Unequal pay in the workplace: Women, Hispanics still make chicken feed

In a perfect world we’d be paid based on talents, skills and experience, with monthly bonuses for having red hair.

Weekly pay resembles chicken feed for some/Ryn Gargulinski

Chicken feed/Ryn Gargulinski

But then again, in a perfect world, unemployment wouldn’t be stuck hovering around 10 percent.

The real way to make gads of money is not necessarily picking one of those high-paying yet often boring fields – it’s being a white guy.

Yes, white men still largely rule the pay scales, regardless of all the talk about all men – and women – being created equal.

This fact came up in previous comments on the Tucsonans get naked for peace article, with a note that women get a paid a fraction of the salaries guys do. The Washington Post puts that fraction at 77 percent.

A couple of commenting dudes insisted men get paid more because they are better negotiators, which I thought was a bunch of hooey.

But it’s not, at least according to another article in the Washington Post. A list of salary stats noted women usually ask for 30 percent less money than guys going into a job, while 20 percent of women don’t negotiate at all.

Chicken waiting for equal pay/Ryn Gargulinski

Chicken waiting for equal pay/Ryn Gargulinski

Guys look at negotiations as something thrilling, like “winning a ballgame,” the Post said, while women likened them to “going to the dentist.”


OK, fellas, you got us there. But before you chortle, please note your playing field is not level, either.

Taller guys get paid more than shorter ones, according to Catherine Cardinal, author of “Men to Run From.” She says every inch in height adds another $789 per year.

Then there’s the whole ethnicity factor. Once guys get into a bachelor’s degree or higher, those that are Asian are better paid than the white man, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The stats also note women of every race are still stuck at the bottom of the pay scale, with white women even making less than men of any ethnicity. Asian women also top the pay charts when among women with a bachelor’s or higher.

Women who want an even bigger salary edge should dye their hair blond, according to a University of Queensland study, as blonds make an average of 7 percent more than their brunette, raven-haired or redheaded counterparts.

Another ouch.

Unfair? You bet. Unless, of course, you’re a white or Asian male.

All are not created equal when it comes to salaries/Ryn Gargulinski

All are not created equal when it comes to salaries/Ryn Gargulinski





What do you think?

Do that stats fill you with glee or make you want to puke?

Do you feel you are being paid what you are worth?

What other factors have you seen play a part in how much someone is paid?

Have you ever been paid MORE than you’re worth? (haha)

Do you know any professions where women are paid more than men?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in danger, gross stuff, life, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Unequal pay in the workplace: Women, Hispanics still make chicken feed

  1. azmouse says:

    Blonde’s get paid more??? But you never hear ‘dumb brunette’ jokes?!? (or in your case, dumb redhead jokes….)

    The only thing that comes as a surprise really, is that taller guys make more money that shorter guys. Do the bosses pay them more so they won’t get a butt-kickin’ from the big guys?
    I could kick some butt too if I gotta….

    • Rynski says:

      hahahha~ i hear ya on the butt kicking when necessary!
      i, too, was shocked about blonds making more than other hair colors – the article i got info from attributed it to the higher confidence levels some women seem to exhibit once they go blond.
      go figure.
      maybe the taller guys get paid more because they can reach the taller file cabinets or change those horrible florescent light fixtures without a ladder, thus cutting down on the cost of office supplies/furniture – hahahah.

      • azmouse says:

        Hmmm..everywhere I ever worked I usually got all those odd jobs because I was the tallest. No compensation though. From now on I’ll know better.

        I’m still trying to grasp that whole blond thing. There seems to be so dang many of em!

      • Rynski says:

        NOW you’ll know to keep a tally of every task you do at the workplace that would otherwise require a stepladder – then make a list of stepladder savings to negotiate a raise – hahahha.
        ya know, negotiations are fun, kind of like winning a ballgame – hahah.
        maybe there are so many blonds because they read that u of queensland article and are hoping for a 7 percent pay hike?
        what’s funny, too, is i remember writing something about workplace perceptions and hair color and recall an article noting brunettes were perceived as smarter…. i still can’t figure it, either!

