Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Comparable worth is reviewed as an approach to equalizing the wages of men and women. Two important aspects of comparable worth are discussed: Occupational segregation and job evaluation. Because occupational segregation has not significantly diminished over the course of history, comparable worth proponents have suggested that female-dominated jobs be paid at wages equivalent to those of comparably valued male-dominated jobs. Job evaluation is the technique which is used to determine job worth, a process requiring judgments in assigning values to work;This research investigated the comparable worth of one broad classification of positions within a university, the professional and scientific classification system at Iowa State University. The overall objective was to test the feasibility of one proposed method of assessing comparable worth. Positions in which there were approximately equal numbers of male and female incumbents were selected. Using regression analyses, the weights of the compensable factors were derived. The regression equation for this group of positions' compensable factors was viewed as an unbiased model of weighting. Other positions were classified according to their relative proportions of males and females into predominantly male jobs (90% male - 10% female); predominantly female jobs (10% male - 90% female), 75% male - 25% female jobs, and 25% male - 75% female jobs. The weights of the compensable factors for these regression equations were compared with the unbiased model;The results indicated that the compensable factors of the different sex composition job grouping were weighted differently. Male-dominated positions were rewarded according to levels of responsibility and qualifications; female-dominated jobs according to qualifications and interpersonal relationships. Responsibility was negatively related to salary for female-dominated jobs;Discussion centers on the implications of such results for comparable worth implementation; the consistency of the results with theories of occupational segregation; and recommendations for further research.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Janet Laura Kottke



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107 pages