A Florida college board member reportedly thinks the reason why female Floridian graduates earn less than their male peers was “genetic.”
This thought came forth at the State University System's board of governors meeting when members were discussing different ways to close the pay wage gap between men and women graduates of Florida schools.
“Something that we’re doing in Naples [with] some of our high school students, we’re actually talking about incorporating negotiating and negotiating skill into curriculum so that the women are given — maybe some of it is genetic, I don’t know, I’m not smart enough to know the difference — but I do know that negotiating skills can be something that can be honed, and they can improve,” said board member Ed Morton.
“Perhaps we can address that in all of our various curriculums through the introduction of negotiating skill, and maybe that would have a bearing on these things," added the retired investment manager, who chairs the board’s strategic planning committee.
Morton was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
When asked for a response to Morton’s theory, Scott’s office detached the governor from his appointee’s remark. "As a father of two daughters, the governor absolutely does not agree with this statement," stated his spokeswoman, Lauren Schenone, in an email to Politico Florida.
Running for Florida governor in 2018, Congresswoman Gwen Graham also negated Morton’s opinion.
When I sat at the negotiation table, nothing about my gender or genetics held me back. THIS is why we need more women in state government. https://t.co/1s7hzbR9AT— Gwen Graham (@GwenGraham) June 21, 2017
However, the report that was reviewed by the board seemed to be in consensus with Morton’s opinion.
A report, from system staff, stated the median salary of graduates who were working full time one year after graduation at $39,100, with women and black graduates earning less than their male and white peers.
As per the report, female graduates earned a median of $37,000, which was $5,500 less than their male counterparts earning of $42,500. African-American graduates also had the lowest annual median wage of $35,600.
Research showed that women are less likely to engage in salary negotiations than men. Why? Because women job seekers get more sensitive or hurt than men while negotiating over wages.
As per suggestions of board members, this was also happening due to the nature of women graduates.
“Are women going into education more?” said the board’s vice chair, Norman Tripp. “Are those salaries naturally lower than in other areas? … I would just suspect that that might be part of the equation, but we can’t really tell.”
As per several studies, conventionally female jobs, such as teaching, pay less than male-dominated jobs do.
However, everything isn’t gloomy for women. Morton believes this disparity in the initial wages offered to women will fade over time, as Florida’s public universities are enrolling and graduating more women than men.
“Some of it will probably be a little bit self-correcting, because we’re graduating many more women than we are men from university systems nationwide,” he mentioned, adding, “that in and of itself is a challenge.”
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters