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The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

  • 1.  The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 09-17-2019 18:06
    ASCE News just posted an encouraging article that salaries are "trending up" faster than the rate of inflation. Although this is a positive note, there was a mention of something quite concerning in the article-- "The gender wage gap remains an issue in the industry. The report found that the median salary for a male was $110,000 – outpacing women's median salaries by $23,000." See image below for a percentile breakdown. This $23k gap would translate to about 21% less.


    Also concerning was the gaps in minority pay (see below).



    A 2016 U.S. Census Bureau Study found that there was a little bit less of, but still a concerning 14% gap (keeping in mind that ASCE's data is coming in much fresher).

    This data comes from ASCE's Salary Survey-- every February members are asked provide their compensation information. Members get 15 free uses of the "salary calculator" and search tables if you participate.

    Also concerning was the rate of women responding-- coming in at an abysmal 18.3% vs a 81.7% male response. According to a 2017 study, 27.6% of Civil Engineering bachelor's degrees are awarded to women (which surprised me because my graduating CE class felt pretty 50/50).

    This data *seems* to be somewhat broadly interpreted. There could be several reasons data-based reasons that the men/women salaries aren't matching up, including that only 30% of women who earn bachelor's degrees in engineering are still working in engineering 20 years later-- leaving men with the highest paying positions toward the end of their careers (this could also reflect the response rate). Even if this is a factor, doesn't this seem more systematic than an issue with the data? Perhaps more women are employed as engineers by the government than private sector, which tends to pay less.

    I'd like to point to this quick 10-minute NPR podcast that references Glassdoor's Gender Pay Gap study before anyone descends on this thread trying to disprove the gender pay gap. Unfortunately they do not reference civil engineering specifically but touch on similar industries.

    However, I do not believe that even when carefully compared apples to apples that this gap would close completely. What do you think of these findings? Do you think the industry is moving to fix it? Where do you see progress and where do you think we can be better?

    ------------------------------
    Peyton Gibson EIT, S.M.ASCE
    Engineer in Training
    Denver CO
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 09-18-2019 14:56
    ​Thank you for this engaging post and for sharing the links.  I think these findings are interesting but not concerning, based on the studies conducted so far.  The Glassdoor analysis drills down the most I've seen of any of these wage gap studies, and I think they're on to something with the finding explained on page 23:  "...gaps between the education and experience of men and women are narrowing over time, and are playing a smaller role than in the past. By contrast, we found that job segregation-the sorting of men and women into different jobs and industries in the economy-explains about 56.5 percent of the gap, the largest factor by far."  Whether this sorting is by free will / choice or invisible societal pressures to conform to gender expectations is another topic entirely.  Regardless, there aren't yet any smoking guns pointing to discrimination.  A detailed study of civil engineers could give us the information we need to make appropriate conclusions.  In the Glassdoor study, workers were compared based on age, education, years of experience, job title, employer, and location.  It should be intuitive that people could share these factors and yet vary considerably in terms of productivity, quality of work, leadership, etc.  These personal effectiveness traits enhance or worsen the individual's value to the organization and, consequently, their salary worth (in the private sector at least).  Measuring them in a standardized way could be difficult, however.  Should a researcher compare workers based on value to the organization, and if so, how?

    ------------------------------
    Jeanne L. Finger, PE, PMP, M. ASCE
    Senior Engineer
    Spokane, WA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 09-18-2019 18:39
    Along the lines with what Jeanne said, I think something that appears to be lacking in the report, that would gleam a lot of information is are the ages of respondents.  I would agree that the Civil Engineering profession as a whole is finally becoming more diverse.  Maybe not as fast as we might hope for, but lots of progress being made none-the-less.

    That said, it might also inform why white males seem to make more.  When you ignore age, it assumes that everyone is on a level playing field in terms of experience.  But if the median age of the white male respondents is 50 (for example) and for other genders and minorities lower, say 35 (for example) it would make sense that the white male median income is higher, they're more senior/experienced.  And that does track with how we're seeing more diversity in the Civil Engineering sector develop, from the bottom up, as new graduates enter the workforce.

