All else being equal.

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113 Responses to All else being equal.

  1. For a moment I was trying to figure out why cryptorchidism would lead to a lower pay rate…

  2. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Ouch, low blow. ;)

  3. Dave says:

    Interestingly, if you print this on dark-colored paper, the numbers appear as “$35,000” and “$50,000.”

  4. boffo says:

    Dave FTW!

  5. Mike says:

    Maybe as an average but not individually. Women lose time in grade because they leave the work force and then come back. That will always cost you. And it lowers the overall average for women.

    And Dave… not anymore. I don’t know where you’re working but it’s just not true anymore for people with equal skills.

  6. Sally says:

    Ohhhh I get it now. Nice one!

  7. Hatman says:

    ooooh i get it… sexism

  8. Jeff Fite says:

    When I was first puzzling this one out, I thought A and B were surrogates for “guts” and “balls” (I’m guy–I couldn’t help it).

    Okay, so: if you have balls and guts–$75k, but if you have guts but no balls–$100k. Therefore, the value of not standing up for yourself = $25k.

    Every time I think: “I could do this–it’s not even real math!” I get smacked upside the head. I like it.

  9. ladyloo says:

    Whatever, Mike. Keep telling yourself all that.

  10. James says:

    Agree with Mike – unequal pay is mostly myth.

    Be careful when comparing averages…


  11. Joshua says:

    Well the gap is narrowing, but only because those with their gonads on the outside are getting paid less than before.

  12. Bob says:

    Funny how it’s only the men who think this is false. It’s not. Maybe if men and women shared family duties more fairly, women wouldn’t have to leave the workforce as often. Even so, motherhood does not account for, nor does it excuse, the inequity. And yes, not being white means you’re starting even lower. Get an advanced degree in economics or public policy (or at least, as I do, live with someone who does) before you jump to any conclusions one way or the other.

  13. KaGe says:

    And a higher salary does not account for, nor does it excuse poor/absent fathers.

  14. Alex says:

    Do you think so? I don’t think so.

    I don’t think as many women are in high paying jobs simply out of preference. How many women engineers do you see. How many doctors are women? Nurses men? waitresses.

    If more women were interested in mechanics and fascinated by the way things work then I could see their salaries been higher, but seriously, every girl I’ve asked or expressed any opinion about this sort of thing says they are only interested in the bottom line. I’m sure they’re out there, there’s just not alot of them.

  15. kontributor says:

    Statistically the ladies take more time off month by month. They are people people and enjoy or possibly need time away from the stress of work more than men. That same stress to a man is the competition or battle his inner warrior wants to fight and win.

    Neither case is wrong, just different, because ‘all else’ is not equal. And it’s okay to be different. The main problem comes in when we try to ‘value’ people with money. As a husband and father, I can say the value of motherhood is priceless, but who will pay my wife for all the work she does as the mother of my children? I would if I could, but my income has to pay for everything the entire family spends.

    So the index card for today is correct and isn’t fair if the equality in the caption REALLY holds true.

  16. Julia says:

    @ Alex

    But where does this “preference” come from?
    I am sure it’s not a given. Our idea of what is interesting and what is not is shaped by society. Everyday we see and experience things that shape who we want to become. Sometimes it is subtle, like the fact, that on the boxes of toy construction kits, there are always only boys pictured playing with them; and sometimes it is more harsh like the teacher who stared at me when I said I wanted to become a physicist.
    A young boy is much more likely to be asked to help his dad repair the car than a girl. And the girl is much more likely to be asked to help cooking. That’s where these “preferences” come from. They aren’t caused by X or Y chromosomes, they are caused by the society we live in. We can’t change the chromosomes, but we can change society.

  17. I, Roll says:

    Would love to see one of these adjusted for net worth after spending obligations (child support, alimony, socially mandated things men must pay for, and money women have inherited from their partners) etc. I mean, if you’re going with an unadjusted average, why not?

    Oh, and can we get a “value of human life” adjustment for men’s domination of professions with high mortality rates? Maybe knock a couple dollars off a year for us having to sign up for the service?

    My only real gripe with Indexed in general is that it only approaches gender imbalance from the position that only women are ever treated unfairly by society.

  18. Kaitlin says:

    Sad, but true. Nice card!

  19. Jimmy says:

    Wow… Jessica REALLY knows how to poke the dog with a stick! Nice job!

    Yeah, it took me a sec to get it, but then I chuckled. The human ‘laugh’ is, afterall, just an autonomic response to the non-sequitur.

    I’m an Engineer; out of the 300+ other Engineers that work here, only a handful are Women (about 3%). But their pay is equal, considering education and experience. I’ve had to take considerable time off due to various family illnesses, and my pay and advancement has suffered. I would EXPECT the same for any Female.

    Discrimination isn’t NEARLY as rampant as folks think, once ALL factors are considered.

    Get over it, already. Move on. There’s nothing there.

  20. Eimaj says:

    Just reading all of these comments denying that not only does unequal pay still exist but it is pervasive is enough to make me want to crawl into a closet, lock the door and never come out.
    (but maybe that’s because, as a woman, I obviously am not interested in how locks work, right? My god.)

  21. Tara says:

    Pay inequality doesn’t exist?? Explain this:

    1. I have been at my job longer than my two male coworkers with the same position. I have the most seniority.

    2. We have equal education.

    3. I have zero absences, which they can’t say.

    4. I have better performance reviews than them.

    5. I was asked to TRAIN THEM.

    6. They both get paid more than me.

  22. Ghigau says:

    To all the men who say that women deserve less pay because of maternity leave: The pay gap begins as early as a year out of college, according to a 2007 study by the AAUW. This is not anecdote; this is data. Do you believe that women should have their pay penalized because they MIGHT have babies? How else do you explain the pay gap without admitting that sexism is the problem? The study controlled for education, experience, and skill; the only real difference here is where your gonads are.

