More bad behaviour from prominent philosopher, and a plea to readers

described here.

The very brave woman who has come forward with her story will undoubtedly have all of the usual things said about her online, and I post this mainly to ask our readers to PLEASE be on the lookout for this happening. Remind people that the tropes being used to undermine this woman’s testimony are the standard tropes, and please do not let attempts to destroy her reputation stand.

Pay gap: not simply about which professions women choose

Are women paid less than men because they choose to be, by gravitating to lower-paying jobs like teaching and social work?*

That is what some Republicans who voted down the equal pay bill this month would have you believe. “There’s a disparity not because female engineers are making less than male engineers at the same company with comparable experience,” the Republican National Committee said this month. “The disparity exists because a female social worker makes less than a male engineer.”

But a majority of the pay gap between men and women actually comes from differences within occupations, not between them — and widens in the highest-paying ones like business, law and medicine, according to data from Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University labor economist and a leading scholar on women and the economy.

It is related to disproportionate rewards in long hours cultures.

Occupations that most value long hours, face time at the office and being on call — like business, law and surgery — tend to have the widest pay gaps. That is because those employers pay people who spend longer hours at the office disproportionately more than they pay people who don’t, Dr. Goldin found. A lawyer who works 80 hours a week at a big corporate law firm is paid more than double one who works 40 hours a week as an in-house counsel at a small business.

For more, go here.

*Blogger’s note: even if it was due to differences in profession, there’s no reason to think this would be due solely to choices of course.

Thanks, Jender-Mom!

Student evaluations

Excellent brief article.

Student evaluations are a poor indicator of professor performance. The good news is that college students often reward instructors who teach well. The bad news is that students often conflate good instruction with pleasant ambience and low expectations. As a result they also reward instructors who grade easily, require little work, are glib and chatty, wear nice clothes, and are physically attractive. It’s generally impossible to separate all these factors in an evaluation. Plus, students will penalize demanding professors or professors who have given them a bad grade, regardless of the quality of instruction that a professor provides. In the end, deans and tenure committees are using bad data to evaluate professor performance, while professors feel pressure to grade easier and reduce workloads to receive higher evaluations.