Why have women traditionally been engaged in certain occupations, have different education experiences, held jobs for fewer years, and had different sets of work experience? Hicks informs us: “Apparently, women tend to give birth more frequently than men.” Did he mean this as a profound observation or was it meant to be humorous?
Nowhere does Hicks suggest management may feel uncomfortable with workers who do not share the characteristics of the dominant group. Thus did Irish, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, African, Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, Moslem, male and female workers experience workplace discrimination.
Only recently have some employers embraced workforce diversity. Only recently have regulations, laws and court rulings attempted to address public and private barriers to increased opportunities for more inclusive occupations, education, job tenure and experience.
Those barriers will diminish as public policies are advanced by focusing attention on those persistent wage differentials.
Morton J. Marcus is an economist, writer and speaker formerly with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.