Well earnings decline, glass ceilings kick in and all the evidence points to women earning 60% of similar male earnings over their careers. We all know why. Children and men. Forget that women are finally outnumbering men in professional areas (in junior ways I'm sure).
My question is why are so few women achieving in technological and scientific areas. As Pia Waugh, australian geek girl, says in her interview with stilgherrian for Ada Lovelace Day,
"There is a stereotype there. Because people see the majority of people working with computers are men, they assume it's masculine. But there's actually nothing masculine about using a computer. It's just typing away, it's not like carrying bricks!"
Gen Y women earn their fair share
THEY are the first generation of women to experience true wage equality. And so they should.
Women in their 20s and early 30s, Gen Y, have outsmarted the boys for years. More of them finished high school than boys, more of them enrolled in university, achieved a bachelor's degree or higher, and more moved into the professions.
Their superior performance has achieved a first, says the managing director of AMP Financial Services, Craig Meller.
"Gen Y is the first generation where the wages of women are almost on a par with men."
But the question is whether these young women, as they grow older and have children, will suffer the same fate as their mothers.
Women a generation older, Gen X (aged 34 to 48), are paid 3.5 per cent less than men for similar work hours in similar fields.
Despite the progress women have made in education and in the workforce over the past 20 years, a 25-year-old man is likely to earn $2.4 million in his lifetime while a 25-year-old woman will earn $1.4 million, says the report, by AMP and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra.
A father with a bachelor degree or higher will earn $3.3 million over his working life, compared with $1.8 million for a similarly qualified mother, it says.
"While the gender divide has narrowed, particularly for Gen Y, the risk remains that as these women progress through their careers, particularly during their child-rearing years, they will still face the same dilemmas and glass ceiling as their baby-boomer mothers," Mr Mellor said.
The report, She Works Hard For The Money, reveals that for the first time women outnumber men in professional occupations. The increase in women's representation from 39 per cent in 1988 to 52.6 per cent in 2007 is very positive, said the study's lead author, Rebecca Cassells.
Ms Cassells, a research fellow, said young women had benefited from the feminist movement. There were 80,000 more women than men studying for bachelor degrees in university, and more women than ever were employed in highly skilled jobs such as managers and administrators.
But as men and women headed towards the end of their careers, it was likely that men reached top positions while women bumped their head on the glass ceiling, she said. "It could be that women aren't necessarily interested in these very demanding positions or it could be discrimination."
Among the young, 18 per cent of Gen Y men have superannuation balances of between $25,000 and $100,000, compared with only 14 per cent of women.