An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Mind the Gap: Why Pay Equality Remains Elusive

  • Julie Fox
  • Slice of MIT

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Although women make up approximately 48 percent of the workforce in the United States, there is a persistent underrepresentation of women at the top of the labor distribution. Case in point: According to Catalyst, only 5 percent of CEOs are women.

Watch this recent Career Lunch & Learn to hear Professor Patricia Cortes PhD ’06 of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business present findings from various studies that assess contributing factors to the wage gap, including perceived personality differences between men and women and setbacks due to childcare responsibilities.

“There are gender differences in psychological traits, and they matter for education, job choices, and earnings,” says Cortez. “However, research by [Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn] in 2017 says that, at most, it can account for 10–15 percent of the wage gap.”

The conversation was moderated by Mary Jane Daly MCP ’83, professional development director and lecturer at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and president of the Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA).

Watch more Career Lunch & Learn webinars and learn about other upcoming MIT Alumni Association career programming.

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