    This doesn't rule out the possibility of discrimination, but could help to explain the gap we're seeing.  Without knowing the median age of respondents for each of these other metrics it's hard to say for certain.  Hopefully future reports include this metric, that way we can correctly identify and focus efforts fixing the issue with the industry: discrimination or better attracting more diverse civil engineers.

    ------------------------------
    James Smith P.E., M.ASCE
    Design Engineer
    Grand Rapids MI
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 09-20-2019 16:22
    Thanks for posting this Peyton!

    It looks like you have some really good replies!

    I would be curious to know what companies are doing to ensure they do not have a gender pay gap occurring in their firm. I know many consulting firms do studies on a regular basis to ensure they are paying their staff appropriately. I wonder during those studies if they look to ensure there is not a gender pay gap, and if there is, that they correct it. ​

    ------------------------------
    Kenneth Mika, PE M.ASCE
    kmika@...
    Green Bay, WI
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-06-2019 13:57
    Interesting Ms. Gibson.
    You present your perspective based on specific data, referenced as to source, while those so far who respond simply  'opinionate.'

    Hang on for this ride, as you know, this is a historic battle women have been fighting since...and before......our countries
    "Agricultural Age!"

    On the chance some may not have read this source . . ."Women at Work," Thomas Dublin, . . .I share a couple of background comments
    author Dublin makes for today's civil engineering women to appreciate those women who went before them in what used to be the
    100% male-controlled workplace:
    a. "As late as 1820 women working in their own homes made two thirds of all clothing produced in this country."
    b. "...led to a mass movement of women into the early mills until by 1860 more than sixty thousand women were employed in the cotton textile industry in New England alone. Yet much of the historical literature on the Industrial Revolution in this country reads as if only workingmen experienced the wrenching changes of this transformation."

    So while women have come a long way since those days, it has not been without "Blood, sweat, and tears!"

    I noted some time ago that simply out of frustration some woman engineers and scientists have formed their "Woman Only" professional groups.

    It is my belief that as we become more experienced in collaboration, communication, and cooperation that will necessarily require more proactive listening then talking. This will lead us into the deliberate formation of intergendered project groups that will transition to actual teams.

    Please continue challenging.
    Cheers,
    Bill





    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-11-2019 18:14

    Whether within programs or projects, functions or PMOs, the paths to lasting success for clients, employees, and stakeholders will best be navigated and routinely achieved when the gender of the pathfinders are no longer a pre-journey question.

    If I may be so very bold. . ..

    For those over 39ish or so[1], the "Messy Chaos" of relearning what you quite naturally and spontaneously knew to do and how to do when you were toddlers up until about the age of 4 ½ years of age before you started "Formal classroom education" may now be recalled and put to good use. But more on that later.

    First, a very brief return to just one scene of the formative "Gender Abuse Era" in the formation part of "Workplace America."

    The source for each quote below is from the book "Women at Work," by Thomas Dublin, "The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts,"1826-1860. New York, Columbia University Press.1979.

    This book was awarded the Bancroft Dissertation Award of Columbia University.

    "The work force of the Hamilton Company in July 1836 was overwhelmingly female. More than 85 percent – 881 of 1030 were female." . . .. . .. p.26

    "Of females who were resident…more than 80 percent were between 15 and 30 years of age." . . . . . . . .. .  p.26/27.

    "In 1836 men earned a daily wage between $0.85 and $2.00 while women…. piece work…daily earnings $0.40 and $0.80……. p.66

    "Table 4.1. . .Mean Daily Pay. . . Overall/Men, $1.05. . . Overall/Women, $0.60.

