A study featured in Knowlege@Wharton shows that motherhood might affect how much you are paid and how much slack your employer cuts you at work. Where as motherhood seems to negatively affect women’s pay, fatherhood positively affects men’s pay. One of their theories was that single women are dedicated to their careers, mothers might be late more often, but fatherhood might settle men down. (Single women were given more pay than single men.)
Interestingly, the students ranked women without children as the most qualified on several measures, giving them the highest scores for commitment, competence and likelihood of promotion. Even so, childless women weren’t offered the highest starting salaries. Those went to fathers, who also were rated as most likely to be promoted. Childless men didn’t fare as well. They beat mothers on most measures but fell behind childless women on every measure but one. Maybe the raters assumed they would spend too many nights out carousing.
If you are interested in reading the whole article, here it is: Two New Studies Look at Mothers — and Smokers — in the Workplace – Knowledge@Wharton.
So one of the factors that figures into how much you get paid for a job is how many people can do the job. If there are only two people in the world that can do your job, you are going to get paid a lot more than if there are two billion people in the world that can do your job. Education, talent, skills, and experience all play into how unique your skills are. For example, the more education you have, the smaller the pool of people that have the same amount and kind of education.
Another factor that plays into how much you get paid is how desirable your job is. Supposedly, an indoor job is more desirable than an outdoor job, but as a recent interview of a cowboy in the New York Times showed, that’s not always true for everybody.
Traditionally, my job, managing a team of software engineers, has been seen as very desirable in terms of working conditions. I sit in an air conditioned office surrounded by educated, congenial people. However, I’m starting to think that maybe the 200+ emails/day, numerous meetings, phone calls and interruptions might not be the most desirable of working conditions. While I’d like to think I’m being compensated primarily for my skills and talents, maybe I’m being compensated for the stressful working conditions. (And my ability to cope with them! 🙂
6/23/05 Correction: The article about the cowboy was in the WSJ, not the NYT!
Here’s a business plan that makes sense, upper management – including the CEO! – do not get their bonus until all lower levels have met their targets and collected their bonus. What a way to instill into managers responsibility for their teams’ targets.
Here’s the article: Bottom Up.