You are confusing conceptual difficulty with amount of effort required. The amount of homework, labs, projects, etc. required in engineering school is significant. In addition to the material being conceptually difficult, that sheer workload causes some people to seek out majors that will allow them to have some actual free time. As far as comparisons with language goes, memorization is not conceputally hard. I haven't decided it. It's an empirical fact. I don't think that was the order. I think it was an attempt to identify other factors that would explain why there are differences in pay. Ok, if your argument is that the market values the wrong things then that really hurts the argument that pay differences are due to misogyny. There aren't short cuts around having to hand in homework every class, or having to complete labs and lab reports. I know that all of us in the Engineering school had considerably more work to do than our non-Engineering peers. Maybe the pre-Meds came close. I am not sure there is a lot of correlation between undergrad grades and/or school reputation and where the engineering graduates winds up. Those soft skills you are alluding to above might take a student who struggled in Strengths of Materials to the top of the management ladder. Again, this argument that differences in how the marketplace values particular skills are misguided does not dovetail with the assertion that the differences are due to misogyny.