Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Pay inequities in the military?

As if the inequities of recent increases in salaries and locality pay weren’t enough cause for concern among government workers (see last week’s blog comments), a new study has found other pay inequities. A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that although women fare as well as men in the enlisted ranks of the military, they don’t fare as well when they are officers. And most minorities fare even worse, regardless of rank (read an abstract here). When it came to officer pay grades, education was less beneficial for female officers than for male officers. Even though women had higher predictors of success going into military academies, the study found that women had lower scores on ratings, received more punishments for conduct offenses and had higher attrition rates than men. Still, when length of service was combined with education, women had higher pay rates. One possible explanation is that women in the military are often in health care-related positions, which are associated with higher levels of education and, on average, higher levels of pay than less specialized positions. Even though the U.S. military has been working to ensure equality for all members, some inequality might still exist. For minorities among enlisted personnel and officers, a sample showed that neither education nor length of service were helpful for higher pay rates. Are men, women and minorities among enlisted personnel and officers in the military treated equitably when it comes to pay grades? Post a comment in the box below (registration required) or send a letter to the editor here.

Posted by Judith Welles on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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