Well-behaved women seldom make history. — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Video credit: Mortierbrigade2010
Hi, on average full-time working women in Austria earn about 20% less than men. Why is this so? The statistical explaination is easy, the sociological complex.
Statistically, the low fraction of women in leading positions and fewer women in high-pay jobs are responsible for this gap.
For example, only 22% of all software engineers are women, and only 6% of the Top 100 IT companies are lead by women. Microsoft Austria is a positive exception here with CEO Petra Jenner (via futurezone and Statistik Austria).
So why is it harder for women to make it to the top and do not choose career paths in technology-based industries in the first place?
This is the hard question, I will not answer here, but instead help correct some common misconceptions. First, it is not about making everybody equal, there exist justifiable (e.g. women can get children) and unjustifiable differences and prejudices (e.g. women are not interested in math, men work harder than women, etc.). Important is to remove the latter, i.e. pay equal for equal work, based on qualification, experience, and performance. Secondly, do not confuse it with paying all equal, which is an interesting concept but did not work out in practice (so far). It is a question of fairness.
How can the gap be closed?
One solution I envision, which is already here partly, is to financially reward and compensate mothers (and fathers) for getting and raising children. Break unnatural barriers and stereotypes, for instance by encouraging young girls to pursue careers in technology and natural sciences. Transparency can also help, to identify unfairly paying employers.
What do you think about it?
I was inspired to write this article by ivy, who has written a balanced and excellent post about this topic: