More gender segregation in jobs means more harassment, lower pay

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A new paper in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, published by Oxford University Press, indicates that people who are the gender minority in their workplace are more likely to experience sexual harassment. This harassment discourages people from taking jobs in workplaces where they would be a gender minority. It also leads current minorities to leave their jobs for new ones with lower pay.

Women and men are segregated across workplaces, and previous research indicates that such segregation may explain 15 to 20% of the . Researchers here studied how gender discrimination in work conditions contributes to such inequality. Using information from the bi-annual Swedish Work Environment Survey, the study shows that women’s and men’s risks grow with the share of opposite-sex people in their workplace. Women are about three times as likely as men to experience sexual harassment, but in the most male-dominated workplaces, they are nearly six times more likely than men to do so. Meanwhile, men’s risk is almost twice as high as women’s in the most female-dominated workplaces.

The research used a survey experiment to measure workers’ aversion to taking jobs in workplaces where a sexual harassment incident had occurred. Both women and men had a high aversion to jobs in such workplaces, but their aversion was three times larger if the harassment victim had the same sex as themselves. These findings imply that harassment deters women from taking jobs in male-dominated workplaces, where women are the main harassment victims, and vice versa for men.

Workplaces with a larger share of men pay more. A workplace with more than 80% men offers a 9% higher wage for the same work as a workplace with 80% female employees.

The researchers here find that harassment produces through job changes among harassment victims. Investigators found that women who report sexual harassment are 25 percent more likely to have left for a new job in the three years after the harassment. Men who report sexual harassment are 15 percent more likely to have left for a new job. The study indicates women who experience sexual harassment are more likely to leave for a job at a company with a lower share of men and a lower wage premium.

“By deterring women from taking jobs in male-dominated workplaces, harassment also keeps women away from the highest-paying employers in the labor market, and men from the lowest-paying ones,” said Johanna Rickne, one of the paper’s authors. “In this way, sexual harassment contributes to the wage gap.”



More information:
Sexual harassment and gender inequality in the labor market, The Quarterly Journal of Economics (2022). DOI: 10.1093/qje/qjac018

Citation:
More gender segregation in jobs means more harassment, lower pay (2022, May 12)
retrieved 12 May 2022
from https://phys.org/news/2022-05-gender-segregation-jobs.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Gender differences exist even among university students' wage expectations thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Gender differences exist even among university students’ wage expectations

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Gender wage gaps are a well-documented issue, and expectations related to this phenomenon seem to be present even among university students discussing future employment, according to a study published June 2, 2021 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ana Fernandes from the Berner Fachhochschule and the University of Fribourg and Martin Huber from the University of Fribourg, and Giannina Vaccaro from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

The is a well-established phenomenon in today’s , with elements both explainable (e.g. certain job paths being predominantly held by one gender) and as-yet unexplained. In this paper, the authors assessed the effect of gender on wage expectations in .

To gather their data, the authors surveyed a total of 865 students across two Swiss universities. The survey covered general demographic information; professional information, e.g. the type of job and workplace the student hoped to have after graduation and their expected wage (both directly after graduation and three years on); and , e.g. hopes for a future family and/or children, preferences between full- and part-time work in the presence of children, home location, etc. One version of the survey included a bar graph with information on monthly gross income in the private sector.

There was a gender wage gap even among expected wages for surveyed students: this gap was 9.7 percent directly following graduation, and 11.6 percent for wages three years afterward. When comparing expected wages from the students surveyed to averages of actual wages from comparable graduates, the authors found that both men and women were optimistic about their expected wages: on average, ‘ expected wages exceeded the actual wages of similar graduates by 13 percent, whereas female students’ expected wages exceeded the actual wages of similar graduates by 11.2 percent. Interestingly, for those students given the extra bar graph of gross income information, male students actually increased their average expected wages (incorrectly, based on the actual wages of similar graduates), while female students tended to decrease their average expected wages.

The authors note that including the personal and professional responses in their greatly reduced (by approximately 30 percent) the direct, unexplained effect of gender on wage expectations. Nevertheless, a non-negligible, statistically significant direct, unexplained effect of gender on wage expectations remains for most cases under several statistical models considered.

The authors add: “Males typically forecast higher future earnings than females. We find that a broad set of personal and professional controls—collected in an own survey of two Swiss institutions of higher education—largely accounts for those gender differences in expectations across most empirical specifications.”



More information:
Fernandes A, Huber M, Vaccaro G (2021) Gender differences in wage expectations. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0250892. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0250892

Citation:
Gender differences exist even among university students’ wage expectations (2021, June 2)
retrieved 2 June 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-gender-differences-university-students-wage.html

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