Posted 02 December 2009 - 08:59 AM
Just like anything in science, a simple graph doesn't always tell the whole story. First off, I'll say that I don't necessarily think the graph is wrong, or that there isn't a gap between races OR sexes when it comes to salary. However, there are a lot of questions that graph doesn't answer. Sample size, for one. Secondly, the population being sampled... it is at a university? In industry? Gov't jobs? Furthermore, no information is given as to the age of the people sampled. Are they all new graduates? 10 years out of school? 20 years? One big thing, considering this is the US, is that an older generation of workers in the US (I would think) would be primarily white, just based on the race issues the country had 30-40 years ago. That's quite a long time where there was only on race of people getting degrees and locking down those jobs. Therefore, they're going to be the ones that have been in a position for 20-30 years, and have climbed the salary/wage ladder in that time. They would be the ones with the most seniority and pulling in the bigger money.
Now, maybe some of these things ARE addressed on the original site, or a better explanation of the sample is given. But like I said, regardless of those issues, I wouldn't be surprised to see that even if the samples were done on similarly aged people in similar jobs, that there would be a difference in race or sex.