June 4 2013
Christina Hoff Sommers has a quick fix for the gender wage gap:
If today’s young women want to close the wage gap, they should change their college majors. Aspiring early childhood educators or social workers should reconsider: the median earnings in these fields are $36,000 and $39,000, respectively. By contrast, petroleum engineering and metallurgy degrees promise far more money: median earnings are $120,000 and $80,000. Here is a list of the ten most remunerative majors compiled by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Note that men overwhelmingly outnumber women in all but one major.
Hoff Sommers gives two lists of professions: the ten most lucrative ones such as petroleum engineering (87 percent male) or mechanical engineering (90 percent male) and ten least lucrative such as counseling psychology (74 percent female) or social work (88 percent female).
Women earned more than 58 percent of college degrees last year.
If, argues Hoff Sommers, large numbers of these women graduates switched from list two to list one, “that would do far more to narrow the gap than, say, the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
Women’s choices, not discrimination, influence what they earn.