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Why Men Earn More - The Startling Truth Behind The Pay Gap and What Women Can Do About It [Hardcover]

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Book Description

1 Feb 2005
If men really are paid more than women for the same amount of work, why would anyone hire a man? Warren Farrell asked himself that question, wondering whether the assumption of unequal pay is really true. Following years of research, he now presents his surprising and controversial answer, arguing that women almost always have exactly the same opportunities as men, but make choices that keep them from earning more. Why Men Earn More fearlessly debunks traditional assumptions, and presents 25 of these key workplace choices, including the decision to take more hazardous jobs, enter technical fields, work longer hours, and many more. Investigating the implications and trade-offs people make, Why Men Earn More forces readers to rethink their strategies, and shows how they can take control of their wage-earning potential.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Amacom (1 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814472109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814472101
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.7 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 384,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


.".. will make you squeamish....in a good way. Knowing the facts (there are a lot in this book) only empowers you."

-Downtown Women's Club

About the Author

Farrell is the author of many books, including the bestsellers Why Men Are the Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power.

Farrell is a publicity dynamo, having been interviewed by Barbara Walters, Larry King, and Peter Jennings, and appearing many times on shows such as Oprah, Donahue, and CNN’s Sonya Live.

  • Success of Farrell’s previous books: Why Men Are the Way They Are (McGraw- Hill May 1986: 0070199744) sold 108,000 copies in hc, and over 300,000 in pb(Berkley Jan 1991: 042511094X); and The Myth of Male Power (Penguin Feb 2001: 0425181448, and Berkley Nov 1996: 0425155234) sold 30,000 copies in HC and 60,000 in pb.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Self-help books for those who believe "You can have it all" often advise, "Follow your bliss, and money will follow." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended! 12 April 2005
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Men's movement guru Warren Farrell says don't blame discrimination for the gap between men's and women's salaries. As he teaches women (and men, we suppose) tactics for bagging bigger bucks, he says that men earn more because women have a tendency - or perhaps a biological instinct - to prioritize family over career. Thus, Farrell maintains, women work shorter hours, take more parental leave, and are less productive, less well trained and less committed. If you are a male who has prioritized hearth and home, perhaps you have made some of the same choices that Farrell says cost women higher salaries. The book is full of footnotes, charts, graphs and sidebars, as Farrell cites U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data (as well as, occasionally, himself). However, his analysis of the numbers usually hinges more on single studies or interviews, personal experiences, newspaper articles and conversations than on historic, social or economic trends that offer deeper explanations. Farrell outlines some real factors - danger, discomfort, late hours and heavy lifting - which increase the pay for certain jobs. He tells women that they can earn more by entering nontraditional fields. We recommend this book primarily for readers at the start of their careers or in the midst of transitions where lifestyle and financial considerations compete. Though the information about salary-based job searching is practical, if you see the world through egalitarian or feminist lenses, you may find yourself getting a little testy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1) Why Men Earn More

Warren Farrell systematically demolishes the claim that the difference in the average earnings of men and of women reflects discrimination against the latter. Although he avoids academic jargon and therefore does not refer to the concept, at the heart of Warren Farrell's meticulously researched investigation of the reasons behind the pay gap is what economists refer to as 'compensating differentials'.

In return for higher wages, men are prepared to subject themselves to less favourable working conditions. More specifically, men generally do less pleasant jobs, for longer and less sociable hours, commute further, are more willing to relocate and expose themselves to less pleasant and more dangerous working conditions along with various other sacrifices, large and small, which Farrell documents.

For example, all of the most physically dangerous occupations, from construction work and mining to soldiering and fire-fighting, are overwhelmingly male dominated. As a result, in any given year, men represent over 90% of workplace fatalities.

