Sex and Pay in the Federal Government: Using Job Evaluation Systems to Implement Comparable Worth

By Doris M. Werwie | Go to book overview

8
Examining How Job Content
Is Operationally Defined in
Three Job Evaluation
Systems

WHY ARE FEMALE-DOMINATED JOBS SCORED LOWER ON ALL FACTORS?

Helen Remick ( 1978) and Donald Treiman ( 1979) have suggested that job evaluation systems tend to measure and assign points on the basis of the job content of male-dominated jobs. To be biasfree, these factors do not necessarily need to be eliminated, but rather a balance of factors, including those found in predominantly female jobs, needs to be presented. For example, most job evaluation systems include a factor that measures working conditions. This factor is then operationalized by some measure of heavy lifting, e.g., the job requires lifting more than 50 pounds or less than 50 pounds. Lifting heavy weights has been characteristic of male- dominated jobs. Remick ( 1978) found several other factors and dimensions valued in job evaluation systems that are easily attributed to male-dominated jobs. However, no similar value was placed on dimensions easily attributable to common functions of predominantly female jobs. Remick described some of these dimensions as follows:

The working condition factor often credits full body movements. Credit should also be given for repeated and confined use of only a few muscles, or speed and fine motor movements required by such jobs as typing.

The work environment factor often credits physical danger. Female jobs

-103-

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