    For 149 men and 881 women, all at the Hamilton Company at Major jobs". p.66

    The book continues to page 197, and then there are tables, appendixes, references and the like. But for purposes of this intended dialogue I believed enough had been quoted above to help understand how historically and factually we ended up with such male-driven culturally discounting treatment of women.

    Now, I am seeking to spark interest, and I trust, some open dialogue.

    The one thing we each can decide right now, together, is to accept the fact we cannot change what has already past.

    We can choose to change what has yet to occur.

    Doing that together will be more fun than alone!

    Q. What experience(s) might you share that can help us better understand how to better facilitate and engage women and men within our professional work lives by first understanding the value of differences each brings to the issues at hand?

    [1] BTW, I have passed this marker twice!



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-18-2019 11:26
    In my engineering firm, when women and men are matched up with respect to job responsibilities and performance, there's no gender gap in compensation.

    I can't generalize from my firm to the entire industry, but my impression is that most of the studies which have been done didn't match up job responsibilities and performance, so they weren't comparing apples to apples.​  That kind of 'sloppy research' would never be accepted in medicine, and we shouldn't accept it in engineering either.

    ------------------------------
    Irfan A. Alvi, P.E., M.ASCE
    President & Chief Engineer
    Alvi Associates, Inc.
    Towson, Maryland
    www.alviassociates.com
    ialvi@...
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-18-2019 16:35
    "I believe that girls should
    get paid as much as boys
    do in jobs. 
    I don't know
    why they're not, but it's
    not right. 
    Just because
    we're girls doesn't mean
    we don't work hard enough!

    Girls can do everything
    boys can do and more.

    Not getting paid the same
    amount is just wrong."


                              ---Michela M., 9

    From The New York Times Magazine, Sunday, September 29, 2019


    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-18-2019 17:37

    The brief reflections above by engineer Mr. Alvi seem counter-pointed to the excellent concepts postulated in the paper "Philosophy of Engineering: What it is and Why It Matters," J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract., 2015, 141(3): 02514003. The authors noted that the popular perception was that engineering is sort of a straightforward rational solution of technical problems. But life-lessons teach the very opposite, i.e., their solutions are inherently indeterminate.
    They state "They do not yield definitive answers just by following rigid rules."

     So, I suggest we give the issues relative to the points raised by Ms. Gibson, at the very least, the same premise as we work together to collaborate, communicate and cooperate to address this complex and long overdue issue.

     Respectfully,

    Bill

     



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-19-2019 00:10

    I believe you are misinterpreting my observation (and those of other respondents) that the references cited by Ms. Gibson, and other I've read, do not prove discrimination because they are not granular-enough comparisons between men and women civil engineers.  We are NOT saying there is no need to collaborate, communicate, or cooperate on this issue.  I am saying the research is weak on this subject, and all of us would like to see better studies so that appropriate conclusions can be made.   

     

     image001.jpg@01CF4E73.24ECFBB0

    Jeanne L. Finger, P.E. | City of Spokane | Water Department

    509.625.7811 | fax 509.625.7816 | jfinger@... | spokanecity.org

     






  • 11.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-21-2019 10:07

    Well, then let's go back to what Ms. Gibson's intent was in starting this thread, i.e., what it appears she was looking for, from those who would contribute.

    • Peyton's Posted Tread's Questions:
    1. What do you think of these findings?
    2. Do you think the industry is moving to fix it?
    3. Where do you see progress, and?
    4. Where do you think we can be better?

    And for those who wish to first review research to support assertions of clear and present decades of compensation and promotional bias against women, compared to men in science and engineering, I refer you to the "Instant Gratification" available within the resources of "Google Scholar." A few "Quick Hits" follow.