  23. matt says:

    All else being equal, and women are still paid less than men…..whatever happened to the women’s movement?

  24. Hyunil says:

    Women and prepubescent boys make less than mutant women and men possessing normally functioning gonads. I’ll buy that.

  25. Chelsa says:

    For anyone who thinks that the wage gap is due to momnmy’s leaving the workforce: you’re wrong. Wage gap analysis is always comparing people with the same amount of time in the workforce, working the same jobs, and having the same FT status. The “mommy” wage gap is much larger than 75 cents on the dollar.

    Do YOUR research.

  26. Erik says:

    Everyone’s so angry every time this all comes up. I wish that we could all just sit down over cake and talk about things that make us smile. Like cake, for instance.

  27. FTBC says:

    Everywhere I’ve worked uses a standard pay scale on a per-position basis. All things being equal, men and women make the same amount at all eight employers I’ve worked for in my adult life.

    But how often can you say all things are equal? How often can you compare two people whose education, experience, and level of expertise are identical who also work for the same employer in the same position?

  28. Lauren says:

    wow, major fail at all the men saying the gender gap doesn’t exist.

    great card!

  29. Janey says:

    BULLSHIT. Teachers are paid less because it is WOMEN’s work, Period.

  30. SyracuseSam says:


    I prefer to ogle beautiful women over men. Was this a preference because my Dad and I worked on cars together growing up? I don’t think so. There happen to be legitimate biological differences between men, and women which have an effect on this pay scale comparison.

    My wife will be an official Medical Doctor in less than a year, but she will not be pursuing the higher paying surgical fields. Not because I’m holding her back (I’d like to retire early, and play Dad full time); not because she isn’t as smart (top 5% of her class); not because she doesn’t like surgery (orthopedic is her #1 choice); but because she has to look at her lifestyle. At the end of the day she still wants a family, and to be there with the kids while they grow up. Sure pregnancy is going to take a bit of time out, but it’s the rest of her life she is focusing on. Giving up substantial pay for that choice, and throwing off the averages in these studies.

    These subtle choices play a big part in the wage gap, and have nothing to do with “sexist men”. Not that it doesn’t happen (@Tara), but the studies oversimplify societal sexism by not taking into account other legitimate factors.

  31. Dina says:

    This is true at least for corporations in California.
    Was the lead supervisor of a dept of four men.
    The men were all making higher salaries than me and I was their supervisor.

    I had come from the ARMY where pay is equal among men and women depending on their rank, so I wasn’t used to negotiating for a salary.
    Women tend to not negotiate for their salary. I disagree with the teacher’s statement. One of the reasons, teachers are paid paycheck to paycheck so that it is next to impossible for teachers to go on strike in inner city schools and there is a lot of misappropriation of funding from higher ups.

  32. Snipergirl says:

    I’m very unimpressed with most of the above comments.

    I’m a female doctor training to be a surgeon and I work as hard if not harder than the rest. I love my career and work hard for it- as well as having a life and other interests.

    So to Alex and everyone else who is saying that most women “choose” to go into lower paying fields- fuck you. And I call bullshit. There are plenty of guys who are lazy asses and on the dole or doing slacker jobs. In a couple of years medicine which is extremely busy and requires 60+ hour weeks will be mostly women (at least in Australia).

    Once again, fuck you.

  33. Snipergirl says:

    Additionally, technically speaking the gonads- male or female are by definition ALWAYS in the abdomen because they are intraperitoneal.

    Unless you consider the option that people on 100k wages have been desexed…

  34. Mike says:

    @snipergirl – “There are plenty of guys”

    There are plenty of examples of anything you want to prove. With 6 billion people on the planet it’s easy to put a few hundred thousand together to prove a point.

    As far as your ALWAYS, I’m sure there are examples of OUTSIDE the abdomen. That’s what your learning to fix. I hope you never wind up as my doctor. BTW – fuck you back. Or better yet, fuck yourself.

  35. Bill Diamond says:

    Take it from the horse’s mouth: AAUW’s report Behind the Pay Gap: “… the portion of the pay gap that remains unexplained after all other factors are taken into account is 5 percent one year after graduation and 12 percent 10 years after graduation.”

    Now take into account that other studies indicate negotiating skills or height or even extroversion and introversion amongst men can cause a pay gap. That 5 percent can easily be explained through unquantified factors. But what does the AAUW send out when they ask for money? “The pay gap is $0.76 per dollar a man makes!” Sounds like someone at the AAUW can’t read their own research report or is intentionally misleading their contributors.

    There’s also something interesting I’ll mention. At companies often new employees get hired at higher salaries than existing employees doing the same job. It’s just how it works in most companies that I’ve seen. It is something to do with competitive salaries in the job market and lack of companies updating existing employees salaries. They’s why job hoppers often end up greatly increasing their income (but not everything about job hopping is good obviously).

  36. Rrrrwar says:

    Yeah right, Women get paid WAY less than men do!

  37. fishboy says:

    Some of the unreconstructed, sexist comments here make my skin crawl. The old adage “there are none so blind as those who will not see” rings so true.

    If you honestly think there is no gender imbalance in wages you’re ignorant – which is ok because ignorance is trumped by knowledge. Get some. But if you don’t want to find out the truth then I’m afraid you’re just an idiot.

