Are women underpaid? : the findings of the magnitude estimation of occupational utility (1990)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Magnitude estimation was used by 160 respondents from the general public, 83 male and 77 female, to estimate the utility (value) to society of 26 female dominant, 26 male-dominant, and 6 neutral occupations. Respondents were randomly assigned to complete one of two forms of the questionnaire - with or without job descriptions. The logged median estimated values obtained were plotted against the logged median incomes for the occupations and the ensuing power function was used to predict the value of occupations from the income. 12 male-dominant and 10 female dominant occupations were found to be underpaid according to their societal value as estimated by the respondents. It was found that the median income accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in estimated values attributed to variance in income, with the sex of the respondent, the sex dominance of the occupation, and the form of questionnaire, having little effect. There was a high degree of similarity among respondents in the valuation of occupations, leading to the conclusion that some female dominant occupations are underpaid, just as much as some male-dominant occupations are underpaid relative to their value to society. Thus inequitable pay is not solely discrimination against women. Future research should focus on why women are concentrated in occupations that are not valued highly by society, and how this could be remedied.
KeywordsPay equity; Job evaluation--Public opinion; Women--Employment; Sex discrimination in employment
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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