Professor Hilary Lips' Presentation

Will be in the Bonnie Auditorium
 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1st, 2012

 A Women's History Month
Keynote Address

Sponsored by Women's Studies at Radford University
 RU Presentation Images: Pay Gap Talk  President's Welcome
Hilary Lips on Gender & Related Issues in Women's Pay Gaps
Dr. Hilary Lips Center Director & Psychology Chair: Sept 2011The presentation highlights work by Dr. Hilary M. Lips, professor and chair of psychology and director of the Center for Gender Studies at Radford University. Using current and historical data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys (the CPS, ACS, ATUS), the General Accounting Office (GAO) and other sources, Dr. Lips' presentation emphasizes the challenges, difficulties and controversies in assessing the gender wage gap.
In her presentation special emphasis is given to the statistics employed (medians vs. means; income vs. earnings), to the time intervals used in comparisons (annual vs. weekly vs. hourly), and to the "typical" adjustments used in controlling for gender differences in earnings (race/ethnicity, education, marital-family & motherhood status, and work experience). Regarding this last point, an overview of complications that may be ignored in using statistical adjustments can be illustrated when wage gaps are adjusted (minimized) in "controlling for" race and ethnicity. Using U.S. Census Bureau data from 1988-2010, PowerPoint slide (1) below illustrates the apparent need for race/ethnicity adjustments.
(1) U.S. Pay Gaps within Race and Ethnicity Gender Wage Gaps within Race/Ethnicity: 1988-'10 by Hilary M. Lips
In 2010, full-time, year-round Black and Hispanic workers' average annual median earnings were respectively 73% and 64% of the average annual median earnings for full-time, year-round White non-Hispanic workers. From slide (1), it appears as though race and ethnicity make considerable contributions to the size of the earnings gap, and as such need to be adjusted for when considering the size of gender wage gaps.
However, the image of PowerPoint slide (2) below illustrates why simply adjusting for race and ethnicity cannot be assumed to be a gender neutral adjustment. Slide (2) illustrates gender wage gaps within race/ethnicity by plotting women's annual median earnings as percentages of the annual median earnings of men in the same race/ethnicity categories.
(2) U.S. Gender Pay Gaps Within Race and Ethnicity
                                        * Comparing Men of the Same Race/Ethnicity as Women
Slide (2) illustrates the confounding of race and ethnicity within gender: For more than two decades, women's annual median earnings are less than that for males of the same race or ethnicity. In this Census Bureau data, simply controlling  or removing race and ethnicity effects from wage gaps would also reduce an important source of gender differences.
When these kind of adjustments are employed empirical evidence that they are gender neutral needs to be provided. This is also true for other variables such as occupational choice and education. When commentators confidently state that the gap does not reflect discrimination, but can be accounted for by other factors, such as the high wages of a few white men, gendered patterns of occupational and educational choice and work experience, they ignore the confounding of gender with many of these variables. The effect of such assertions is to make women feel complacent about the wage gap—and perhaps to feel that they can avoid its impact by making the right educational, occupational, and negotiation-related choices. Such complacency is unwarranted.   
Hilary Lips ~ February 2012
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  RU Presentation Images:  Pay Gap Talk  President's Welcome
Copyright 2012 H. Lips & W. Andrew
Center for Gender Studies Related Links
  Gender Pay Gap: mw-2011    Gender Pay Gap: lvc-2011    Gender Pay Gap: ru-2012
We Can Do It: Images from the 1940s 

Gender Neutral Tasks-A Preliminary Study
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Created by: H. Lips &  W. Andrew   Last updated: June 27th, 2021   Copyright 2012 H. Lips & W. Andrew