Letter: Workplace gender discrimination exists


Ingrid Jacques’ column (“Wage gap isn’t a conspiracy,” April 9) misses the mark.

According to Current Population Survey micro data, whether we are looking at computer engineers, hairdressers, nurses or construction workers, when men and women work in the same occupation, men make more, on average, than women. These gaps persist even after accounting for experience, education and hours worked.

Of course, with unionized workplaces, the collective bargaining agreement insures this is not the case.

But perhaps the larger issue is jobs with comparable qualifications and responsibilities pay less if women primarily hold them. While this impacts many occupations, teaching is a prime example. If teachers, an occupation about 75 percent female, were paid at the level of jobs with comparable qualifications and responsibilities but held primarily by men, they would earn more.

A woman getting paid less for the same job position held by a man is a major issue, not just for her, but for the children she supports with those wages. Over 17 million children live in a single-female-headed household. Yes, there is blatant gender discrimination in our workplaces, and we must take steps to end it.

David Hecker, president

American Federation of Teachers Michigan