Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey toward Equity
by Claudia Goldin
In Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey to Equity, Claudia Goldin one of the most eminent economists working on this issue, asks why men continue to earn more than women.
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“Claudia Goldin is an economist, in fact the first female economist ever to get tenure at Harvard. Career & Family is a book everyone should read because it analyses an issue that affects many of us: the wide disparities in pay that develop after people have children. The fact is, it’s very hard to both care for kids and be at the top of your profession. In the economy, the highest paying jobs go to workers who are prepared to work crazy hours and are available 24/7: they either don’t have children or have someone else who is prepared to look after them. This, Goldin has long argued, is the reason women with college degrees still earn so much less than men, especially in jobs like law and investment banking. It’s not so much about sexism or women being worse at bargaining for higher pay than men (say), it’s about a system. If that structure isn’t changed, no number of workshops training people to be less sexist, better at negotiating etc. is going to make a difference. This book is full of data looking at different cohorts of American women through the 20th century, though I love that there are also lots of examples of what prominent women did regarding marriage and children. Goldin remains outraged at the current situation but is also at pains to show that women have come a long way: a century ago, women who had a career did not, in general, get married and have children, now they can have both (even if they’re paid less for their efforts).” Read more...
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