  38. Andrew says:

    If employee A agrees to work for less than employee B whose fault is it?

  39. Sadie says:

    If employee A has to buy food and shelter and has NO CHOICE but to take a job where she gets paid less than employee B for the same work whose fault is it?

  40. Magnus says:

    @Sadie.. Huh? You assume B can survive without food or shelter then?

    I acknowledge the gap and it sucks.. but like at least 90% of all men, I don’t set other people’s wages, so I cannot correct that.
    I only negotiate my own salary.

  41. Snipergirl says:

    @Mike As you are someone who doesn’t understand the idea of “counterexamples”, I’m glad you’ll never be my patient! I imagine that consenting you for anything would be a medicolegal nightmare.

    (And yes, I was trying to make the point in my comments that there are counterexamples amongst both males and females in terms of work ethic stereotypes, but you obviously missed it- as did you the fact that *perhaps* these comments are actually going to be read by people who fall out of the “hardworking man”/”lazy woman after a husband” stereotype who would take offence to your idiocy)

    (In fact you also missed my point about gonadal anatomy and peritoneum too. Turns out you’re not the brightest galaxy in the cluster, are you)

  42. Lilika says:

    @ Magnus
    “@Sadie.. Huh? You assume B can survive without food or shelter then?”

    No one is; that’s rediculous, but B automatically gets offered a higher pay than A simply for external genitals.

  43. DC says:

    Anyone who is unhappy with their pay and is genuinely good at their jobs simply needs to keep changing their company until they start getting what they deserve. This goes for men and women. Never get complacent, never stay in one place more than a couple of years.

    I know some nay sayers will tell you that employers wont trust you if you keep changing jobs. All I have to say is FUCK EMPLOYERS. Its all about you, your skill set, your confidence, your life.

    In all the interviews I’ve had I think I’ve been asked in a negative fashion about my job changing ways perhaps once or twice. So get on with it. Start looking for a new job today!

  44. Magnus says:

    My point was that Sadie does not have a point with her comment, since B was in that position too when {s}he got the job.

    I think that the employer is silly to offer higher pay than {s}he thinks {s}he can get away with to anyone. This goes for both A and B, regardless of gender.

    The difference appears to be PARTLY that females more often accept the lower pay. I am not saying this is the cause, but it is an observable fact (i.e. there is a gap).

  45. bryce says:

    should have said reproductive organs to be more clear

  46. drklassen says:

    @FTBC: There is a meme out there that employers only want to hire “the best person for the job”—this is used to justify gender and race wage biases. But “the best” is a huge myth as there is no such thing. What you find is a small group that is *effectively* equal and the choose based on other factors. This is why affirmative action, when done correctly, is a Good Thing.

    @SyracuseSam: Ever ask why surgery et al. are the higher paying fields…? You state that your wife chooses not to go into these fields based on wanting “a life”. But that’s another myth—that choice is highly influenced by society which says it is “wrong” for women to forgo family life for career, but it accepted for men.

    @DC: Yeah, quitting and getting a new job in your field, in your town, is just *sooooo* easy…

  47. Mike says:

    @Snipergirl – I was looking for a potty mouth excalation and you went all multisyllabic on me. (Hey, did you catch the doctor talk pun there? Which finger would that be?)

    BTW, here’s the ? you forgot at the end of your last sentence. You can thank me later.

  48. FTBC says:

    @Janey: I work for a school district (IT dept). 30% of the teachers here are men. On average, they make LESS than the female teachers. Why? Because in this particular field, women stay longer and are often more qualified–they have higher degrees or more certifications than their male counterparts.

    No one complains about the “gender gap” in teaching. We all complain that teachers don’t make enough.

    @Dina: I don’t know the particulars of your job, but I would point out that it’s quite possible for a supervisor to make less than their subordinates if those under them are high enough on their own sliding pay scale.

    In my present job, I make more than the base pay for my immediate supervisor’s position. I have 13 years of IT experience for which I am being paid; a new director would make about $8k less than me on the last salary schedule I looked at.

    I don’t mean to dismiss you…sexism does obviously exist in some businesses. I’m just pointing out that sometimes, probably most of the time, what might be perceived as sexism might actually be justified.

    @Snipergirl: Good for you, being a career-driven woman in a challenging field. But you don’t represent all women, nor do those lazy men represent all of us. After all the “gender gap” studies of the early 90s came out, I recall a second wave of studies where they found that men ON AVERAGE work longer in the same career, put in more hours, and are more loyal (in terms of staying in the same job) to an employer than women. That adds up to men being paid more simply because, for a wide range of social and biological reasons, we are more likely to stick around to get more raises.

    @Bill Diamond: You raise a point I keep forgetting to bring up. Because I’m over six feet tall, I’m statistically more likely to make more money than shorter men. But because I’m overweight, I’m statistically less likely. My ADHD and the social awkwardness that can stem from it also affects my potential pay.

    This is the classic correlation/causation bit. Are women paid less because they’re women? Or is it that there is a cultural or biological trait common in women that results in them being paid less?

    I strongly suspect that overt sexism is not the cause of this.

  49. Ethan says:


    You do realize that with affirmative action we will be having this discussion again in 10 years, only the guys will make $25,000 less, right?

    Also, society is just the collective thoughts and actions of people around you. If you don’t like it, then change it.

    I do agree with your last point though.

