Re: A Preponderance of Females

Subject: Re: A Preponderance of Females
From: Brett -dot- Peruzzi -at- FDC-INVEST -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 12:25:03 -0400

Karen Mayer said:

>As much as we'd like to believe that women get paid equally for equal work
>here, it just ain't there yet. Imagine what tech writing salaries might be if
>it were a male-dominated field!

and

>How often do you men TWers get accused of just
>making the manuals "look pretty?"


I say, at least in my experience (10 years in the field, eight as a hiring
manager), that women DO get paid equally, at least at my company.

Over the years, most of my highest paid staff members have been women. In one
instance a female writer made roughly the same as me, the male manager of an
eight-person department. She joined us as part of an acquisition from another
company, which paid at the high end of the salary range for lots of positions.

But in ALL instances, my writers were/are paid based on skills, experience,
performance, and tenure--regardless of gender.

Let's not forget, too, that tech writing, like so many other professions, USED
TO BE a male-dominated field. Also like many other jobs, the ranks have
increasingly included more women in the past 20 years. Are we to believe that
salaries have slid downward since women joined our ranks? I'd be interested in
any hard (or even anecdotal) data anyone has on this.

As far as being accused of just making the manuals look pretty, this in my
experience is directed AT both male and female writers equally, BY both male and
female developer and business types. I think it's more a matter of mindset and
perspective, rather than gender.

Brett Peruzzi
First Data Investor Services
Brett -dot- Peruzzi -at- fdc-invest -dot- com

**DEFINITELY speaking for myself only, NOT my employer**

-------------------- ORIGINAL MESSAGE TEXT --------------------

[someone claiming to be] Chris Hulin asked a couple of days ago whether the
profession was
attracting more women than men. Yes, Chris. It is true. Women happen
to make darn good writers and editors. If we men wish to stay in the
field, we had best look to our credentials and keep up with the women
who network like crazy, grasp new ideas, and learn new software that
keeps them marketable. Not to mention, produce a quality product.

At the Region 3 Student Conference on March 30, women outnumbered men
by a large margin. Within STC, some of the best managers and officers
we have ever had are women. Technical communication, I think, is one
field in which women have excelled--over the past 20 years especially.

-------------------- END OF ORIGINAL MESSAGE --------------------

Thank you for your support! My cohort and I have found that many people,
esp. men, have made the ridiculous assumption that all we tech writers do
is make things look pretty -- glorified typists. It doesn't occur to them that
perhaps we are technically competent and able to learn pretty much
whatever we want to learn. Unfortunately, salary is still an issue, at
least in the USA.

As much as we'd like to believe that women get paid equally for equal work
here, it just ain't there yet. Imagine what tech writing salaries might be if
it were a male-dominated field!

Someone on this list (and I apologize for not remembering who) said that
if she interviewed with a male TW manager and the staff of TWers was
all female, she would run, not walk, outta there. As much as I enjoy
what I do for a living, I'd like to see more men in the field because, like
it or not (and I don't), men give a field/position more credibility and a
higher pay scale. How often do you men TWers get accused of just
making the manuals "look pretty?"

-- karen


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