Women and wages

Bill Bonner's reflections in Monday's DR on women in the workforce struck a chord with me…at least the notion that large numbers of women entering a profession might have a tendency to drive down wages in that profession.  In my own field of broadcast news, the ratio of newly-minted graduates has been 2-to-1 women for at least the last ten years.  (Some of the reasons are discussed in this Washington Post article.)  And it's not just reporters; the overwhelming majority of young producers are also women, although in management the numbers are still more balanced.

A few weeks ago, I thought back to one of my first jobs.  I was hired in 1988 to produce the weekend news in a mid-sized Midwestern city for $20,000.  In today's dollars that's about $35,000.  I can say with near-certainty that's not what the position would pay now.  I reckoned that was because of the proliferation of cable channels and the Internet eroding TV news audiences over the years, but perhaps that's not the whole story.