As Farrell observes, if discrimination by employers were the reason for the lower earnings of women, one would not expect to find any difference in earnings among individuals who are self-employed. However, in fact, the gap in earnings between self-employed men and women is actually far greater than that among employees. Self-employed women earn less than half the earnings of self-employed men (at xx). Unless one is prepared to invoke the implausible notion that consumers discriminate against women even more than employers do, discrimination cannot account for this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good for thinking outside the box 22 April 2007
By tuuli
I found this book an interesting read because it questions the prevailing view that women earn 80 % of what men do because of gender inequality.

Let me say that I am a female and not from the USA - so I became rather more interested in what the corresponding statistics would be likely to show in my country, than in the statistics Mr Farrell describes, or their validity. While there is some evidence that earning ratios might be the same in my country, the job choices in my country might not be exactly as Mr Farrell described (woman works in tidy safe warm office, man works outdoors on the cold hazardous construction site). Besides, for instance nursing is not necessarily a clean or safe occupation, either.

What I did enjoy was the mindset of the book, that you can make your choices and earn more money, if you want to, and be empowered by the choices you make. What the feminist movement might have missed is, be aware of how your job choice can reflect on your pay packet.

An issue not covered by the scope this book is the impact of "family" choices in the sense that if Mom and Dad decide it is a good safe choice for the family to live in the suburbs, while Dad commutes to town and works long hours, then Mom does not necessarily a lot of career options left. In other words, I expect many people make the traditional choices without thinking about the long-term results too much. This book does not tackle the sociological side too much, apart from pointing out that Dad can look after the children, too.

The last part of the book ("The Genetic Celebrity Pay Gap", which explains some of the ways women actually earn more than men) I found less convincing.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
116 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gets women to think forward, not inside their guts 20 Sep 2005
By Esther Schindler - Published on Amazon.com
This book seems to generate a lot of contradictory responses, especially from people who are quick to tear apart the author's statistics. While a lot of his statements are indeed based on the numbers (and I could quibble with a few of them myself), I think his premise and conclusion are clear enough: there are things women can do to move ahead in their career, and many women aren't doing those things. That alone makes this book worth your attention.

For example, the author points out that there are some professions that are nearly all male, which women don't seem anxious to enter. Garbage collection, for example. Jobs that involve being outside, dirty, or in danger pay more... and those are held primarily by men. When women DO enter those careers, the professions tend to get safer.

I've been a woman in the computer industry for a long time; I've written and spoken on the subject on a few occasions (including doing my own share of debunking statistics). One statistic offered by the author resonated with me: a person who works 45 hours a week earns 44% more than a person working 40 hours a week. I've seen more women drop their pencils at 5:01pm than I've seen men do so, in my industry; I'm convinced that women who put in a few extra hours will have more career opportunities than those who don't.

All of which feels like a heck of a tangent from "is this a good book? should you fork over your own hard-earned clams to buy it?" But, to the contrary, I think it demonstrates how much this book demands that you RESPOND to it (particularly if you're a women, or work with any women). Even I, who try hard to write dispassionate reviews, feel compelled to give personal anecdotes.

If you come to this book with preconceived notions, this book probably won't change them. However, if you're looking for ways to move your own career forward -- or to understand why some women you work with seem to be stalled -- I heartily recommend reading Why Men Earn More.
65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Check your bias at the door 29 Mar 2005
By E. R. Pihl - Published on Amazon.com
The most important aspect of Dr. Farrell's work is his meticulous citation of his sources. The feminist mantra that women earn a fraction of what men earn is statistically true, but upon closer examination, as Dr. Farrell does, it's not completely true. Gender differences is a very touchy subject and I recommend to anyone who reads this book to read the footnotes - either prove to yourself that it's true or disprove it. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) gives an individual a right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of the opposite sex in the same employment, where the man and the woman are doing like work, or work rated as equivalent under an analytical job evaluation study, or work that is proved to be of equal value. I've always wondered that if women did earn less than men why wasn't there a proportionate amount of law suits brought under the EPA? Dr. Farrell answers the question.
57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's News 15 Mar 2005
By Nathaniel Branden - Published on Amazon.com
It is a longstanding observation that we "know" many things that aren't so. One of these things is that women are paid less than men for doing the same work. This is a notion that Warren Farrell devastatingly refutes in his new book. "Why Men Earn More" is more than a book--it's news. It's more than news--it's a revolution in the new thinking it requires of us. Let me emphasize that this is a book about much more than pay or who gets paid more or less for what, important though that issue is. At a deeper level, this is about the underlying relationship between the sexes--and the relationship of the sexes to the marketplace. Lucidly and persuasively written, this is a book that will change both personal lives and government policy--or should. If you read this book and get as excited about it as I am, the next book of Warren Farrell's to read (if you haven't read it already) is "The Myth of Male Power." Warren Farrell is one of our most challenging social and cultural thinkers. He leads us, sometimes, to shocking conclusions, but with scrupulously researched data to support his conclusions. One is a wiser person for reading him.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emphasis on WHAT WOMEN CAN DO ABOUT IT ! 24 May 2005
By Denise Olaguer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is filled with numerous suggestions on how women can increase their earning power. In fact, "Why Men Earn More" presents at least 25 ways to higher pay.

