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Same Job, Same Size Budget Equals Less Pay for Women

Economy Memo Pad

Same Job, Same Size Budget Equals Less Pay for Women


Hey, married men – wake up! Your working wives are getting shorted on pay and that means your family has less money than it should.

A new report on pay, made public today by Guidestar USA  proves discrimination against women is pervasive.

The new report compares men and women with the same positions at similarly sized nonprofit enterprises, so the fact that women often work in lower-paid occupations such as waitressing, retail and clerical work is irrelevant in this study.

While women who become waitresses or retail clerks should expect to make less than lawyers and executives, there is no reason that women executives and lawyers should make less than men doing the same jobs — but they do.

Men holding the top spot at nonprofits averaged between 10 percent and a third more than women in the same jobs, Guidestar found.

In general, the bigger the organization and the bigger the job responsibilities, the greater the gap between what women and men are paid — and the greater the share of top jobs held by men.

Guidestar is a nonprofit organization that compiles data reported to the IRS, and the public, by all nonprofits. The 2010 data cover not just charities that solicit donations, but trade organizations, small mutual insurance operations and social welfare organizations among the 29 types of nonprofits authorized by Congress.

This is Guidestar’s 12th annual Nonprofit Compensation Report and it draws on disclosures by more than 77,000 nonprofits.

The report used names to determine sex. Androgynous names like Pat or Chris were excluded from the analysis, Charles McLean, Guidestar’s research director, told me.

At small nonprofits, those with an annual budget of less than $250,000, men in the top job averaged $53,389. That is 10 percent more than the $45,038 paid to women.

More than half of these small nonprofits, 57 percent, were led by women.

At the top, these gaps grew to chasms.

Among organizations with budgets of $50 million or more, men in the top job averaged $644,375. That is almost a third more than the $488,249 average for women CEOs.

Even more telling, women held just 1 in 6 of the CEO jobs at the biggest nonprofits.

The only CEOs who made more than $1 million a year on average were men at $50 million-plus nonprofits who, at the 90th percentile, averaged almost $1.2 million, compared to less than $924,000 for women at the same percentile of pay.

The pattern is pretty much the same for the top legal and finance jobs at nonprofits. However, pay disparities are smaller for public relations.

The same pattern of men dominating in the highest-paid jobs is found in the latest ORS data on wages reported on income tax returns.

Among people with wages of $10 million or more, just one in 29 was a woman. These 60 highly paid women workers averaged $18.8 million in wages in 2010, IRS data shows.

Men accounted for more than 96 percent of all top wage earners. The 1,664 men were paid on average $20.1 million or almost 7 percent more than the highest-paid women workers, the IRS data shows.

David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy -- Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

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  1. rochelle762 September 17, 2013

    My Uncle Asher just got a nearly new yellow BMW M4 Coupe just by part-time work from a home computer… check over here w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  2. Jim Hamel September 17, 2013

    it’s not rocket science folks.

  3. jointerjohn September 17, 2013

    Over my forty-six years in the workforce I have found women to be the most productive workers and by far the most effective managers. It also seems that when they lose their jobs they don’t return with a gun to kill everyone.

  4. Eleanore Whitaker September 17, 2013

    How very appropriate to reduce women’s salaries at a time when the male domination is in high gear in the GOP. It’s back to the 1950s when women were supposed to be dutiful, obedient Donna Reed clones and Big Daddy played Father Knows Best.

    All these attempts at keeping women down will do is put more and more women in politics. Women don’t fight dirty the way men do. Women can be far more intrusively dangerous to a well planned attack. Tokyo Rose remind you of anything?

  5. Lovefacts September 17, 2013

    Why doesn’t this surprise me? Could it be that most high-powered executives are Republicans and they want to return not just women but this country back to the 1950s or earlier? It’s time women woke up and realized that the gains they made were temporary. Why? Because women and men made the mistake of thinking once won the battle was over, and never realized the war has just started. Women are a cheap workforce and most are thrilled just to get a job

    For women to be given equal treatment, the American culture must first acknowledge women are not subservient to men. Second, its time our country gave more than lip-service to the family, and recognized that if women work they need decent childcare and education for their children–that doesn’t cost the entire paycheck. When we did our taxes for the first year I worked after my first child was born, we discovered I netted $1,200 due to the cost of childcare and transportation and the increase in taxes paid when my wages were combined with my husband. Netting $100/month didn’t make it advisable to work again until the kids were grown.

    If I were a young woman just entering the workforce, I’d want to work in Europe. Their laws support the family and working mothers.

  6. Pamby50 September 17, 2013

    I had been working for a company for 2 yrs when one day I was asked to train a new guy. I asked for what position? They told me to be my boss. I told them no way. Why can’t I have the job? I have small children therefore I wouldn’t be committed enough. Turned in my 2 week notice and never trained the guy. That was many years ago and nothing seems to have changed.

  7. Igor Shafarevich October 12, 2013

    For the record, here are the last four years of W. Bush deficits, compared to the first four years of Hussein Obama deficits: W. Bush2005: $318 Billion 2006: $248 Billion 2007: $161 Billion 2008: $459 BillionHussein Obama2009: $1.41 Trillion 2010: $1.29 Trillion 2011: $1.30 Trillion 2012: $1.09 Trillion


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