  50. Snipergirl says:

    @FTBC those studies are out-dated, flawed, ignore sample biases, ignore the actual REASONS that SOME women may work less hours – such as social pressures and lack of career advancement. They ignore the significantly overlapping standard deviations between men and women matched job for job. There are so many flaws I cannot list them all. Suffice it to say that I’m not convinced by what is quite a transparently archaic and ideological set of studies that appear to have been built to prove the hypothesis they started with.

    What i mean to say is that there are many hardworking AND lazy men AND women. There is a HUGE gender overlap. The “studies” you cite are misleading and in fact false.

    They also ignore the fact that within 20 years the current cohort of school students will have women performing significantly better academically than men.

    The swing to a new kind of gender imbalance is NOT A GOOD THING. However given that most of these girls, like me, will grow up having been exposed to comments and “proof” about how women don’t work as hard as men (and shouldn’t for fear of being a “bad woman” or “bad mother” or having “no life”), I don’t imagine (and once again this is a bad thing not a good thing) that they will be particularly sympathetic to the genuine disadvantage that boys will suffer.

    You’re shooting yourselves in the foot here guys!

    Once again, medical school is 60% female in Australia and we are paid on a unionised award system here so we are guaranteed pay parity (NB NOT the case in the US and in many other countries- to deny there is a gender gap is simply naive and uninformed). One day here the situation will be reversed and people will be saying the opposite- that in fact women are the hard working ones (once again this will not be a true statement). I would think that a better thing to do than overtly discriminating against women is maybe to fix the blatant gender disparity and hopefully make things better for both guys and girls.

    Just my 2 cents.

    (and my exit from this forum, I’m no longer interested in furthering arguments that are baseless and completely unsupported by academic articles or hard facts)

  51. henrykwdk says:

    @Mike: your last comment: very elegantly turned. No need for more flame.

    @snipergirl: hate being personal, but I can’t help wondering: is there anybody around you don’t fuck? What about your patients, especially when you are doing the post-surgery interview during that 50th-61st hour? BTW: ever considered that shooting wildly around might increase the danger of shooting yourself in the foot (which, BTW, might sound like yet another card)? And, speaking of foot: ever heard of foot-in-mouth disease?

    I’m very curious about your reply :-).

  52. Jimmy says:

    … you know, of course, that 78% of statistics are made up on-the-spot?!

    In my last statistical analysis class I took, I used numbers to prove that the Environmentalist Movement was responsible for Global Warming.

    I know that discrimination exists; I’ve witnessed friends being subjected to it. But it’s not institutional. In a market-based society, those idiots would be weeded out unmercifully, because market forces wouldn’t stand for a company that only employs lazy men. Yes, I’m assuming the better-qualified women would move on to better-run companies. Oh, you don’t want to increase your commute or change towns/states? Well, that changes the variables in the statistics then!!

    The reason NO ONE can create a reliable measure of WHY one person earns more than another, is the over-abundance of data.

    In physics they’d liken this to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle; the more accurately you try to measure something, the more the data changes.

    I just got my BS in Mechanical Engineering last December, and yet I make more than the female engineer down the hall, who’s been here a year longer than I have (and is a good engineer). The difference? Before I became an engineer, I was a Chief in the U.S. Navy, and have 20 years of leadership and management experience. That difference would not show up in a survey, only that this Man makes more than that Woman.

    It’s ALL about the UNMEASURABLES!!!!!!!

  53. Jimmy says:

    … and I think @SniperGirl and @Mike need to get a room and release all that pent-up anger.

    Both could be threatening their own health with all that stress… it’d be good for them, statistically speaking….

  54. Hyunil says:

    The problem with claims like this isn’t their truthfulness, but their helpfulness.

    Salary difference between the genders is a real problem, and it’s important to acknowledge that and talk about it / try to fix it. But introducing the topic this way (via the comic), while clever and funny, sets people off. It can easily be perceived as an attack–“Men get higher salaries and don’t deserve it. Also, men are to blame for this and should feel guilty.”–even though it may not be intended as one. And attacks just blind people with anger, they don’t inform people or make them think. For example, how many people on this comment board do you think have changed their minds because of what they’ve read here?

    That said, I love the comic, lol.

  55. Chaz says:

    I, for one, would just like to state that I think the comments here are far more amusing than the actual card. Yes, sexism is real. Yes, salary gap exists. Yes, racism exists. None of these things make it the rule. My company last night handed out “Girl Power” awards to female employees. Can you imagine if they’d tried to do the same for men?

  56. Adjectivist says:

    Honestly, I don’t buy this entire ‘paid less because she’s a woman’ thing. It’s an incoherent argument. What’s the real reason? You call these businesses sexist as if their executives took a base salary and docked $10k off every woman they hired. This idea is childish and paranoid.

    Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why businesses are paying men more? Or are you content with crying sexism with no real proof because it’s an easy way out?

  57. James says:

    Anecdotes on the internet will hardly convince anyone that sexism is truly rampant in the workplace so how about some economic logic? If it were true that women accepted less pay for equal or better performance than men then competitive advantage would go to those businesses that only hired women. Now perhaps you could argue that that doesn’t matter in fields dominated by a “good ‘ol boy” culture, but how many businesses can truly afford that in today’s climate? Most business people, male or female, only care only about the bottom line. The fact that women are not overrepresented in most fields is by itself evidence that they are compensated equally. (Sidenote: if women truly were overrepresented in the workplace, this would be lauded by pundits/the media etc as “progress” but would in in fact be evidence that women do indeed accept lower pay for equal work).

  58. mandy Minor says:

    Tim McCormack – me too! And I’m a woman, lol!

  59. Mike says:

    @Jimmy – I thought about that. You see that happening on doctors’ shows all the time on TV. And you know if it’s on TV it’s true. …. Of course it’s always between two doctors. ….. nevermind.

