What a Tarball question Blue, sticky very sticky. I will sort of agree with JPT on this. Here is a fast go:
1. Women where historically paid less than men because they were expected to leave the workforce when they got married, had kids etc. They were not expected to stick in their career or vertical.
2. In equal retail/factory jobs women were not considered the bread winner, only supporting themselves so lower pay. When women started breaching the professional ranks same thinking applied. That model started changing mid 90's.
3. Initial pay predicates later pay, a vicious cycle. Ivies, elites and track Universities (Harvard, Stamford, Brown, Oxford, Stamford) graduates always were paid more initially than Non's, Ivy women were recruited at the same pay as Ivy Men,
Non Women & Men were recruited at salary band Widths below that of Ivies, Elites & Tracks. They were also recruited at different salary Band Widths based upon the school and perceived social class. Consequently the apparent disparity in pay grades.
4. Most Ivy, Elite and Track women bail out of the Workforce early to raise families and enjoy the fruits of their Education achievement. When they check out there are great disparities.
5. Most jobs are drone jobs, so when you are into cost containment Organizations hire the cheapest Drones possible - women. Men have limited chances unless they are minority. Minorities are as cheap as the women.
Voila JPT's observation is proved. I have seen it in too many organizations. Protected classes are hired after the Elites, then it is cheap drones. Democracy in action
“Better a true enemy than a false friend.”