Friday, August 03, 2007

Women Closing the Earnings Gap

For Young Earners in Big City, a Gap in Women's Favor

Interesting article in today's Times. It doesn't entirely surprise me that young women are starting to out-earn men here-- New York is a city with a lot of single women, particularly well-educated single women who who are ambitious about their careers, or at least want to make a lot of money before they get married and start having babies. I know I have a biased perspective on this, but among friends and neighbors and colleagues here, I've always noticed a trend that the women just seemed more focused on getting their careers going earlier in life while the men were content to coast a little. Of course there were exceptions to the trend, and of course this is just my circle, and I work in an industry that has a much higher ratio of females to males, even in very senior positions, than many other fields.
It's funny, I think my most pronounced reaction to the article was that it made me feel old! There is still a wage gap for older women, which may be caused by a variety of factors, but sometimes when I meet younger women, I am quite impressed by them. It's not like I'm some dinosaur, and I did grow up in enough of a post-women's lib environment that it never really occurred to me that I might not be able to do something I wanted to do just because I was a girl. But I still sometimes think women in the decade behind mine are growing up with an even greater sense of empowerment. I also look at all the personal finance blogs being written by women in their 20s, such as English Major, Tired But Happy, Budgeting Babe, Savvy Saver, Penny Nickel, and others, and I think how much more control they're taking of their finances than I did at that age.
Bottom line: you go, girls.


English Major said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

It's interesting--I notice the trend you mention, too: with a few exceptions, I'm more likely to sit around and talk Roth IRAs and budgets with my female friends than my male friends. There isn't much of a difference in ambition, though, and I have to wonder whether the trend in women can be chalked up to the anxiety of raised expectations.

FB @ said...

I'm the opposite of English Major. I talk about personal finance with my male friends, versus my female ones (who I barely even touch on financial matters with).

I am happy to hear that it's becoming a trend that young women are making more. I also do agree with EM that it may be the anxiety of raised expectations that is driving all of this: women can finally (literally) do it all and men aren't seen as the only ones who can bring home the bacon (as in my case...)

Single Ma said...

More and more women are college educated and delaying parenthood until their 30s (sometimes 40s), so I bet that trend will soon develop into older age groups as well. It's definitely a good thing, but I wonder how this will affect the "traditional" family structure.

MissGoldBug said...

I couldn't help but do a little song and dance in my head when I read this article... Finally, FINALLY women are not only catching up, but we're surpassing men in earning capabilities... We can do it just as well, thank you. We've come a long way, baby!

Also, thank you to all the women (and men) who paved this path and made it easier for me to get where I am going!


Anonymous said...

I was directed to your personal finance blog in December, by a staffer at Real Simple when she called me to arrange an interview about achieving my financial goals. She told me how great your blog was, and I have to agree! Many of the tips you've provided are ones that I use already.

Just wanted to make sure you get your kudos, too. ;)

Frugal Gal said...

I have read that the trend of women's salaries approaching men's is not so much that women's jobs are better, but that a lot of traditionally "male" jobs are disappearing.

I grew up in a community where a lot of men (fathers of my classmates) supported families at the local factories. Many of those jobs have left.