  60. Kyle says:

    The rampant misogyny in this comment thread is unacceptable.

    It must take an act of sheer will for the the other men commenting here to deny your own sexism while you are actively spouting it. Guess what, YOU are the institution that institutionalizes sexism.

    Not to mention claiming to be experts on a prejudice you don’t actually face. Do you also know what ‘really’ happens to people who are a different color, ethnicity, or religion from you?

    Of course, because only white men are objective experts on the world. And only white men are actually discriminated against.

    If you believe that, I have a Kenyan birth certificate and a death panel to sell you, too.

  61. Andrea says:

    this is cool and all.. but factors in only a small percentage of the elites. My brother got left behind in school and teachers didnt give a damn that his grades went from high distinction to fails. I had the same problem and was supported very well… made it to uni. My brother now earns half of what I do. He works hard every week, yet I only work a 38 hour week. He has now tried to kill himself twice and i feel bad for my success after we were in the same position, but I was the one that was helped. He deserves a future too.

    I prioritise socialising, shopping and dating above my job.. lower wages? I honestly dont care, my life has a different balance, and i’m not an elitist who is willing to give away the better parts of life for a CEO position.

    I’m less productive than my male counterparts.. there.. I said it.. who cares.
    (That said there are some lazy bastards out there.. but i can be a lazy bitch too :p)

    Life is the game, not money. (Oh.. and my husband still pays things for me and takes care of me.. patriarchal relationship – get over it)

    stuff like the above image just creates gender divide and ends with people like my brother being left behind. After all, males are expected to look after themselves right? Now thats fucked up.

  62. tim says:

    Wow, so full of stupid and so full of sexism.

    Let’s see, the wage gap isn’t sexism because:

    – women aren’t interested in high-paying jobs (hadn’t heard this argument since 1963)

    – men pay alimony (wtf has that got to do with anything?)

    – syracusesam’s wife wants to have a family, which men never want

    – Jimmy works at a company where 3% of the engineers are women, which proves discrimination doesn’t exist (wait a second…why aren’t 50% of the engineers women? could it be…sexism???)

    – DC is skilled enough and possibly willing to move around a lot so he makes good money (again, wtf has this got to do with anything? good for you and all, but total non-sequitur)

    – executives don’t literally sit down and say to themselves “this employee is female, therefor we will pay her less than this other employee, who is male”

    – and lastly, we have the stunning economic logic that a company would have an advantage by hiring only women, but they don’t, so they must pay them the same.

    Dude, companies pay women less because they value them less because they are, say it with me now, sexist. Not always overtly, not always consciously, but very often insidiously. It permeates our culture. There are exceptions, and it is getting better, but it is still there. So it wouldn’t make any god damn sense for a company to hire only employees that it doesn’t value as much.

    Oh, and as for the actual comic, just great.

  63. Meg says:

    Chaz, I would far rather have my full (male-equivalent) paycheque than a $10 trophy, but that’s just me and my crazy lady brain. Sexism exists. It is institutional, it is cultural, and it is unacceptable. A tacky GIRL POWER plaque is just lipstick on a pig.

  64. woodstock says:

    @matt: Whatever happened to the women’s movement? It got distracted by abortion rights in much the same way the lgbt civil rights movement is being distracted by marriage.

  65. Sarah TS says:

    It’s interesting that in threads like this one, it is invariably men denying and minimizing the experiences of women! As an engineer with my gonads on the inside, as it were, I can attest that this sort of treatment is all to common, and I don’t wonder at the fact that many of my female colleagues don’t want to work in such an environment…

    (Thanks to the guys who are sticking up for us)

  66. OH please says:

    Nothing proves how utterly clueless and self-obsessed some guys are than topics like this. The whole “I don’t see it/experience it/have to deal with it, therefore it doesn’t exist” fallacy is a joke.

    Wake up, boys. Wake the hell up.

  67. tim says:

    @Sarah TS – actually, sticking up for us mens too…can’t these fool boys representing the rest of us.

  68. Rhiannon says:


    Ditto what Julia said and I’d like to add that I’ve met female engineers, electricians, plumbers and IT techs and you know what they tell me about working in those fields? Those fields are FULL of dudebro, sexist, BS that they have to wade through every %@*ing day.

    Yeah, it’s “preference” that keeps women out of those fields. *roll eyes*

  69. Chaz says:

    @Meg: Of course. I’m not using those awards as a justification for anything. I, for one, find them to be horrendously sexist, insulting, and stupid. If it were my choice, such blatant displays of obvious discrimination wouldn’t exist. My point was, for some reason, it’s “acceptable” to present that sort of award to women, and not for men. I was pointing that out as a pro-female sexist bent. Just as lame, I think, as the other side of the same coin.

    That said, I’ll note that I don’t know how the breakdown of salaries is here. Our managerial and executive teams seem to be largely split between men and women, and I think that there’d be a pretty big stink from HR (a department, I note, made mostly of women) if the divide was that great *in our specific instance*. One good, or bad, company as an example does NOT modify the average; it serves only to support pedantic “am not”/”are too” gradeschool arguments as above.

    For my part, I’ll continue working 50+ hours per week to support my wife, a stay-at-home mom, and son; I know her job is harder than mine, and much less appreciated in general.

  70. Rhiannon says:

    @I, Roll

    Rather than continue to force ANYONE to sign up for the draft, how about we abolish it. NO ONE male or female (or neither/both) should have to fight a war that they don’t believe in.

