In typical ‘female-dominated professions,’ salaries are often lower than in other industries. As a sector becomes more female-dominated, the average earnings often decrease. Additionally, the work performed in these jobs tends to lose prestige.

The phenomenon of feminization and simultaneously lower pay in an industry is not unique to Germany: A study from the USA showed that wages decreased as the proportion of women increased. Once a profession has more than 60% female workers, there are salary cuts.

This phenomenon, where a higher proportion of women devalues a profession and reduces wages for both men and women, is referred to as the “devaluation thesis.”

The sociologists found that while the wage level in a profession does indeed decrease by a small percentage when the proportion of women increases by ten percent in the previous year, salaries do not decrease for both genders.

Rather, an increasing proportion of women lowers the average wage because women bring their lower salaries into the profession. The pay of men in the industry does not decrease. Therefore, the scientists do not speak of a general devaluation of professions, but rather see a “general devaluation of women in the profession.”

herVIEW - Natascha Hoffner

Posted by Natascha Hoffner, Founder & CEO of herCAREER, WiWo columnist, LinkedIn TOP Voice 2020, W&V 2019 – 100 Köpfe
published on LinkedIn on 03.2021