When I examined the 25 ways to increase pay that are outlined in Dr. Farrell's book, I immediately recognized that these were important tools useful to both men and women.

I am a full-time working woman and mother of a middle school aged child that I raised on my own for most of his life while also holding down a job to support both of us. So of course I am interested in any information that would lead to an increase in my earning power. Aside from my own interest as a working mother, I also want my son to know about these tools when he graduates from school. In fact, I would recommend this book to young people contemplating what to major in while going through their university years, as well as new college graduates entering the work force for the first time.

I wish I had been given this book before deciding to major in lingustics during my college years. I diligently worked through university, earning a B.A. degree upon graduation. Linguistics majors, like literature majors - as pointed out by Dr. Farrell - belong to those social science fields that do not lead to the higher paying jobs that more technological fields offer. I experienced this first hand when I went to work for a civil engineering firm (where I had little use for a B.A. in linguistics) and earned more there than in any of the administrative support jobs I have held over the years. Whenever I scan the employment classifieds, I consistently see higher paying jobs in the technical fields.

Dr. Farrell highlights the difference in outcomes based on work decisions or choices we make. This engenders an attitude of self-responsibility rather than victimization. Because I value my time at home with my family and in the community where I live, I choose not to relocate, to work those longer hours that might earn me more, or work unusual shifts that would take away from family time. I have made certain choices to maintain the quality of my life as it is. The gist of "Why Men Earn More" is that higher paying work often involves factors like extensive travel, more financial and emotional risks, more hours at work, taking on more responsibility or working in an unpleasant environment, all of which impact the quality of life for a worker.

Amazingly, given all the information contained in this book, "Why Men Earn More" is fun to read and offers humorous anecdotes to lighten up the content. This book draws our attention to the work/life-choices we all make that can impact our earning power. The approach is positive, leaving readers to examine how they can make a difference and offers proactive suggestions to increase earning power. By adopting a take-charge approach and implementing some of the 25 ways that Dr. Farrell outlines in his book, we enable ourselves to better shape the rewards or fulfillment we derive from work. Again. . .it's back to "what women can do about it", or what any worker can do to earn more.
47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, The Truth Is Available 20 Feb 2005
By G. Reid - Published on Amazon.com
This is a well-researched book that definitely tells the truth that Companies are not going to pay $1.00 to one worker if another worker is available for 59 cents. It is supply and demand of workers, not gender discrimination.

The author introduces 25 factors of jobs and careers that make the jobs either less desirable or more demanding or both. Some of these factors are long hours, more travel, commission only, irregular hours, high risk, etc. Jobs containing one or more of these factors may pay a bigger paycheck but always at a cost to the worker such as time away from home, longer commute, taking the job home at night, dangerous environment, etc. Pay differences are determined mostly by who is willing to take these "worse" jobs. In fact when all of these 25 factors are controlled so that you have either a man or woman in the same job, the women on average earn the same as men or more than men in about 90 job classifications.
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