Why are the jobs typically held by women lower paying? Is it because that work is less demanding or less important or because women are traditionally attracted to it? Why are teachers paid less than engineers or computer programmers? Teaching is one of the most needed and most demanding fields so why do teaching positions pay a fraction of jobs traditionally held by men? Should a construction worker be paid more than the person who educates our youth? Same can be said of nurses, social workers, paralegals, and a host of other jobs traditionally held by women.
My previous husband had no college education and worked on fire alarms and other automated building systems at a college. He was trained on the job and put in his 40 hours and no more. I had a 2-year college education and more than 20 years of experience in bookkeeping. At my job, every day, I dealt with millions of dollars in hundreds of transactions in several different accounts that I balanced to the penny. 50 to 60 hour work weeks were normal for me. I was the financial coordinator for all the attorneys in the firm as well as hundreds of clients. My income, which included many hours of overtime, ranged 25 to 30 percent less than my husband’s and I was paid more than many women in similar positions in our city. My job was certainly not less important or demanding or necessary than my husband’s but was a position typically held by women.
It is not the importance of the job that determines its worth, it’s the gender of the job holder and that is sexism.