    Penalties and premiums: The impact of gender, marriage, and parenthood on faculty salaries in science, engineering and mathematics (SEM) and non-SEM fields

     

    Beyond Gender Schemas: Improving the Advancement of Women in Academia

     

    Inequality quantified: Mind the gender gap

     

    Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students

     

    Female Faculty in Male-Dominated Fields: Law, Medicine, and Engineering  

     

    IMAGE OF ENGINEERING AMONG CANADIAN SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS  

     

    p.s. Are you really going to continue to argue that first you need more data to support the reality that women are, have been,
    and will continue to run 2nd to men unless and until they stand together and say out loud:

     

    "We're mad and we're not going to take it any longer!"

     

    Respectfully,

    Bill Hayden Jr,

    Son of Mary Ellen Deady Hayden, a first-generation Irish immigrant, who was orphaned at the age of 6, placed in an Italian Roman Catholic Orphanage run by Mother Francis Cabrini, who was later 'Sainted.'

    My mom did not, and would never have put up with what our professional women accept, so many in silence.

     



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-21-2019 12:28
    I don't think anyone disagrees that, historically, women have faced terrible discrimination which has harmed both women and society, and that gender gaps in compensation are a form of discrimination which is entirely unacceptable.​

    The question is whether we currently have gender gaps in compensation in civil engineering, when apples to apples comparisons are made which match up job responsibilities and performance.  Answering that question requires the kind of study and statistical analysis which is often done in medical research.

    If such gender gaps exist, further study is needed to determine the factors contributing to the gender gaps, and how the gaps vary with those factors.  Based on that knowledge, we can finally come up ideas for how to close the gaps.

    ------------------------------
    Irfan A. Alvi, P.E., M.ASCE
    President & Chief Engineer
    Alvi Associates, Inc.
    Towson, Maryland
    www.alviassociates.com
    ialvi@...
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 10-22-2019 17:54
      |   view attached

    For those supporting the accumulation of reliable data regarding women professional engineers in the workplace, consider this report.

     "Women in The Workplace 2019"

     Sign up for the 2020 study at womenintheworkplace.com

    Women in the Workplace is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. In 2015, McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org launched the study to help companies advance diversity in the workplace. Since then, close to 600 companies have participated in the study, more than a quarter of a million people were surveyed on their workplace experiences. Every year, the number of companies participating in this study has increased.

     Page 59 REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN ACROSS INDUSTRIES

    1. Who will follow-up with the editors of this report to assure that the woman professionals in engineering will be counted in the next edition of this report?

    Thank you for considering this suggestion.

    Bill

     



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)



  • 14.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 12-11-2019 08:39

    Here are a couple of other reports that have similar conclusions to the ones in @Peyton Gibson's original post on this thread:

    1. The 2019 Women in the Workforce report., which @William Hayden shared. One of the most interesting sections is about "Only's" (see page 52 in the report, which is on page 28 of the .pdf). Per the report, "only's" are much more likely to occur in tech and engineering. An only is defined as a woman who is often or usually the only one on her team or in the room. The report also highlights that what many would consider "personal effectiveness traits", are perceived differently if that trait originates with a man or a woman of equal experience. According to the report: "Women who are Onlys are having a notably difficult experience at work. They’re far more likely to experience microaggressions than women who work with other women. They are more than twice as likely to be asked to prove their competence, over three times more likely to be mistaken for someone more junior, and about twice as likely to be subjected to demeaning or disrespectful remarks........"

    2. The NCSEA SE3 committee, which studies structural engineering retention and engagement. Here's a link to the latest posted pay report: http://www.se3project.org/uploads/8/9/5/2/89527265/se3_2016_pay_report.pdf. The 2016 report link shows the gender pay gap at $27,500. The pay gap is very small at the staff/entry level (i.e. the first job), and starts expanding at the first promotion level (project engineer in this case), with the largest gap being at the highest levels. That very much aligns with the ASCE survey data. That is also the same thing found in the Women in the Work Force report, across the board in all industries. And yes, it is my understanding specific to the SE3 report that rigorous data analysis has been used and that they have controlled for all other factors noted by the many posters on this thread when the pay gap was determined.

