Interesting discussion on the tipping point, where, in many ways, the power dynamic in society has already shifted from men to women.  


It Seems to me that individuals need to take heed of these changes. Encourage boys to study, and reward them for it. Stop telling girls that they are persecuted, when in fact they have more career potential, on average, than boys.  For all, stop living in the past.
I know that in individual experiences, people have gender issues in the workplace. Believe it or not, there are employers and supervisors and coworkers who behave like jerks, of both genders.  And there are good leaders, of both genders.  But I think the speaker is right about her data.

I couldn't get the video to imbed, here is the link.

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As I'm waiting for the pdf to load (loading loading loading) I'm asking myself, why this bar chart is different from the information that Rosin presents in her talk?   Is she a shill for anti-feminist forces?  Why is she saying those things?


What I asked myself about the graph here is, is the data in the graph taking into account years in the profession, and hours worked?  Is it current?  If we are comparing an incoming, young work force to an outgoing, mature workforce, then the graph is useless....the demographics have changed significantly.


OK it loaded.  Starting with "A 2002 Census Bureau study estimated that in 1999, the average lifetime earnings..."  I'm sorry, that data is ancient.  The past decade, which is what Rosin is discussing, has been a sea change.  I agree with you that the tipping point was not reached yet 12 years ago, which was summarizing lifetime earnings of people at all stages in their careers (so stretching back in time backward from that, and making projections forward without the recession and the changes that Rosin discusses.


I won't discuss the old data.  That battle has been fought, and it's now past tense.  I will discuss new data with current demographics and statistics, for people who are currently entering in, and heading toward achieving maturity, in their careers.  

This is the data (The Nerd Posted) I usually hear about.
The US census releases reports about every two years due to the amount of time it takes to collect, process, then publish the data. The current most available census report is for 2009.

Pages 13, 19, and 20 illustrates the income gaps for gender and race. Due to the topic of this discussion, I've only selected the data directly relating to gender.

Median income in dollars

  • married couple in 2009: 71,830
  • female householder, no husband in 2009: 32,597
  • male householder, no wife in 2009: 48,084

non family householders:


  • female in 2009: 25,269
  • male in 2009: 36,611

Earnings of full-time, year round workers

  • men with earnings in 2009: 47,127
  • women with earnings in 2009: 36,278

"In 2009, the female-to-male earnings ratio of full-time, year-round workers was 0.77" - pg 20.

An example as to why there is still a definite pay gap between men and women:

Women and men are about equal in enrollment and the number of years spent in college to become doctors. However, women tend to go into pediatrics, general practice, obstetrics, and other specialties that are central to the overall care of patients. Men on the other hand, tend to go into fields such as plastic surgery and cardiac or other specialized practices. 

The disparity is that our culture places a higher value on a plastic surgeon than a pediatrician.

This is not at all a 'blame men for our woes!' situation either. We have an old generation of corporate and business leaders that are still stuck in the 1950s era of male & female roles. There is strong evidence that younger business owners and management hire and promote equally between the genders.

Another factor is that women who take time away to focus on having family and then go back to the work force, they are behind their peers by however long they were away. (I personally can attest to this--left the IT field to take care of family, and by the time I could return, I had to start from nearly the bottom all over again, regardless of 7 years of previous experience.)

There are other factors but basically I guess while things certainly are looking up for women, I do not feel that we should stop giving additional support to girls/young women. The biggest thing is to stop trying to drive wedges between the genders, starting at a very young age. When I'm considering opportunities for my daughter, I never think about whether it's 'appropriate' for her gender. The same goes for my son.

**As an aside, the reason I have this census info at the ready is that my sociology class I took during spring term covered this topic extensively.  I'm not a statistics junkie or anything.  :P

Thanks for the comment.  This information is important.  I think that TED host was trying to say that there is a very significant change happening, and that everyone will be affected by it.  Your point about not trying to drive wedges between genders is well taken, I agree.
I think that current trends in the country by the religious communities is trying to drive the wedge.  We shouldn't assist in that particular endeavor.  

Well said, Frau-t.  And thanks Tara for sharing that info.  Nicely summarized the data.


I work in a mostly male workforce and so I don't think my workplace is a good example of a modern workplace.  I still have the situation where upper management is predominately male and lower management, part-time supervisors (like myself) are mostly female.  I've been called an 'office girl' more than once (I'm very far from girlhood...ha).  The following words have actually been said in the last few weeks:  "Let the office girls answer the phones, we don't pay you (IE: Full timers) to answer the phones."  It's difficult to move up to full-time status...and when women do, they don't last long.  It's a shark tank.  It's because of the management style (Not men in general), I understand that...very old school, authority driven, go through the chain of command style management.  Input or involvement is not really appreciated from the 'underlings' if you get what I mean.  Decision-making comes from the top down.