    And remember that women had to FIGHT for the RIGHT to join the armed forces, in case you missed that one. Many of the women who are in the armed forces are still pissed because they aren’t “allowed” on the front lines (despite the fact that in reality they are anyways).

    I wanted to join the services but then I heard from women already in the services about the rampant, just RAMPANT sexism, harrassment, intimidation, molestation, rape that goes on being in the Military while female and I’d already been through too much of that sh*t outside of service to put up with it from comrades – comrades whose backs we are expected to watch, whom we are expected to trust enough to watch our backs.

    @Syracuse Sam

    Ever think about why when a man wants a family he doesn’t have to sacrifice his career to do so, but when a woman wants a family – well, they just have to go for something “less”.


    You’re right, your brother getting left behind was/is f*cked up but it’s exactly the kind of sexist thinking that left him behind, that holds women back. It’s all from the same source. Guess what? Patriarchy hurts men too. Who knew… it’s like the grandest of all pyramid schemes.

    Ditto what you said too.

    For myself, I think I’m done here.

  71. Brian 2 says:

    “The whole “I don’t see it/experience it/have to deal with it, therefore it doesn’t exist” fallacy is a joke.”

    Er, as opposed to “anybody who questions the accuracy of my preferred statistics is a sexist pig”? Yes, there is plenty of sexism in our society, and that sucks. No, women with equal education and experience do not make only 75% of what men do in the same field.

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  73. Ray says:

    I know a woman who was the head of an Oracle DBA group years ago and was given the task of training a new hire to be her assistant.

    Then her boss sent out an email to the department regarding some miscellaneous benefit amounts. She realized that these benefits were proportional to pay and that he had just sent out a de facto department salary list.

    And guess what? The guy she was supposed to train was being paid more than her. They gave her a substantial raise when she threatened to walk out.

    This sexist pay bullshit is not atypical, although some companies may certainly pay fairly.

  74. expatjourno says:

    Not accurate to say “all else being equal.” In fact, the 75% statistic doesn’t compensate for much of anything. It’s just an average hourly wage figure.

    Do your research.

  75. ruemara says:

    for all those who claim this isn’t true, I’m glad you’ve had such a great work life. I’ve personally seen an agency where the inner clique of male staffers had their supposedly equal level female staffers completely bamboozled. And underpaid by nearly a 100k. And boy does it ever shrink when this graph is printed on darker paper.

  76. ROK717 says:

    OK, how about we all agree that some percentage of the differences in pay between men and women may be driven by sexism. Just for the sake of argument.

    I still assert that the solution to the problem is NOT for the Government to legislate pay equality through a “comparable worth” construct or the like. The market remains far more efficient and fair at assigning value to occupations and individual employees.

    There are laws on the books to redress clear discrimination, and these laws are employed widely to remedy egregious situations.

    A large part of pay disparity between the genders can be explained by non-discriminatory factors such as individual career choice. For the rest, let’s let time do its work — much has been achieved in my lifetime (1955 to today) and I am optimistic for the future. For this problem at least, further Government involvement will only hurt our economy.

    Can we have a civil discussion about this, Snipegirl?

  77. Edogs says:

    When I first looked at this, I thought it was implying that only captains of industry who were able to make a six figure salary had become man enough to had their balls descend. How fucked up is that?

    I need to leave Manhattan.

  78. expatjourno says:

    From the AAUW report “Behind the Pay Gap”:

    Many majors remain strongly dominated by one gender. Female students are concentrated in fields associated with lower earnings, such as education, health, and psychology. Male students dominate the higher-paying fields: engineering, mathematics, and physical sciences. Women and men who majored in “male-dominated” subjects earn more than do those who majored in “female-dominated” or “mixed-gender” fields. For example, one year after graduation, the average female education major working full time earns only 60 percent as much as the average female engineering major working full time earns.

    And that’s just the beginning. IIRC, AAUW found that 25% of the gap couldn’t be accounted for by anything other than sexism. That means that the lower salary figure in the cartoon should have been $93,750.

    I don’t think that the existence of wage discrimination is debatable. It exists. What’s more, some of the choices that women make that result in their going into fields with lower salaries or spending less time on the job are themselves influenced by sexism. But it’s absurd to imply, as the cartoon does, that “all else being equal” women earn 75 cents on the dollar compared to men.

  79. goatchowder says:

    Cute. I dunno. Taking time off to raise kids is a killer on average. I took 8 years off to raise my kid, my wife at the time worked, and she started out in those 8 years making a lot less than I did, but now makes more than I did… and a lot more than I could make now.

    Our money system doesn’t value things like raising kids or taking care of the elderly. If women get stuck dding that work, they get un-valued by the monetary system.

    I’d enjoy seeing a study of women either without kids or who didn’t stay home with them, and how their salaries compare to men’s. I’d bet it’s equal, or, since I’ve found women to generally be more competent and hard-working than men, probably higher.

  80. Chris Dennis says:


    1) There is a high correlation between mathematics education and income.

    2) Women, for whatever reason, are less likely to study as much math. Look around just about any engineering, math, or physical science department, and you’ll see relatively few women.

    I should have studied biology.

  81. Edward says:

    It’s clear that there are physical differences between male and female brains. Why else would autism strike vastly more males than females? Clearly something during development is different between the genders. Autistic and Asperberger’s patients tend to become highly focused on technical pursuits. Autism is a spectrum with a great deal of variation. If men are more likely to be autistic I don’t see why the trait of becoming highly focused on technical pursuits wouldn’t also be more common in men.

