In response to tight-eyes' thread about the notorious "equal work, equal pay" rhetoric... here are other factors that influence such a disparity that do not relate to SEXISM... sometimes, you have to examine with a critical eye instead of relying on a conditioned knee jerk reaction... the sex card can be unfairly played just as much as the race card. A new study finds female professionals lower their bills to maintain client relationships. By MSN Staff with wire services Are women helping create their own pay disparity? A new study suggests that may be the case. Female professionals often charge less than their male counterparts for the same work, preferring a strong client relationship to higher pay, according to a study to be released this week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management. "Women view their pricing of a particular service as just one instance in a relationship where there will be many other services and many other pricing opportunities, as opposed to 'I need to make X profit on this transaction here,"' said Mary Gilly, a marketing professor at the University of California, Irvine, and a co-author of the study. Analyzing the pricing patterns of 536 veterinarians, the study found female vets charged needier clients less than more affluent clients, while male vets set their prices regardless of a client's situation. The widow discount? The female veterinarians -- about one-third of the total group -- adjusted their prices because they cared more about their relationships with their customers than did the men, the study said. The vets were asked to respond to a hypothetical scenario involving a 12-year-old dog with advanced kidney failure. The vets could offer treatment options to the hypothetical client, described either as a "young professional" or an "elderly widow." The female vets tended to charge the widow less. In larger veterinary practices, however, female veterinarians charged higher prices, as they took into consideration the needs of their co-workers as well, the study said. "Women ... take into consideration their customers, and they take into consideration their associates," Gilly said. "For women, their relationships with customers matter, their relationships with people they work with matter, and it doesn't seem to matter for men," she said. "Men just price the same, regardless." Nice matters Separate research in 2003 found female mortgage lenders made $575 less per loan than their male counterparts. That study suggested women brokers were more concerned about establishing good relationships and being nice than men. According to U.S. government statistics, overall, working women earn roughly 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. The Academy of Management, a research and teaching organization, has nearly 17,000 members worldwide. The study will be presented at the group's annual meeting on Wednesday.