I am also a woman engineer at the University of Akron and I see the same thing with my classes! In my calculus 3 class there’s less than 10 girls and in my civil engineering introductory class of about 200 there were also less than 10 girls. I think the reason for this is because the majority of girls simply aren’t interested in pursuing careers like engineering or careers that deal with technology or more hands on “guy” type work. I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault it’s just how boys and girls brains are wired slightly different. Boys tend to be better at math and science whereas girls aren’t. It’s genetics. Obviously that doesn’t go for all girls and guys, but a majority yes.
I’ve done research on the wage gap because I thought the 80% number was too low to be true. As I was researching I’ve found that it very misleading of what it represents. So the 80% number is representative of the uncontrolled — or “raw” — gender pay gap, which looks at a median salary for all men and women regardless of job type or worker seniority. That is very important. How can you throw a number around that doesn’t even account for worker seniority? That’s like comparing a woman making $9 at a store who just started to a man who’s been working at the same store for 10 years and is now making $15. It can’t be compared.
If you look at the controlled wage gap then you will see how much closer it is. Nationally about 98%!! And the rest of the gap is due to many factors which I won’t even begin to list. But, I would like to point out that women and men get paid the same per hour. When starting a job (like a restaurant, retail, basically any job only requiring a GED) you get the same pay. For jobs that require more experience (college, special training) and for where you may need to negotiate prices then it’s up in the air a little bit, but that’s just life. I think De Blasio’s law on not being allowed to ask a possible employee for past pay is a great thing for helping things to be more fair, even though I can’t stand the man he did something good for once.
So the point is that the 80% number is a bad representation of how big the gap is. There seems to be a gap in the number of women in high-level, high-paying jobs. And that is okay! The jobs that are high-level, and high-paying are the jobs which women aren’t as drawn to. That is why degrees like engineering are so heavily promoted by colleges, at least for Akron, because they want to see more female faces in the workforce. I mean only 10 out of 200 in my one class were female! If more women take jobs like that, then I can guarantee that in ten years the wage gap will be significantly smaller. But in all reality that won’t happen anytime soon because there is not nearly enough women that want jobs like engineering.