Gender Wage Gap in Today’s Society

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The gender wage gap is a current in today`s society. The gender wage gap is the difference amongst wages earned by males and wages earned by females. Women are still facing the gender wage gap in the workplace. Females that have the same level of education and training are getting payed significantly less than men. Studies reported indicate that a woman earns seventy-nine cents for every dollar a man earns in an hourly wage (Samuelson, 2016). For individuals to comprehend the wage gap it is important to learn the history behind the wage gap.

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According to Robert Samuelson, this inequality goes back many years (Samuelson, 2016). The gender wage gap needs to be put to an end. In the 20th century gender inequality regarding the wage gap became an issue. In 1945, the Unites States presented the Women’s Equal Pay Act which made it illegal to pay females less than males who worked the same job, having the same education and training (Equal Pay Act, n.d.). This law was not passed by congress and regardless of woman trying to take a stand to abolish the gender wage gap in the workplace (Equal Pay Act, n.d.). In the 1960s, the wage gap started to be an uprising issue again. Women in 1960s still had to endure losing two thirds of what men earned at the same job (Equal Pay Act, n.d.).

During this time there were approximately over twenty five million females who now were starting to occupy jobs outside of their home (Equal Pay Act, n.d.). These twenty-five million plus women all faced gender wage gap inequality. Finally, in 1963 the Equal Pay Act was brought up to congress a second time (Equal Pay Act, n.d.). Congress had finally passed a law in which they made it illegal for your boss to issue you a wage that was lower than a male who had the same education and training (Equal Pay Act, n.d.). This law has now been intact for fifty-six years, though it is not working like it was originally intended too when congress had passed this law. As of the year 2019, women are still earning seventy-nine cents to every dollar a males earns hourly (Equal Pay Act, n.d.). Growing up no girl is ever told or expected that they may face discrimination in the work place by earning significantly less than a male with the same qualifications and education. Although the gender wage gap has decreased, it is still an ongoing issue in which society should focus on putting to a halt. The gender wage gap is still in existence and individuals are still being payed based on their gender, regardless of their length of time at the job, experience in the particular field, educational background, and type of job. The gender wage gap is still in existence in a male dominated field such as the film industry, professional sports, and the STEM field, this issue needs to be eradicated immediately.

Literature Reviews

The Occupational Feminization of Wages Research has found two main reason why the gender wage gap is still in existence (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). The first reason is the human capital theory and the second one is discrimination, which is an outcome in gathering and the undervaluation of a female’s labor (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). Human capital theory is grounded by our choice. From the human capital perspective, predominantly male jobs pay more than predominantly female jobs (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). Research has shown that females choose more jobs that pertain more to their skills which can overall devalue the worth of their occupation causing men to have a higher wage than woman (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). According to the theory of occupational crowding, which is women have been constantly crowded into a fine choice of their occupations (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017).

When compared, male jobs have a higher wage because women are automatically excluded from them by discrimination, so they are propelled into other jobs (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). The result of this is an increased demand in occupation causing women’s wages to be significantly lower than males (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). Many women choose a job based on an occupation that fits their gender needs. For instance these gender needs are, maternal leave, less physically demanding labor, and can coordinate with their family schedule. When a male chooses a job in which is seen as predominately feminine job, their wage increases regardless of them holding the same education as a woman (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017).

Research suggests that female’s occupation is not appreciated because of the bias society holds amongst woman (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). Researchers have found that regardless of the skills essential for lower-paid female-dominated jobs in which are comparable to those in better paying male dominant jobs (Addison, Ozturk & Wang, 2017). In result from these two factors this is why gender wage gap is still in existence these highly male dominant jobs. Separate and Unequal: Occupation-Establishment Sex Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap Women earn less than males in most common male-dominated occupations (Petersen & Morgan, 1995). Our sex segregates many jobs because woman are uncomfortable in applying for a job that typically is being viewed as a male position (Petersen & Morgan, 1995). Trond Peterson and Laurie Morgan conducted research on why woman feel they need to work lower paying jobs because of their sex (Petersen & Morgan, 1995).

Woman still do not have a wage variety of jobs to choose because of many jobs being held by men. Woman are segregated into specific jobs such as nurses, teachers, and waitresses. Job establishment and sex segregation are major reasons why the gender wage gap is still prevalent (Petersen & Morgan, 1995). Sixty-four percent of the wage gap is due to the occupational sex segregation (Petersen & Morgan, 1995). As of the 21st-century occupational segregation is the major reason for the gender wage gap (Petersen & Morgan, 1995). If many of women’s jobs were made equal, Peterson and Morgan claim that nearly eighty-nine percent of the gender wage gap would be non-existent in our generation and future generations to come (Petersen & Morgan, 1995). Women sense that because of the occupation segregation, it results in them obtaining the oppression that they cannot hold jobs that mostly males hold a position in (Petersen & Morgan, 1995). From these percentages that Peterson and Morgan disclosed, it verifies how significant the gender wage gap regarding male-dominated jobs contributes to this insensible issue. Discussion The Film industry, the professional sports field and the STEM field are some of the most male dominated occupations (Fox, 2017).