    Another factor could be the difference in variance in talents within the genders. It is a well known fact that the average IQ’s between the genders is close enough to be called equal (I think women average 1 point higher or something). However when you look at the really high IQ’s in the 150’s and above you find mostly men and when you look at the low IQ’s you again find mostly men. Given that there is a floor to how much you can earn (minimum wage) but no ceiling you might expect the really high performing men to drag up our average while the really dumb guys are prevented from dragging it down.

  82. anon says:

    it’s sad to see so many strong opinions about the relative pay of men vs. women, anglos vs. african americans, etc. nobody has seen it from both sides, yet everybody is an expert.

  83. Ursi says:

    Not all women are planning on having kids. I am mid career, married, child-free and plan to stay that way.

  84. Fred Fnrod says:

    [pithy statement refuting/supporting above diagram]

    [personal anecdote illustrating why it MUST/COULD NOT POSSIBLY be true]

    [amusing/insulting wrapup]

    [optional signature]

    Say it with me, folks: the plural of anecdote is not data.


  85. ROK717 says:

    Yep, Fred’s got it just right. Ursi, please note.

  86. David says:

    I have a slightly skewed perspective as a male in a female dominated profession – Nursing. Here’s an observation or two that may or may not have anything to do with the discussion at hand. A few years ago, we unionized our hospital. Before that, it was considered forbidden, as is the case in many work places, to talk about your salary with co-workers. Management everywhere likes to keep that information to themselves so that they can play all sorts of games with it. When we went to the bargaining table we asked for a list of rates of pay. With something like 460 RNs (90% female), there were 106 different rates of pay. That’s for just one single job classification. Pay varied on all sorts of bases – when a person started, who they knew, how demanding they had been when they started. There was certainly no evidence I could see that performance made a difference, just based on the people I knew who were excellent nurses and those who were less than excellent. Though, it appeared that docility and compliance were advantages. It never occurred to me to look for gender differences, but it would have been interesting. Of course, in this case, most of the managers were female too. Anyway, we now have a salary scale based on seniority that is published as part of our contract and everyone can look at it and see what they are supposed to make. And I love it that way. A simple way to end discrimination in pay scales would require only one regulatory change: forbid those gag rules that most companies have. If people were free to talk about their salaries and know what their co-workers were making, the ineguities would fix themselves a whole lot faster.

  87. fishboy says:

    Oooh, smackdown ROK717!

    Yeah Ursi – please don’t post your comment unless it can be backed up with data. What you have to say, despite being emotion-neutral, is unimportant and unwelcome unless you back it up with statistics.

    We wouldn’t want this to become a forum where we can share things.


  88. fishboy says:

    @David: Thank you! I was hoping there’d be someone from that most female dominated and (IMO) undervalued profession – nursing. I think you’ve hit on something there too – using the secrecy surrounding salaries as a method of rewarding groups or individuals over others could do with greater exploration.

  89. darrell says:

    @David: You sir, just spoke truth to power. Or to not power. But you spoke truth, and I liked that.

    And everybody, if you think the AAUW study is rock-solid proof, have I got good news for you! Smoking doesn’t cause cancer and red meat is good for your heart! I have it all here in studies funded and conducted by cigarette and meat-packing companies respectively.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that “the wage gap DOESN’T EXIST” like a good portion of these commenters have either misread or hallucinated. What I think people are saying is that “yes there is a pay difference, but we think the reasons are many and complicated, not just outright sexism.”

    I know we’re no longer allowed to talk about our “personal experiences” because “anecdotal evidence” isn’t really “fact,” but I’d like to share my experiences as an engineer going through college. Most of the students in my engineering school were male (with the exception of biomedical engineering, which was about 50/50 and also 90% total pre-medical track). The nights were long, often spent in the lab or in the library doing work at gatherings the crass would call “sausage festivals.”

    There weren’t a lot of women, and boy, did we sure wish there were. It’s a common complaint: “why aren’t there more girls in engineering?” The few that were there were appreciated and often did better than the majority in our class. These same women went on to get high-paying jobs at companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, etc…

    Talking to other engineers at different schools, I’ve heard variations of the same thing. All I know is that we all had our reasons for choosing our majors, our jobs, and our careers, but in the end, it was us who chose our paths, and no one else. But what do I know, this is all just anecdotal evidence.

  90. Joseph says:

    This does not explain why anyone making $75000 or more should be complaining about their compensation.

    I feel like that number should be more than enough for anyone without extenuating circumstances (e.g. huge medical bills, etc.)

  91. Leeann Bent says:

    A succinct summarization of why claims of “women aren’t interested in engineering” are bogus:

  92. Name says:


    No one cares what you think.

  93. I, Roll says:

    I’m not planning on getting in a car accident, either. Can I stop paying a higher rate than a female driver with my driving record/experience?

    Yeah, I also heard they’re shot at and their vehicles are sometimes blown up.

    Okay, that was more snarky than reasonable, but the point stands. Besides, military policy isn’t exactly a paragon of social progressiveness, as evidenced by “don’t ask don’t tell” and so on. And it’s one thing for an unspoken, technically-illegal pattern of discrimination and disrespect to exist, and another for an above-board, legally approved and enforced form of sexual discrimination.

    Certainly, both are examples of unfair bullshit, and unacceptable. My annoyance was with only one side getting taken seriously, and in this example, presented somewhat dishonestly.

    My point was that there are financial, legal, and social factors at play that significantly influence an individual’s net worth/pay beyond a widespread average yearly income, and some of those are every bit as unfair as pay discrimination. Clear, now?

    You don’t belong in the comments section. Go away.

