhelming majority of positions are neither gender equally nor favor women.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,945 Posts; 170,506 Profile Views

AbbyLane -- it's interesting that you disagreed with my post about my own personal experience in making less per hour than my less educated, less experienced, less senior husband in the same job.  I'm not sure how you could possibly know or believe that I was wrong about viewing my paycheck side by side with his.  Or is it that you dispute my assertion that I had more education, more experience and equal or more seniority in the institution?  You might disagree -- and I see that you do disagree -- with my assertion that male nurses sometimes make more than more qualified female nurses.  But how do you manage to disagree with my own personal experience?

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8 minutes ago, Ruby Vee said:

I didn't have to look far to find men making more than women who were doing the exact same job as them, in the same hospital and in the same unit.  The women were making less despite having a higher degree (BSN as opposed to ADN or diploma), more experience (5-12 years more experience) as nurses AND in the specialty, and despite the women actually doing more (charge, precepting, teaching classes, chairing unit level committees or belonging to hospital-wide committees, rewriting and updating policies and procedures and being published.). I found it in my own household and five old friends who are also married (or have been married) to male nurses have told me that THEY had noticed the same thing in THEIR households.  The men make more per hour than a female nurse in the same unit in the same hospital and hired at the same time (or earlier) even when the female nurse has a higher degree, more experience, more experience in the specialty and goes above and beyond the basic job description.  

In each and every hospital where I have worked that my husband made more than me, the HR department would swear up and down that there are strict pay guidelines and a matrix accounting for education, years of experience and seniority.  Those matrices were ranges, though -- my pay was in the matrix, but his starting pay was at the highest level of the matrix.  And then with each pay increase, the gap widened.  Even though we both got 4% raises, 4% of  more is more.  

I've heard it argued that men work more hours, and that, if true, could account for a higher annual salary.  Women take more time off?  Maybe -- but I'm not talking annual salary, I'm talking hourly pay.  Men tend to get more lucrative degrees?  It may account for the difference between what a man makes in engineering, say, and what a woman makes in nursing.  But it does not account for male nurses making a higher hourly wage than a female nurse, nor does it account for a male engineer making more than a female engineer.  

Men are disproportionally promoted over equally qualified or MORE qualified women, even in female dominated professions such as nursing, teaching and social work.  (The "Glass Escalator Effect").  It is NOT false to claim than men normally advance much quicker than women in the nursing profession.  This is well documented.  

In short, the overwhelming majority of positions are neither gender equally nor favor women.

Respectfully, I have to disagree with you. Not your own personal experience in which if that is the case that's wrong and I'm sorry. I'm not going to act like that doesn't happen but today that is no where near the norm and atypical and also illegal. Not even in nursing. The vast majority of nurses in managerial roles in nursing of course are women. If we see a man earn a position in nursing as a manager or someone in charge, we shouldn't immediately think its just because he's a man, maybe who ever gave him a promotion saw something in him they didn't see in a female counterpart. I don't think we should be allowed to loosely say things like "it's because he's a man" nowadays because the facts and stats don't support that narrative. They used to 100% but not anymore. And out of all professions do you really think a female dominated field like nursing would more than likely promote a man more than a woman? Not only are the facts not there it's just unlikely.  

 

I don't want you to take offense with how I reacted to your post, I'm not disagreeing with your experience I'm disagreeing with your overall opinion, and that your situation statistically is a unique one in today's world. If that rubbed you the wrong way I truly apologize.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,945 Posts; 170,506 Profile Views

We've all heard of the "glass ceiling."  The "glass escalator" is the flip side:

The glass escalator refers to the precipitous promotion of men over women into management positions in female-dominated fields such as nursing, education, social work, and even ballet.

 

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/gyxvpq/men-get-top-jobs-in-traditionally-female-fields-because-of-course-they-do

https://money.cnn.com/2017/10/13/pf/women-promotions-raises/index.html

https://www.womenonbusiness.com/men-women-the-glass-escalator/

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