Gender wage gap response
I cringed a little when I saw the title of this week’s front page article. I thought it would be just another rant about how unfair life is and how women make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, or some such cherry-picked and meaningless statistic.
I was pleasantly surprised that the article did a much better job at attacking the issue, recognizing the room for debate about the statistics involved and seeking opinion from experts with various viewpoints.
In the end, I found myself agreeing with many of the conclusions. I think the wage gap is generally exaggerated, but I agree it should not exist when accounting for qualifications and career choices. Specific cases of clear discrimination should be exposed and prosecuted.
I also think the culture can improve somewhat in making women feel comfortable pursuing higher-paying (and traditionally male-dominated) fields such as engineering and software development, so long as we don’t go too far in pressuring women to prioritize income. Many people (myself included) deliberately choose a lower-paying job or career over ‘better’ alternative because they care about more than just money.
Congrats to Kaitlyn Bancroft for a well written article — a particular challenge due to the controversial nature of the subject.
Engineering a social solution
If there’s one belief that permeates the BYU bubble, it’s that your future eternal companion is somewhere on campus ordering a sandwich from Subway or studying in the library. Or better yet, he or she is the one sitting two rows back from you in your economics class you catch peeking at you every now and then. For some, this scenario isn’t just fiction, and we’re all happy for them (at least we say we are).
However, the sad truth is that up to 45 percent of BYU students won’t find a spouse until after graduating and leaving Provo. This doesn’t sound too dire for those who wish to get married before graduation, but what about the engineering and nursing programs?
In 2015, only 15 percent of engineering students were female and 91 percent of nursing students were female. Choosing one of these majors is like choosing to be single for your college career, since it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the odds are slim of finding an eternal companion if all of your classmates are the same gender as you.
To compound the problem, the main engineering buildings, the Clyde and the Crabtree, seem to be quarantined on the southeast side of campus (which may be for the general benefit of the rest of campus when considering the stereotypical socialite that is an engineer).
So, what can be done to help these students fulfill the purpose of BYU, i.e., to find the one and only? One solution is being built this very minute: the new engineering building. With two majors, each with demographics that lack what the other does not, the new building poses as a unique solution to the social plight among engineering and nursing students.
Instead of reserving the new engineering building solely for engineering students, reservations should be made to hold frequent nursing classes there to help facilitate interactions for these socially starved students. Those new spaces and classes could easily be swapped for locations in the SWKT for engineering classes.
While this isn’t a fail-safe solution, it would certainly “assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.”