      • azmouse says:

        We ARE smarter!!!!   HA!

        Last time I tried to get a raise as the highest grossing hairstylist in the salon, they told me they couldn’t afford it. So I told them that if I didn’t get a raise the following year, they were going to force me to quit.
        I din’t get the raise the following year. (five years of working there, plus 27 years of experience, and I was making the same as the girls that just got hired and were fresh out of beauty school)
        I did quit, and now I’m my own boss, setting my own hours and charging what my work is worth. YEAH FOR BEING A QUITTER!!! ha

      • Rynski says:

        yaay for AZMOUSE!!
        awesome – terrific you stood up for yourself and what you are worth. DEFINITELY an inspiration for others, myself included.
        heck with the salon that wanted to keep you down – bet they’re missing you greatly – esp. when they saw all your customers go with you, not to mention the high cost of stepladders they now must incur. hahahah.

    • Jim Kelley says:

      Taller men do make more money than short men. Always have.

  2. andrew says:

    Nice article Ryn. Who are the chicks in the photos? swankies the

    • Rynski says:

      thanks swankies the!
      the chicks – adorable as they are – are underpaid models i found in three different cities, actually. top one was in tucson art gallery for chicken artwork exhibit; middle one was a mascot at a brookings, ore., pet shop and the bottom two were either in northern california or new mexico – prob. no. cal based on greenery in background.
      send in some of your own chick pix for sawyer says blog!

  3. knid says:

    I’d be curious to see how the pay scales match up per career field.  For example, if you walk into nearly any engineering class at the U of A, you’ll probably get a significant difference in ratio between men to women.  I don’t think it’s so much of an aptitude of the men as much as it’s calculated.  In general, I think men are more apt to go where the money is and are more aggressive in getting it.
    I don’t believe that if you looked at these factors that the difference between women and men would match up.  However, I’d be curious if the 77% quoted would change significantly and now that has changed over the last few decades.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya knid,
      very interesting points you bring up – esp. the theory that men go where money is and are more aggressive at getting it.
      i would guess, too, that guys go for higher paying jobs – and/or still end up as those highest on corporate ladder.  your questions are good ones! perhaps fodder for future blog – thanks!

    • azmouse says:

      Back in the late eighties, I worked in a salon that paid commission. I found out that the one male stylist in there was started at a higher commission than all of us women. When I asked the boss about, ‘she’ told me it was because he was the head of his household and that’s why….interesting since many women, even then were the heads of their households.

      • Rynski says:

        sigh – more garblely gook false rationalizations, i’d say!

      • JoeS says:


        First let me say that your picture leads me to believe you were likely in high school in the late 80’s….  8^)

        Second,  that is a wacky argument the boss had that I hope would  not hold water now,  and should not have then IMO.

        Equal work for equal pay

      • azmouse says:

        Hello! I like you already! Alas…I was a Mother of two by the late eighties, but I graduated from high school in 1982 so I thank you for the compliment! 🙂

        I agree with you that at the time I was naive and thought it sounded flaky but didn’t question it. I definitely don’t think that answer would fly today.

      • Jim Kelley says:

        What is interesting is that I worked for a company I will not name in Seattel where the womenwere all paid more thanthe men thanks to a Female vice-president. Her reasoning? The women were all single moms and needed the money more than a single man. She would take commissions from me and divide them aup amongst the women in the department. The women made 5% to 7% merit raises. The men 3%-5% and you can guess which men were at 5%. Shall we say they could have been contestants on project runway? The kicker was this, they took away my transportation subisdy to give the women child care subsidies.
        So although the averages still come out that men make more, there has been and continues to be a huge backlash from the women who do break through the glass ceiling in glaringly unequal manners.

      • Rynski says:

        what company was that?
        are they hiring? hahahahahah – i’m kidding.
        wow, what a way to get even!

      • JoeS says:


        I guess you did not get the memo,  it’s payback time for all the years of inequality.