As of 2019, woman are starting to expanded their horizons with working in these fields. The film industry, sports, and STEM occupations are now starting to be held by more females. Woman are starting to “mix themselves” into these male dominated fields as research and studies have shown. We can now see the gender wage gap is existent especially in these male dominant jobs. The film industry consists of only forty-three percent of female actress where the rest of the fifty-three percent of the film industry is dominated by male actors (Lowe, 2014). In sports fields, we rarely see woman. The professional sports field is almost all men with a small proportion being attained by females (Rose, n.d.). In the STEM field, eighteen percent of jobs are held by woman, the remaining percentage is held by men (Khazan, 2018). As we can see these specific careers are being conquered by males and females are slowly starting to merge into these career paths.

Discussion: Wage Gap in the Film Industry As we have entered the 21st century, woman now have the option to choose from a wide variety of jobs that were once entirely male dominated. The film industry is predominately males. Only forty-three percent of females account for the jobs in the film industry (Pires, 2017). Females average earnings are lower than men’s in the 20 largest occupations for men one of them being the film industry (Pires, 2017). Women are diminished in all media outlets such as television and film. They do get not paid the same as males that play a part in roles that are seen as equal. Jenifer Lawrence is one of the highest paid actresses in the United States (Pires, 2017).

In the year 2015, Jennifer Lawrence was compensated fifty-two million dollars for every screen appearance she played a role in (Pires, 2017). Robert Downy Jr. is one of highest paid male actors (Pires, 2018). In the year, 2015 he made over eighty million dollars in movies that he played a role in (Pires, 2018). Jennifer Lawrence noticed that her annual earning was twenty-eight million dollars less than Robert Downy Jr. (Pires, 2017). Many people may argue that he played more significant roles in movies than Lawrence had (Pires, 2017).

However, Jennifer Lawrence kept observing that her pay was always less than males no matter how significant her role was in a film (Pires, 2017). Lawrence wrote in a letter questioning why she was paid significantly less than her co-stars (Pires, 2017). Lawrence explained to the directors of the movies that she and her co-stars all held leads in movies and it was obvious that no role was made important than the other (Pires, 2017). Unfortunately, Lawrence never received an answer back on why she earned less than her male co-stars. Lawrence concluded the reason she believes she earned less was because she is a female working in a predominately male industry (Pires, 2017). Pires notes a study called the “Age, Gender, and Compensation: A Study of Hollywood Movie Stars” in which states that females make up half of our population in America and should be provided equal opportunities in roles that pay more or at the least compensate woman the same amount as men (Pires, 2017).

So, with that being said, the film industry is still one of the top male dominated fields experiencing the gender wage gap. Discussion: Wage Gap in Sports When we think of a wage gap, we can most assume that it involves occupations that fall under business and medical professions. The sports field is mostly predominately male. We never assume there is a gender wage gap involved with professional sports players. Tennis is the most popular professional women’s sport when carefully examining the marketable demand and popularity across America (Flake, Dufur & Moore, 2012).

Professional male and female tennis players shared the same person in charge for over twenty-one events (Flake, Dufur & Moore, 2012). In a study, they gathered data from 2009 that included singles and doubles tournaments entered, singles and doubles tournaments won, and final rankings (Flake, Dufur & Moore, 2012). They also gathered data on total prize money payouts for every professional tennis tournament in 2009 (Flake, Dufur & Moore, 2012). They found that the average career prize money for men in the sample was 2.5 times greater than that of women. This inequality in career prize money was reflected throughout the earnings. The career prize money for the top earning man was forty- million which was double that of the top earning woman, which was only twenty-two million.

The career prize money for the bottom earning man was a hundred and ten thousand dollars, that was triple that of the bottom earning woman who earned thirty-two thousand dollars (Flake, Dufur & Moore, 2012). From this data they found that there was significant differences between female and males and the singles tournaments career prize (Flake, Dufur & Moore, 2012). This study provides evidence of a sex pay gap in which women are overall paid less for their wins than men with the same skills and training for these tournaments (Flake, Dufur & Moore, 2012). This issue does only exist with the sports field of tennis, nearly all sports are male dominated causing this wage gap.

Discussion: Wage Gap in the STEM Field Research is still revealing that gender pay gap continues, whether amid those focused in specific fields, or among those with a certain college degree. Women especially in the STEM fields are facing a gender wage gap because of the field being made up mostly men (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016). The STEM field is a career field that involves science, technology, math, and engineering (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016). Women in STEM fields are compensated only 82% of what males are paid that work in the STEM fields (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016). Woman are not expected to be able to have the knowledge as a man so when they do end up with a degree in the STEM field, they can be looked down upon resulting in lower wages for woman (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016).

