I got sucked into the New York Times’ wage gap graph because of the title: “Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller?” Turns out there isn’t room on the page for a meaningful answer to that question, but the infographic itself is very, very interesting.
As usual, the NYT designers have done a great job of displaying complex data in a clear, engaging way — they turn the graphic into a story in and of itself, and you are invited to explore the parts of the story that interest you. I started with the two dots representing occupations where women’s salaries exceed men’s (postal service clerks and special education teachers, in case you were wondering), then wandered along the parity line; my next stop was the high salary ranges, where women make markedly less than men. One thing that strikes me, looking at the graph, is that the higher the salary, the greater the wage gap. The other thing I noticed as I moved my mouse around and checked out the job details was that a lot of the jobs along the black line that indicates wage parity are in occupations where I have seen greater numbers of women than men, such as ticket agents and travel clerks, or social workers.
As you might imagine, my focus right now is on a little blue dot in the top right corner, that reveals on hover that women CEOs make 19% less than men. That’s not breaking news, but it still galls me — and beyond galling me, it motivates the hell out of me. I would dearly love to see the wage gap close in my lifetime, but each of us has to fight for that change in our own lives. I’m working on mine — how about you?