"Early childhood educators and social workers can expect to earn around $36,000 and $39,000, respectively. By contrast, petroleum engineering and metallurgy degrees promise median earnings of $120,000 and $80,000. Not many aspiring early childhood educators would change course once they learn they can earn more in metallurgy or mining. The sexes, taken as a group, are somewhat different. Women, far more than men, appear to be drawn to jobs in the caring professions; and men are more likely to turn up in people-free zones. In the pursuit of happiness, men and women appear to take different paths."
Writes Christina Hoff Summers in a piece called "No, Women Don’t Make Less Money Than Men."
ADDED: If working with people is considered a plus, such that job-seekers accept lower pay to have that kind of work, is there a problem? What if job-seekers tended to feel it was bad to have to work with others and avoided these jobs? The pay would go up. I think what we're seeing is that working with people is more likely to be a plus among women, and there are a lot of female job-seekers bidding the price down. You might say this is acceptable because it's not intentional discrimination against women; it's just everyone making individual personal choices, and a neutral market producing this effect. Those who still see a problem and want us to care should find a way to say it still matters, because the skewed preferences of women are leading to a disparate impact. I just wish they'd say that clearly and be accurate about the facts and not continually prod people to feel that there are nefarious employers deliberately short-changing women.