PAYING WOMEN MORE….I don’t think this should come as a big surprise, but it’s nice to see some empirical evidence backing up common sense:

American women earn substantially more money and narrow the long-standing gender gap in income if other women in their workplaces reach the ranks of senior management, according to a new national study presented here.

….There is a stereotype in the United States that women who become bosses are ruthless and that they treat female subordinates worse than they treat men. Advocates for diversity, by contrast, have long argued that opening the management door to women is not only the right thing to do but will lead to more equitable workplaces in general. [Philip] Cohen’s study is the first empirical evidence that these advocates are right ? but only when women get to very senior positions.

Cohen and University of California at Irvine sociologist Matt L. Huffman found that women earn about 81 percent of what men make, and that figure remains unchanged when the number of junior-level women managers rises from 2 percent to more than 50 percent. But when women become senior managers, female workers earn 91 percent of men’s salaries.

When senior staff meetings are all male, gender issues simply don’t come up. On the rare occasions when they do, they’re brushed aside with minimal discussion. It’s not necessarily that the men at the table are anti-woman (though some may be), but that they have other things to do and just don’t consider gender equity an important problem unless their lawyers tell them someone is suing them.

By contrast, even a single woman at those meetings can change the tone, even if only modestly. A woman who brings up a gender issue can’t be brushed aside nearly as easily, and there’s an underlying feeling of guilt that can’t just be laughed off. It’s probably only a change at the margin, but apparently that margin is good enough for a 10% pay increase. Not bad.

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