  94. Smooth says:

    While I’m a huge fan of this site, I don’t see this example makes sense. Gonads are present in both males and females. In males, they’re the testes, in females it’s the ovaries.

    It’s just semantics, but it’s an important distinction to point out. I’d re-do this diagram with B = testes.

  95. fishboy says:

    @Smooth: Are you suggesting that males whose balls haven’t yet dropped earn less that those whose have? You’re certainly right – but spectacularly missing the point.

  96. Chuck says:

    Demographics says this will swap in 20 years time. More women than men go to college, women make better grades, women are waiting later to get married and have babies, women are having less children, men were disproportionaly affected by the economy. The days of men are outnumbered, sucks to be me

  97. Clarence says:

    For all the whining on this thread about pay differentials between men and woman none of the poor oppressed dears seems able to offer any concrete examples or companies that pay less from women than men if people have the same education and start a beginning level. Nor can they state any mechanisms by which this might happen other than asserting that by golly, there’d be just as many women engineers as men if only the sexist males weren’t telling the girlies to play with dollies. And there’s no mechanism other than genius level evil by which women are mystically paid less for the same job and never find out about it till some study is done by a woman’s organization that of course hasn’t been beating the same drum for 30 or 40 years. And I just love how some seem to think these same helpless easily swayed by the patriarchy (since women do most of the child raising women have far more influence over culture than men do as they RAISE the next generation but somehow it only benefits men) women took up pitchforks and manned barricades to get the right to vote whereas history shows they petitioned men and men -those evil upholders of patriarchy – decided it would be fair to let them vote. Why a patriarch who hates women would let them vote beats me but I digress.

    In any case its clear that women are helpless and need more protection as they obviously can’t make life choices for themselves all choices being restrained by invisible patriarchal demons. So they need protection. I say that men use that force that women are always accusing us of intimidating them with, spank the more strident feminist ones, and put them back in the kitchen where they will be safer and happier. The more reasonable and smart women, the ones who don’t blame invisible patriarchies for everything and take personal responsibility..well they can keep their jobs and educations and maybe figure out how to help us babysit the other ones.

    I’m only being slightly tongue in cheek.

  98. expatjourno says:

    @darrell, the AAUW study makes the same argument you are making: Most of the wage differential is due to factors like what major people pick.

  99. James says:

    Equal pay for equal work.

    If you can’t/won’t do the work… then it’s foolish to expect equal pay.

    If you can do the work… then demand equal pay, and don’t accept ‘no’ for an answer.

    If all else fails, switch to an employer who will give equal pay for equal work.

    End of problem. Stop whining.

  100. Easteregg says:

    Obviously my experience is self-selection, but the nurses I know are men, and more than half the lawyers I know are women. *shrug*

    I plan to accumulate vacation days and sick leave and use it all when I pop out a kid. “Maternity leave” is retarded anyway.

  101. Student says:

    Please, please take a sociology or anthropology class or read a sociology textbook sometime.

    Institutionalized sexism (and racism) exists. Numerous studies and credible research support this.

    Interesting that those who benefit from it are the ones who claim they can’t see it.

  102. jmcguigan says:

    It’s chest, not abdomen. You don’t have boobs on your abs.

  103. jtrain says:

    are those averages by household by person, by chance? that is to say, if someone is working for two or more people the income is counted as less? because that would probably be an interesting figure. i do believe there is a disparity, but i’m not entirely sure it’s unjustified. i know the number of housewives is shrinking, but so is the pay difference, and i have to wonder if there’s a corralation. it’s funny, Indexed is absolutely true, but causality seems to be assumed one way or another by everyone. i don’t know if what i’m suggesting is true, but it’d be an interesting look at those numbers…

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  105. Michael says:

    If I were a business owner and I could get away with paying women 25 cents less on the dollar, I would ONLY hire women.

    And there are plenty of female business owners so it can’t be a guy thing.

    The fact is that this isn’t true at all.

  106. Greg says:

    The arithmetic mean is not robust. Show me the median and I’ll believe it. The arithmetic mean is affected by outliers too much to be a useful statistic in comparing wages. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs are men, after all.

    This will of course be lost on most people, but whatever.

  107. cheese says:

    The diagram highlights that in general, all else being equal, women are paid less than men.

    What is not indicated is several other aspects of life where women are more privileged than men. And it is women too (not only men) who “value” these other aspects less than the aspect of earning money.

    As long as women accept that earning money is the only measure of success, the diagram will stay true. Men (ok, MCPs) might hope to keep this definition of success as-is. It is up to the women to come with a new definition.

  108. Sabrina says:

    @Mike and @James — if what you said was true, Lilly Ledbetter wouldn’t exist. But she does. And she fought for 7 years, only to be turned down by the Supreme Court.

    The average was in the 30’s during the 1960’s. It’s gone up, but we’re not equal yet. If you want to pretend that this is a fluke, that’s up to you.

  109. Sabrina says:

    @I, Roll — She handles how men are treated as stupid in this one:

  110. Sabrina says:

    Can I just say that I love that it’s commenters with male names that say that sexism isn’t real! This is so awesome, you guys! You’re right! I SHOULD stop whining! Sexism is MY fault for not knowing the amount of income of all the similarly-situated employees around me!

    THANK YOU for fixing this problem that has been debated heatedly for about four decades! Why didn’t we THINK of that?

    I can die happily now.

  111. Kate says:

    just a small comment to someone above, I’m going to school for engineering and I’m a girl. The guy:girl ratio was about 4:1 when I was a freshman but its getting closer to 50/50 with the recent incoming classes.