    There is more than enough data to show that there is something to the gender pay gap in civil engineering when considered at a macro-level. Perhaps we don't know exactly what that dollar amount is, but does the exact amount really matter if the trend is there?

    I am troubled by some of the opinions on this thread implying that somehow civil engineers are above both societal trends and other engineering disciplines in this area.  I am also troubled by some of the data I've seen (for example from Zweiggroup's surveys) indicating that something like 90% of AEC principals are male and 60% of those don't believe there is an issue with diversity in the AEC industry. That makes it awfully hard to even talk about any of these issues, including a pay gap, if we won’t consider that it even might exist.

    To be clear, there are some firms ahead of the curve. Additionally, I don't think someone sat down and thought "well, as an industry/society we are just going to pay the women less than the men." There are a lot of factors at play. For example, from a statistical standpoint, women are less likely to negotiate, are less likely to get a "yes" when they do, and are more likely to experience backlash (from both genders of bosses) for even attempting to negotiate. That's fairly easy to fix: Negotiate, and when it becomes “normal” for everyone to negotiate, the backlash will cease.

    The bigger - and much more daunting - challenge is tackling what some might think of as "personal effectiveness" traits. In many firms, these traits are often the unwritten rules required for promotions and higher-level positions, and are often subjective, poorly defined, and rooted in some sort of unconscious bias that we don't acknowledge.

    As a hypothetical example: Let's say you are in private consulting, and almost all your firm's clients are white men (which is statistically likely, especially if your clients are contractors or architects). Let's also assume that your firm's clients appear to generally treat everyone - all genders and races - with respect. Yet, unless a particular client is a statistical anomaly, he is much more likely to accept the competence of a "stereotypical engineer" (i.e. a white male) at face value than that of an equally qualified young woman, a minority woman, or a minority man. Not because he’s out to get anyone, or consciously thinks that way, but because of unconscious biases that we all have by virtue of our humanity.

    Now, imagine that there is a "stereotypical engineer" and an equally experienced minority woman who are both project managers, and are both managing different projects for that same client. It's likely (at least from all the data available around women in the workforce) that from the onset of a project, the more stereotypical engineer may have an easier go of the project than the minority woman, regardless of the specific project challenges. That minority woman is going to need to re-prove her competence at every turn, in a way that the stereotypical engineer does not, simply due to societal stereotypes and unconscious bias. She's going to have to spend extra time (and project budget) to demonstrate her competence, while the "stereotypical engineer" is more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt. It will show up in the way she is received in meetings and in the ways her decisions are questioned more often. It will show up in something as basic as the number of emails she has to answer.

    Now, when that client comes back to their boss with raving reviews for the male project manager, and reports back that the minority woman was "technically excellent, but I just didn't hit it off with her," and that happens over and over again throughout both of their careers, who do you think is going to eventually be promoted and paid more? When the boss hears this feedback, who is he or she going to be most likely to view as having leadership potential, and provide mentorship to? Who is going to have an easier time bringing in client work in this scenario (required for the highest level positions)? Where is the line here between "personal effectiveness" and unconscious bias? 

    The data does show the pay gap improving. Two things everyone can do to close it more quickly.

    1. For individuals – Learn to negotiate, it’s a skill that will serve you well not just in salaries but many areas. 
    2. For organizations –Clearly define metrics for success in a title or role, as well as what is required to advance to the next level. Once defined, these should be transparent to everyone in the organization. Then, make your base salary grades consistent with titles/roles. Those with the same titles should be the paid the same base salary. If the performance (as measured by transparent metrics) of one employee warrants a higher bonus, so be it.
    ​​

    ------------------------------
    Stephanie Slocum P.E., M.ASCE
    Founder
    Engineers Rising LLC
    www.engineersrising.com
    ------------------------------


  • 15.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 12-11-2019 11:57
    Stephanie makes a good point about effects of unconscious biases.  Decades of research in psychology show the prevalence and impact of such biases.  Such biases influence not only how people view and treat others, but also how people view themselves and how they actually perform.  An example is 'stereotype threat':

    https://www.apa.org/research/action/stereotype

    http://gap.hks.harvard.edu/problems-pipeline-stereotype-threat-and-womens-achievement-high-level-math-courses

    https://diversity.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/stereotype_threat_overview.pdf

    The basic idea here is that if a particular group of people tends to be perceived by society as having lower capability to perform a task:

    - Members of that group will tend to perform worse on the task if they're reminded beforehand that they're members of the group.