I work in a mostly female workforce....  not a treat either.  I can't say why on the internet, but it will soon be a 100% female workgroup.  I couldn't handle it.  Some balance would likely be the preferred situation.
I completely agree...balance.  A nice balance of gender and a nice balance of type A's and B's would be IDEAL.   I actually told a fellow male coworker today that I look forward to when younger men change the culture where we work that the 'old guard' keeps perpetuating...the younger generation in their 20's and 30's appear to be open to the idea of balance, their family/personal life and work life.  Even if it means not working a 40 hour week and means making less money.   It's gradual but it's happening...maybe the economic downturn is helping people appreciate the things money can't buy.

Makes me think about the male mystique book.


Both sides need to realize that there are insane demands on everyone. And speaking of women, feminists need to pull their head out of their collective rears and get to know their "sisters" of different shades. Yes, I just spoke in broad strokes(heh) but I guess I'm a bit "wtf".


And Tara is right. When it comes to finances, my mother is pretty good about keeping her nose clean. YET, she is paid less than her male counterparts even though she gets the "dregs" of the barrel when it comes to patients. the sad part? She's one of the few who keeps their Board certification UP.


So yes..I get where you're going(sorry for the chatter)

Pay equality notwithstanding, today I heard some stats that women make up 60% of bachelors degrees in the US now partially because boys are having a harder time in school.  The speaker suggests games as a way of engaging boys and stresses that sitting down, sitting still and listening to someone who may not be that interesting for 6-8 hours a day may not be ideal for boys (and it isn't for girls either of course).

In other countries things are obviously very different for women. The middle east comes to mind.  A frightening development is the practice of gender selectivity which is causing a huge imbalance between boys and girls (130-100 in some places in China) which leads to violent and hosed up societies (another huge topic of its own).

Regarding the workplace, I agree that balance is everything. I work in a mostly (90%) male environment and women get the shaft (pardon the pun) and women of color get the the supershaft.


The workplace issue is interesting.  For the longest time, this is pretty much what I was taught about gender roles for supervisors, and the stereotype that is often promoted:


"Men assume more task roles, give more opinions, are argumentative, and do not disclose personal information. Men tend to take over decision-making discussions, and criticize the opinions and ideas of other people. Conversely, women assume nurturing roles, interrupt for clarification, are more disclosive about information, and more supportive of other speakers. Women also try to avoid conflict by seeking compromises and talking through problems. Some contend that these differences between male and female managers create a female advantage in today’s organizations. Because young girls are socialized to be cooperative, understanding, supportive, interpersonally sensitive, and flexible, they are more inclined to develop different managerial styles when they grow up and assume leadership positionsin organizations. Furthermore, these traditional “feminine qualities” are more inline with contemporary organizations which value sharing information, collective decision-making, developing relationships, empowering others, and resolving conflict in nonconfrontational ways. Some research investigating gender differences in organizational conflict has found that women were less competitive, more accommodating, more willing to share power, and more willing to discuss divergent viewpoints than men..."


As someone in a female-dominated workplace, I've felt like there must be something wrong with me.  I long believed that if there are performance measures, meet them; if there is a problem, solve it, if a task is assigned, do it.  Don't play favorites, help your colleague, and trust that what goes round, comes round.  If you nurture the people around you, they will nurture you in return.  In the feminine utopia that the view of the female supervisor promotes, everyone should be holding hands and skipping through the alpine meadow singing tunes from the sound of music.  So why was I so miserable?


This author looks like a total curmudgeon, and I have a feeling I wouldn't like him, but the information here gives a different point of view:  Three years ago the publishing company Vault did a Gender Issues in the Workplace Survey. The results shocked many: Only 9% of women said they preferred to work for a woman, while three times that number, 28%, preferred a male boss. The majority of respondents had no preference. One woman explained, "Men are generally more decisive, quicker, and focused in their decisions. Women approach work with more emotion than men."

A similar survey by Harper's Bazaar queried 500 English professional women working in finance, media, and healthcare. A majority — 60% — of these high-status women stated their preference for male bosses. Seven out of 10 admitted they would be delighted to see a female colleague fail, and 86% said they would flirt with a male co-worker if it would boost their job prospects.


then there's this (Mean girls in the office):  "Instead, I drove home every night in tears. Amanda stole my ideas, sabotaged my relationships with writers, and "forgot" to tell me about meetings. It was like high school all over again. How could this be happening in a respected company run by professionals?  Apparently, it happens a lot. According to a nationwide poll by the Employment Law Alliance, 45 percent of American workers say they've experienced workplace abuse. But oddly enough, while men are equal-opportunity bullies, pushing around both male and female coworkers, the 40 percent of tormentors who are women tend to pick on other women more than 70 percent of the time. So much for female bonding."


and some balance (CNN) giving both views.  


I've worked in places that are dominated by men, and by women.  I can say for certain that both genders can be abusive, dishonest, mean, amoral, bullying assholes.  I think that to be the odd person out is especially hard, and I'm basically an odd person.   I really think diversity is the most protective from abuse - where everyone is the odd person out, it's harder for people to gang up on someone for not being "one of us".  My personal experience is that men have been more direct in their abuse, while women have been more backstabbing, but both can be bad (and either can be good) and I've seen directly abusive women and backstabbing men.  Performance has some protective value, but when the workplace is like the primate exhibit at the zoo, it's not everything.


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