Gender Wage Gap: Fact or Fiction?

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“Women and minorities make significantly less than their counterparts” (Ramnarain). A quote by an author of the Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justices written recently five years ago. She uses the word significantly, a word that impacts a statement of a huge difference in pay between a male and a female. Two people doing the same job, are getting paid significantly less. Is that fair? In 1960, there were many doctrines to produce change in workers discrimination. A huge step for women and minorities, but it is 2019 and still there is a substantial wage gap. With the wage gap, there are other barriers women face in the workplace like, biases, prejudgment, and the glass ceiling theory. There is an Equal Pay Act to protect employees from wage gap discrimination, and the Civil Rights Act to enforce those rules, sadly, there is still a wage gap.

Many proclamations in American history to overthrow the gender wage gap was contracted, such as the Equal Pay Act, Title V11, and U.S Department of Labor. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was established and first declared that gender wage gap existed and was not a fallacy. It is fifty years later, and women of color are making 35% less in income than a male. Another historical document to solidify that even though The Pay Act has been signed, does not mean it has been fixed. Back in 1963, this was a huge step towards more social justice, but it has been half a century, and not much has changed since.

An advocate group, American Association of University Women (AAUW), based in America, posted a statistic, “At the current rate of progress in closing the gap, women will not receive pay equity until the year 2119.” With 42% of women in the workforce and counting, this is impacting a majority of families, and leading them into financial insecurity. Starting after college, a woman who makes 80 cents to a man’s dollar, will take longer for her to pay off her loans. In result, she will have a higher interest rate on her loan and is beginning to stagger behind financially. With compound setbacks through the years, it will slowly take a million dollars out of a woman’s pocket (AAUW). In 2017, a women’s median earnings were $42,000 and their male counterparts were $52,000 a 20% difference in income. Different demographics will make it vary over the nation, but throughout a woman’s lifetime she will lose a million dollars or more based on gender, and it is even worse for minorities.

Besides the wage gap, many biases come with hiring women, such as, are they going to be more dedicated to their family, or their job? There is a lack of promotion due to the prejudgment of women. The employers are already considering them to have babies before the woman knows. 50% of women find this to be a problem while working in a white color job and applying for an executive position. When the term “Glass Ceiling” was coined, the meaning was used to describe the invisible barriers women face in the workplace. Ironically, it was first used in Wall St. 1986, employers had a huge percentage of workers who practiced the tradition of sexism (Chamberlain). In 1999, they collected evidence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT) a University of great stature dedicated to engineering and applied sciences. They surveyed that tenured women received substantially lower salaries and fewer resources than their male colleagues. An institution of the smartest people in the nation and women are still not paid equally who are both qualified for the same job.

Prejudice takes place mostly in white collar workplace, a job which requires no heavy lifting and can be done by male or female. A study shows in 1999 a Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies all the workers were 97% white, out of the 97%, 95% were male, 5% women. A company which requires no physical labor, or a solid reason to why a woman would be excluded in being a part of the workforce (Katherine). Surprisingly, twenty years later, there are many companies with these typical demographics today. Proving that Article V11, the document that exists to end workplace discrimination, to prohibit employers from firing, hiring or promoting you based off of gender, race, religion, or color, is having a hard time sustaining.

Moving up a company is incredibly hard, and even harder for women who have the same qualifications as their male rival. To prove how hard it is to break the glass ceiling, and obstacles women have to fight regularly to get to a higher position in a corporation. Using a credible entity, like the U.S Department of Labor, who take different surveys of what kind of discrimination that happens regularly in the workplace. A review like, Korn Ferry International, determined why a woman would not make a top position, like CEO. Revisions of women not making a promotion in a company, simply because their hair was not neat enough, or they were too nice.

Janet Martin an author, and activist wrote, “Substantial growth in women’s involvement in policy making and the political showcasing of women appointees, which has led to an ongoing illusion of even greater change” (Martin). The author is hinting that employers have a quota of minorities and women to make their company seem well rounded and progressive. These companies and corporations are the biggest threat to the community of not evolving into an inclusive society. Instead of pretending to fix the problem by making a quota of women on payroll, or trying to impress investors with diversity, we should be applying the same rights and obligations to men. It is common in an interview when women are getting hired or promoted female employees are asked about in the future how she will be able to take care of a child and work for the company simultaneously, a question that employers should ask men too. With 42% of women in the workforce and being a sole provider, changing the bias and applaud men who become stay at home dads and encourage that there should be paternity leave too. Overcoming outdated stigmas such as men need to work while women stay at home, when in reality, it is almost 50/50 women in the workforce. Making men more accountable for becoming the main caretaker can become the first of many steps to closing the wage gap.

A wage gap exists, and employers do not benefit in changing the wage gap, because it costs more money to make up for women’s loss. Letting women know that there is an actual problem and it is directly hurting their wallets. The change will not happen overnight, but it will happen quicker when employees advocate awareness on the wage gap, then we can take a better course of action of fixing it together.

There is still an argument that the wage gap does not exist, or it is a silly excuse for women to get paid more. There is physical proof, and surveys taking across the United States, debunking their obsolete theory. Our nation does not seem to be the only one trying to defeat the gender wage gap, out of 142 countries tested, all of them have a gender wage gap. Ours is 65th in defeating it, and supposedly by 2119, there will be equality.

The next generation needs to get onboard with equal gender roles and having an equal pay because imagine redirecting that passion? Instead of fixing something that should have never been in an issue, our society could focus on innovations to helping other humans who have even harder problems than a wage gap.

Feminism is slowly changing the roles in society and as women and minorities, it is our right and obligation to advocate for equal pay in the workplace. With an overwhelming number of women in the workforce, it is natural that females should be paid their fair share.

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Gender Wage Gap: Fact or Fiction?. (2021, Apr 27). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/gender-wage-gap-fact-or-fiction/

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