More Data Points on Engineering Pay
I spent a whole week talking about engineering employment and pay on here before. I talked about engineering jobs by state, engineering jobs by discipline, engineering employment numbers, and mechanical engineering employment and pay. Georgetown University recently released a report that would seem to show that across the board women have to earn a PhD to earn the same as a man with a BA.
Over at Pharyngula this was covered with the sorts of typical responses and excuses: “women choose lower paying professions”, “women take time off for babies”, “I don’t think this study proves there’s institutional sexism”. One of the early commenters even predicted these sorts of excuses would be made. One of the few people willing to speak up for equal pay rights cited this study that shows a pretty serious gender pay gap across plenty of very specific occupations.
I was hoping to pull up some BLS data along the lines of the employment data I pulled up before but it turns out there are apparently not enough women in engineering fields that the Bureau is willing to provide weekly wage data broken up by gender in those particular occupations. They do show a gap across all engineering occupations, but I’m hesitant to use that data as it’s more of an industry breakdown not necessarily for specific jobs which was what I wanted to look at.
In the meantime while hunting around I found this article from the ASME (American Society for Mechanical Engineers). There’s some interesting salary data in there, namely that salaries are higher for engineers in the “pacific southwest states”. They also have median salaries by educational achievement showing that those with a BS earn $82,000 compared to $92,000 for those with an MS. The median salary for female engineers is $75,000 compared to $91,600 for their male colleagues. That means women are earning about 82% as much as men.
I’m sure some men will jump in and point out that this doesn’t adjust for education (how many non-degreed female engineers do you know?) or hours worked, or time taken off to care for babies. And in a way they are right. Until the data is complete and precise, there’s no way we will convince the naysayers. I keep pulling out this two year old study from Glassdoor that shows that for women and men with 0 to 3 years of experience working in engineering, women earn 96% of men. Once you get into the 4-6 years experience range that pay gap widens to about 91%. Still, I suspect those that don’t want to see a gap will continue not to see it.
(Image from the Northwestern University Library)