        We must have inequality now to make up for past inequality…

        Looks to me like you need a week at a diversity workshop to get your head on straight…

  4. James says:

    Wow, Ryn…I am flattered that comments from yesterday’s article spurned your writing nerve into creating today’s column.  I had at least a little to do with that.  I hope my prerogative wasn’t considered hooey…but if it was, I understand.

    When I said yesterday that I am a feminist, I meant it.  I think men and women are equals, and they deserve equal pay for equal work.  I don’t believe that government should force this situation (which is what the Equal Rights Amendment wanted to do in the 70’s).  However, I would like to see a day when the ‘people in charge’ (believe me, I ain’t one of ’em) can see beyond all of that (sex, race, etc.) and judge people’s worth on their experience and their character.

    • Rynski says:

      hey james – well, i have to thank YOU for your part in the discussion that led to today’s column. very cool to hear you do believe in equal pay and equal treatment and rights of men and women.
      nah, you didn’t say anything hooey-ish – well, except for that expectation about going dutch on dates – hahhaha, i’m kidding!
      also agree with you that the best case scenario would be for ‘people in charge’ to realize employee’s worth, experience and character and pay accordingly. what a utopia!
      when the gov’t forces situations they are too likely to backfire. companies may say: “Oh, you’re forcing us into equal pay for women? OK, we’ll just stop hiring women because they cost too much now. we’ll instead focus on the low-paid minority men…”
      ugh! it’s ugly – and maddening.

  5. radmax says:

    I would have to say that my profession is sadly behind the times…I cannot for the life of me remember a female ever applying for a job* installing fiberglass…big bucks ladies…after apprenticeship.5-7 years
    *Must be willing and able to work fully clothed in 120 degree heat, usually under hot tar mops, no fear of heights and not mind scratching your arms to a bloody pulp nightly. 95% of it is piecework, so the sky is the limit…

    • Rynski says:

      wow – and no women are applying for this lucrative position? i’m shocked! the definite selling points are the hot tar mops and the bloody pulp arms.
      and isn’t that fiberglass the fine pink stuff you die if you eat and get sick if you inhale? one more selling point, for sure!

      • radmax says:

        Haha! soooo true! Stuff is jam-packed with nastiness. 🙂
        Work hard, strive to better yourself, be kind to animals and small children, be diligent and faithful all your life, then you die. Who could ask for more?… 😉

      • Rynski says:

        ahhh – a cycle of bliss, for sure!

  6. leftfield says:

    Nice to come home from a hard day’s work and see some nice chicken pictures.  Theyare such lovely and wonderful birds.  This reminds me- the new issue of Backyard Poultry is soon to arrive.

    Marinuuzi what?

    • Rynski says:

      dear marinuuzi what,
      ENJOY that new issue of bckyard poultry – and thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the chicken pictures.
      i did think of you while selecting them from my stock of animal photos. they won out over the big bull, which also would have worked in the headline….hahah

  7. Don Smith says:

    Ryn, with all due respect, I think you’re mischaracterizing what I said, when you write this:

    A couple of commenting dudes insisted men get paid more because they are better negotiators, which I thought was a bunch of hooey.

    I never insisted that men are better negotiators.  (And, seeing as I can’t find any of those other “commenting dudes” in the comments thread for that post of yours, I presume you’re talking about me).

    My point was: salary is a benefit worked out between the prospective employer and the prospective employee.  Both parties are responsible for themselves in that negotiation.

    I’ll stipulate that many employers are unfair.  The employee does have the final say, though:  work someplace else.

    Yes, I know that’s much, much easier said than done.  I prefer that option, though, to some national Bureau of Wages, setting everyone’s salary.

    • Rynski says:

      hi don,
      apologies for misconstruing – i was inspired by several comments around the topic of unequal wages and should have noted that rather than homing in on specific comments.
      for the record, there were two comments about negotiations, yours and a second one that i believe was being facetious – but sparked my interest all the same.
      …and then i learned that men being better negotiators DID have an impact on wages.
      also agree that employees do have that final choice to say “heck with it” to any job that doesn’t suit them – and would agree, too, that having wages set by some gov’t entity is prone to backfire in a very ugly way – prob. with low wages for all – yippeee!
      thanks for input.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s