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Coworkers' age and gender can hurt your pay, study shows

It's not just your gender that may effect your pay, it may be the gender of who you work with as well. Study co-author and psychology professor, Cheri Ostroff, comments.

It's not just your gender that may effect your pay, it may be the gender of who you work with as well. Studies have shown for decades that pay gaps exist between women and men who do the same work, but a recent joint study from Teachers College and Arizona State University has revealed that regardless of your gender, managers who work with more women, or whose superiors are women, earn less than those who work with more men. The survey took into account over 2,100 mangers from broad range of fields and found that the more women in a manager's immediate workplace, the lower the surveyed manager's pay, regardless of their gender. Managers' pay also dropped the farther their employees' ages strayed from a median of 40.

"That indicates that the gender and age of everyone you work with will affect you directly," said Cheri Ostroff, Professor of Psychology and Education, who co-authored the study. "That's an important implication when you think about jobs and career and your career path."

Some of the findings may seem to be in line with conventional office wisdom, says Ostroff: younger workers are often considered less experienced, or are lower on the corporate ladder, which may reflect on their managers. Or that managers of older workers may lose prestige in their own careers because management often assumes older subordinates who haven't been promoted are under-performers. But there are other issues as well, she says. Some career paths may channel women into departments with less prestige, or women may be drawn to lower-status jobs because they may afford more time for family or flexibility.

This article, Coworkers' age and gender can hurt your pay, study shows, appeared online at MSNBC on Sunday August 24, 2003.

Published Monday, Sep. 15, 2003

Coworkers' age and gender can hurt your pay, study shows

It's not just your gender that may effect your pay, it may be the gender of who you work with as well. Studies have shown for decades that pay gaps exist between women and men who do the same work, but a recent joint study from Teachers College and Arizona State University has revealed that regardless of your gender, managers who work with more women, or whose superiors are women, earn less than those who work with more men. The survey took into account over 2,100 mangers from broad range of fields and found that the more women in a manager's immediate workplace, the lower the surveyed manager's pay, regardless of their gender. Managers' pay also dropped the farther their employees' ages strayed from a median of 40.

"That indicates that the gender and age of everyone you work with will affect you directly," said Cheri Ostroff, Professor of Psychology and Education, who co-authored the study. "That's an important implication when you think about jobs and career and your career path."

Some of the findings may seem to be in line with conventional office wisdom, says Ostroff: younger workers are often considered less experienced, or are lower on the corporate ladder, which may reflect on their managers. Or that managers of older workers may lose prestige in their own careers because management often assumes older subordinates who haven't been promoted are under-performers. But there are other issues as well, she says. Some career paths may channel women into departments with less prestige, or women may be drawn to lower-status jobs because they may afford more time for family or flexibility.

This article, Coworkers' age and gender can hurt your pay, study shows, appeared online at MSNBC on Sunday August 24, 2003.

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