    - Members of that group will tend to NOT perform worse if they're told beforehand that no differences in performance have been observed when comparing groups in the past.

    - If there are no reminders of group membership or comments about group performance provided beforehand, studies vary with regard to the group performance results.  In some studies, group performance is worse, and in other studies it's not.

    It goes back to the adage that deep-seated belief that we can accomplish something is a very important component in actually accomplishing it - but our beliefs are very much influenced by the society we live in.  For me, a takeaway from this research is that the effects of biases in producing inequalities between groups need to be addressed at multiple levels - sociocultural, organizational, and individual.

    ------------------------------
    Irfan A. Alvi, P.E., M.ASCE
    President & Chief Engineer
    Alvi Associates, Inc.
    Towson, Maryland
    www.alviassociates.com
    ialvi@...
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 12-12-2019 10:10
    The pay report posted by Stephanie does support the existence of a pay gap in the structural engineering workforce, thank you for sharing.  The full excerpt she references reads:

    Male respondents earned, on average, $27,500 more than female respondents. This pay gap was skewed toward higher positions and more years of experience; there was essentially no pay gap found for entry-level respondents.

    This suggests that the industry starts people out on equal footing in terms of pay.  Good intentions.  This suggests the gap increases at staff members get to more senior positions.  I'm assuming by the verbiage of the passage that this is in fact an apples to apples comparison of senior female and male staff rather than just all female and male staff.  While the report is for the structural subset of engineering, I think it can be considered representative of at the very least the civil engineering profession.

    So the question would then be, "Why is this happening?"  I think Stephanie answered that.  As she has asserted it's not a single prong issue or even something unique to engineering.  Its a more complex issue involving a lot of issues, biases, psychology, both conscious and sub-conscious, work environments, and more.

    More research with similar apples to apples comparisons can still help us better root out specific areas to address and more effectively.  But, with any issue in life, the first step is admitting that there is a problem.  As engineers we are beholden to facts, and now seeing them we must accept this is a problem in our industry that we need to address and work to improve.  Fortunately the data does show it improving, but we should not sit back and wait, but work together to help close it more quickly.

    So the next step is: how?  Stephanie had some great suggestions.  I'd like to add to those with this:  Continue to encourage women and minorities to get into engineering!  Of course this starts at young ages, but needs to be encouraged throughout high school and into college.  Support STEM for all.  Make these programs more readily available to everyone.  Once we make the profession more diverse, we can truly start to eliminate issues like these.

    ------------------------------
    James Smith P.E., M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    Bergmann
    Grand Rapids MI
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 12-12-2019 17:51
    I had a look at the SE3 study report.  The study does make a good effort to use statistical analysis to make apples to apples comparisons.

    Here's the content from page 52, in which I've bolded some things:

    "Despite gender pay gaps favoring men in nearly all bivariate analyses noted in Chapters 3 and 4, none of the variable selection methods identify gender as a statistically significant predictor of pay. This means that, in the SE3 survey data, gender, by itself, is not as reliable a predictor as any of the 13 factors in Figure 5.1. However, gender may interact in important ways with some or all of those 13 factors.

    Once the initial statistical model, with its top predictors for all respondents, was determined, each of the predictors was then explicitly tested for its interaction with gender. It is important to explore gender-based interaction terms for predictors, because otherwise there is an implicit assumption that each predictor is gender neutral in its impact on pay.

