In 2004, CNN reported that women’s wages would not equal that of men until 2050. This calculation was based on the trend being seen in the equalizing of salaries since the passing of the Equal Pay Act in 1963. But it seems that this equalizing trend may be accelerating with changes in the nature of modern business.
Guy Garcia, in his new book The Decline of Men reports on a study by the Citizens Union Foundation that females between 21 and 30 earned 117% of the salary earned by males of the same age, and that U.S. Census figures confirm that women in their 20s already make more than men in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and others. Women now earn 60% of all degrees (while making up only 51% of the population) and outnumber men by more than two million on college campuses.
This salary trend is only a part of the overall change being seen among men in American society. Men are not keeping up with changes in the business environment, which now favor the innate social and networking skills of women. Because of that they are “tuning out and giving up.” 13% of men ages 30 to 55 are not working compared to just 5% during the 60s. While this might be expected among blue-collar workers, the trend is now catching up with college-educated professionals as well.
But Garcia does offer a solution. He notes that while “masculine” is seen as primarily competitive and prestige-oriented, “feminine” is primarily nurturing, caring and consensus-building. Garcia sees help for boys coming early in their education, but also thinks that men can adapt. He suggests that they “take a few pages from the female playbook: less hierarchy, more networking; less aggression, more consensus.”
To hear more about Guy Garcia’s analysis of changing gender roles in the workplace, check out the video.
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