Across the U.S., thousands of eager students wait for the day when they cross the stage, dressed in cap and gown, to commence the end of their college career and the start of a new adventure. The numbers show that more women have higher ed degrees than men, but are still making less. So what does this mean for our newly graduated women across the country?
This goes way back. Women started earning their own wages in the Post-World War II, according to a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and thus began going to universities to further their job prospects. So from the 1950s to the ‘70s, women pursued “female-intensive” occupations and majored in education, English and literature.
When men returned from war, women began having more children and stayed home with the birth of the baby boomer generation.
Finally, the late ‘70s and early ‘80s came, and with it came my favorite brand of bra burning feminists, such as Gloria Steinem, who dared to delve into whatever kind of field of study they wanted.
Women started getting married later and were “less concerned about securing a husband while pursuing an undergraduate degree,” according to the NBER.
And here we are today: more college-educated women than college-educated men.
Sadly though, this means nothing. Women still make up less of the workforce than men, and when they do work, they only make 79 cents to the dollar a man makes.
A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers shows that women consistently make less than men even though they’re far more educated.
I had a male friend recently tell me that it’s because women major in “stupid things like hairstyling.”
Four things: 1. I no longer consider him a friend, 2. I also don’t consider hairstyling a “stupid thing” 3. That’s not how economic gender inequality is configured (same work for the same pay is what we’re going for here) and 4. That’s just not true.
Women surpass men in college attainment, but women also make up about half of the students in law, medical and business administration graduate programs.
Also, the WHCEA report showed that women are just as likely to be doctors or lawyers as they are to be teachers or secretaries or “hairstylists.”
Women make up 56 percent of workers in the 20 lowest-paid jobs and 29 percent of those in the 20 highest-paid jobs, the report says.
So, ladies, step out into the workfield expecting a bit of blowback. But take no ones shit. Demand higher-paying jobs and pursue careers you really enjoy.
Christianna is an adventurous, optimistic feminist who can hold her own in a few topics: politics, music, baking and books. At a party, you can find her consoling the hostess’s pets and sipping a gin and tonic.