    In order to determine the impact of gender on each factor, two approaches were implemented. The first methodology was to implement the initial model separately for the male and female respondents in the SE3 data set. If a predictor were gender neutral, then its estimated contribution would be similar in models of men's pay and in models of women's pay.

    The second methodology was to augment the 13-variable statistical model by interacting gender with each of the factors, so that there was a set of 13 predictors and a set of 13 gender-interacted terms, for a total of 26 predictors. If a predictor were gender neutral, the predictor would remain statistically significant, but its gender-interaction term would be statistically insignificant.

    Both methodologies resulted in the same conclusion: 11 of the 13 top predictors appear to be gender neutral. The two that do not are being a sole practitioner and being a principal/owner/CEO/founder. When these two factors were modeled as gender-specific predictors, i.e., separated out into male and female sole practitioners and male and female principals/owners/CEOs/founders, the statistical model's adjusted R-squared value rose from 56% to 60%, a modest but meaningful improvement in the model's ability to account for the observed variation in the respondents' salary."

    They defined principal/owner/CEO/founder as follows (page 11):

    "Individual with a significant portion of the firm's shares, has control over the direction of the business within their sector, defines the corporate mission and values, heavy involvement in client and business development initiatives, proposals, and marketing activities"


    What this is saying is that, apples to apples, there was no significant gender gap in compensation, except when comparing women and men who had a substantial ownership stake in companies, in which case men had higher incomes.  There could be various reasons why there's a gender gap in income among owners (e.g., related to ownership stake and profitability of their companies), but it's at least encouraging that this study didn't find a gender gap among the non-owner engineers which represent the vast majority of engineers.


    ------------------------------
    Irfan A. Alvi, P.E., M.ASCE
    President & Chief Engineer
    Alvi Associates, Inc.
    Towson, Maryland
    www.alviassociates.com
    ialvi@...
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: The Gender Wage (and Workforce Participation) Gap in Civil Engineering

    Posted 12-16-2019 10:48

    Women's Program/Project Management Career Guide

     So, you have choices!

     Accept the status quo. . . or. . . apply your civil engineering program/project skills to strategically achieve your life/career goals.

     Two references to support your development of your plan(s) follow.

    • Phase I:

    Recognize & name the challenge!

    ASK FOR IT! [1]

    "While men seem to have no trouble negotiating and asking for what they need,

       women hesitate or fail to ask at all."

     "Social conditioning and cultural expectations are among the causes of these gendered differences."

     "By not negotiating a first salary, an individual stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60 - and men are more than four times as likely as women to negotiate a first salary."

    • Phase II:

    "Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want" [2]

    "Phase One [of a four-phase program] teaches women to recognize that "Everything Is Negotiable". As anyone knows, the toughest negotiation can be with yourself, and the authors help readers begin by asking questions of themselves to identify and clarify their professional and personal goals.

     "Detailed four-phase program with exercises for preparing for and succeeding in life's negotiations."

     "What makes this book a must-read for men, too, and not just for women are its unpleasant revelations about the realities of hidden bias against women at the negotiation table. 

     Q1. Why consider strategically taking charge of the reality of

           "The Existing Cultural Climate?"

     Q2. How might your formation of your personal/professional "Board of My Career Advisors" support your new journey to success?

     Q3. When will you document your own assessment of your "Existing Career Topography" before just trying to jump-start this new beginning?


                 "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

                                                                                  -George Eliot

    Did you know of the “George Eliot” story?

     

    Cheers,

    Bill

    P.s. And “YES,” I know you are ‘covered over!’

    [1] https://mediationchannel.com/2008/04/03/ask-for-it-review-of-babcock-and-laschevers-new-book-on-negotiation-for-women/  downloaded 15DEC2019

     

    [2] https://womenintech.ucla.edu/resources/ask-it-how-women-can-use-power-negotiation-get-what-they-really-want  



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------