The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study of nurses’ pay from 1998 to 2013. In that time, the gap between male nurses (who comprise less than 10 percent of this workforce) and female nurses in compensation did not decrease, unlike the case for most occupations since the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
Overall, the difference in favor of men was over $5000 per year, nor did experience or education explain the effect. The pattern varies; for example, the gap is less in hospitals. Different specialties have different disparities, with orthopedic nurses actually having no gap, whereas that in cardiology is the highest.
So what is the reason? Reporters quoted several theories – but all of these were essentially guesses, with no statistical proof to back them. One explanation offered is that men are better at negotiating salaries. Another is that women have been longer in nursing then men and thus through seniority may be more likely to be on day shifts, which pay less than evening ones. Such assertions are testable, but where’s the proof?
Some experts actually opined that gender discrimination may be to blame! What do you think?
–Jim Murphy has a solo consulting practice called Management 3000, focusing on organizational development and change management. Being semi-retired, Jim is willing to provide very reasonably priced consulting, coaching or project work for organizations aspiring to improvement in organizational culture, effectiveness and employee engagement.
Formerly he led the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group, was Human Resources Director for the City of Boston Assessing Department, and served as a consultant with the Boston Management Consortium. His consulting practice includes management coaching as well as research and writing on employee relationships, leadership, healthcare and collaborative practices. Having produced newsletters for several organizations and being a frequent content writer for the”Confident Voices in Healthcare” blog, he is interested in writing and research opportunities, as we all consulting and coaching. www.manage2001.com firstname.lastname@example.org