Research has found that out of every seven engineers only one of them is a woman (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016). Studies have also shown there has not been an increase in woman who were employed in the STEM field since 2000 (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016). Many women are intimidated by working in a dominantly male related field (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016). Woman who are studying STEM related topics feel they are not able to solve math problem as logically as males resulting in decreasing the number of women in the STEM field. Research has found that because of the lack of woman in this field, society believes that it is acceptable to pay them less regardless of females having the same education and training as men (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016). The gender-wage gap only worsens as woman devote more time into their careers.

Overall, woman continue work in the best-compensated male prominent fields of computer science and engineering. Women still remain earning less than men holding the same job as them. Implications Having personal experience with the gender wage gap growing up, makes me want this issue to be solved. My mother worked as a supervisorial manager for adult males with autism, she had a four-year bachelor’s degree in special education with over twenty years of experience in this field. She worked with a male who held the same position as her who held a four year degree in special education and had the same experience.

Although she did not have work as a professional athlete in sports, was not the leading actress in a film, or have a job in the STEM field, she had knowledge that her pay check was significantly less than that of her co-worker who held the same job. She also was one of very few women working for the company. The company explained the reason her paychecks were much less was due to her being a woman and that men were able to connect personally to the clients that were all males. The company she worked for being comprising of mostly males, all exhibited the same experience and education as she did which made her realize she was a victim of the gender wage gap. My mom faced the gender wage gap. It has tremendously affected our lives and I can only imagine how it affects other females lives who are facing the gender wage gap issue. My mom however was not the only who has been a victim of this issue as well. I recently had spoken to my cousin who graduated with a degree in computer science. It took her over eight months after graduating to obtain a job in the computer science field. When she finally came across a job that was interested in hiring immediately took the job.

However when she took the job she did not realize she would be getting payed fifteen thousand dollars less than recently male graduate students, who worked in the same field. She is only one out five girls that works in the computer science branch of her company. My cousin who work in a male dominant field is as well facing the gender wage gap on a daily basis just as my mother was. Yet, there are countless ways that the gender wage gap can be banned from our generations and future ones to come.


Solving the gender wage gap would eradicate all the issues the gender wage brings with it including its existence in male dominated fields such as the film industry, professional sports, and the STEM fields. If the United States lets the gender wage gap continue, the gap will persist to the year 2056 (“Solving the Gender Wage Gap”, n.d.). Although the wage does continue to narrow each year for women to be paid an equal amount as men holding the same job will take thirty-seven years (“Solving the Gender Wage Gap”, n.d.). Women working the same jobs as males should not have to wait thirty-seven years for changes to happen (“Solving the Gender Wage Gap”, n.d.). A possible way to solve the wage gap is to execute a pay transparency (Elsesser, 2015). Implementing the pay transparency will allow everyone to be aware what their co-workers are earning allowing all women to have knowledge of what their male co-workers are earning compared to them (Elsesser, 2015). Having companies utilizing the pay transparency will possibly force particular career fields to pay women the same as men if woman are now aware of what men in their field make equated to females (Lam, 2016).

Another possible solution to ending to gender wage gap is to eradicate negotiation (Elsesser, 2015). Research has revealed that females do not carry out negotiations as great as males do (Elsesser, 2015). In fact, women circumvent negotiating in the workplace, complying with the pay they are first offered by possible employer (Elsesser, 2015). A study has shown that students that have graduated with their masters degree observed who negotiated their possible first job (Elsesser, 2015). They discovered that seven percent of graduate female students negotiated for a higher income (Elsesser, 2015). Fifty seven percent of graduate males negotiated for a higher income (Elsesser, 2015). Research has found that if a an equally woman and male are applying for the job that the starting salary is twenty- two thousand a year, if the man negotiates he can increase his annual yearly salary to thirty-thousands a year (Elsesser, 2015). Yet, the women would still be offered the twenty-two thousand a year regardless of negotiating with her possible employer (Elsesser, 2015). Women can be seen as fearful of asking for a higher raise. If all jobs abolished the possibility of negotiating their pay the gender wage gap could potentially be eliminated (Elsesser, 2015).


The gender wage gap is an ongoing societal issue that is has been occurring for years and years. Although the gender wage gap continues to narrow each year, we will still continue to witness it for many years to come. From personal experience and research we can confirm that the gender wage gap is still in existence in a male dominated field such as the film industry, professional sports, and the STEM field. This issue can eradicated by implementing the pay transparency and abolishing negotiating in the workplace. With these solutions and the evidence to back up that the gender wage gap still exists in male dominated career paths. As generation continue the gender wage gap should be nonexistent for females working in male dominated fields who exhibit the same education, training and experience.

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Gender Wage Gap in Today's Society. (2021, Mar 24). Retrieved from