Gender Wage Inequaity in the United States: Statistics and Solutions

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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“There is a deeply ingrained ideology amongst people in our society that men are the movers and shakers in the business world.

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This refers to the point of view that men are limited to working in major companies and businesses, and women are limited to the domestic domain. This may have been a true reflection of life fifty years ago, but today a new trend is developing in American society. The levels of education amongst women are increasing, which leads to them achieving extraordinary results in the business world. However, there are still some major factors that are holding women back from achieving bigger results. These factors allow for the development of gender inequality and the vast wage gap in the modern workplace. According to The New York Times, a popular American newspaper ranked 2nd in the United States, women employees at Nike filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that “Nike spent years hiring women at lower salaries than men, discriminating against women during performance reviews and promoting female employees less frequently than male counterparts during comparable work.” add more reasoning for this evidence This modern day problem relates to the theme of civil rights, which is the social and political freedom and equality of all citizens, regardless of gender, race, or age. Women are often discriminated against in the workplace, which leads to them lacking parity with men in earnings. This is a violation of civil rights because every worker has the right to bring home every dollar they rightfully earned, but this isn’t necessarily the case for women. The theme of civil rights was obtained from “The Letter from Birmingham Jail,” as well as “Blowin’ in the Wind.” This is because both of these written records speak about the violation of colored people’s civil rights by treating them unequally and discriminating against them. Gender discrimination in the workplace needs to be addressed so that it can be eliminated because it leads to many problems such as the gender wage gap, increase of gender stereotypes and social norms, and figure out a way to reword the last problem.
In today’s modern society, women are achieving more and earning more college degrees than men. However, women are still more likely to be working in lower-paying jobs than men, even when accounting for full-time, full-year employment. According to the National Center for Education Statistics of the Institute of Education Sciences, the primary federal institution for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the United States, an increasing number of women are earning bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees and they are surpassing those achievements of men. It is common sense that since these women earn high grades in college, they should be able to work in higher paying jobs. However, regardless of education level, women and men just don’t have compensation equality. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, add credibility, in recent years 75% of men over the age of 16 are currently employed, compared to only 52% of women over the age of 16. This is very unfair to educated women because it is clear that women possess the same capabilities of men, and maybe even more, meaning that there are no reasonable reasons why they should not be getting paid equally. This type of gender discrimination usually leads to other problems such as gender stereotypes and social norms.

Pervasive stereotypes and social norms about gender and work often lead to discrimination in the workplace. Historically, it was more common for a mother to spend time at home to take care of her house and her family while the father is at work. Society may have made big changes in social equality today, but the gender of a stay at home parent still leans heavily towards the female. This social norm directly relates to the wage gap. It is expected for women to perform all household duties, take care of children, and perform successfully within their jobs all at the same time. This makes it obvious that there is too much pressure put on women in today’s society. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, the federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, women spend about 2 hours and 15 minutes each day performing household duties, while men spend only about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Women also spend almost double the time taking care of household members, such as children. As the evidence shows, that same social norm cannot be applied to men as much as it can be applied to women. This time distribution directly relates to job performance and pay. In American society, the roles of mothers and fathers differ. Once a woman gets home from work, she will most likely work on usual household duties and spend time with children, but she is still expected to be able to have the energy to prepare for what the next day at work will bring. In some cases, a child might get ill at school, and it is most likely the mother that will be there to pick up the child. Fathers also might be there to pick up the child, but considering the social norms, it will most likely be the mother. If that child is too young to be at home alone, then the mother would be obligated to stay with the child, causing her to miss work. When employees, specifically women in this case, cannot balance their work and personal life all at the same time, then job performance will be impacted negatively. Stereotypes are hard to fight against because they are usually embedded within the individual. According to Tiina Likki, add credibility, “Gender stereotypes are notoriously sticky, in part because we’re often unaware that we hold them, and they can influence impressions and judgements outside of conscious awareness.” This means that when some people believe that they treat women and men equally, their biases still find a way to creep in. This makes it difficult for women to grow, advance, and develop within her career. Along with bad performance comes lower pay because it is one of the major causes of the wage gap.

As mentioned, women face many challenges in the workplace that impact them and their performance much more significantly than men. One of these challenges is the gender wage gap, which is considered a top workplace issue by women today. Compared to men, women often hold low-paying jobs in low-paying companies. There have been many acts and legislations passed in order to eliminate the wage gap. Add in author and credibility The Equal Pay Act, passed in 1963 by John F. Kennedy, states that men and women must be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. This means that employers are not allowed to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility. However, women continue to receive lower pay than men despite the laws and legislations that are put into place. As explained by the Current Population Survey (CPS), the primary source of labor statistics for the population of the United States, women in the U.S. earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns for performing the same jobs. This would total up to an annual gender wage gap of around $10,200. This annual wage difference between women and men is strong evidence that the gender inequality exists in the American workplace. From another perspective, this wage gap can be seen as a measurement of just how far the U.S. still has to go to ensure full equity and participation of women in the economy.

It is clear that there is a wage gap between men and women in the workplace. This gap can be contributed to many factors, but companies are able to take small steps in order to eliminate this type of gender discrimination against women. Not only are the companies able to present solutions to this problem, but the government is also able to pass laws and legislations that will have a positive effect on women in the workplace in today’s society. Women today are still paid lower than men for performing the same job. One factor that contributes to this discrimination is women trying to balance their work and personal life at the same time. One plausible solution to this problem would be increasing the availability of high-quality, affordable, and trustworthy child care. This solution would help because it would allow for the mother to stay at work, while the child is being supervised by a trustworthy individual. This solution also aids with women who don’t have a high income since it would be affordable to all. Another factor that contributes to this discrimination is women not having the opportunity to have a flexible schedule that is sometimes needed for motherhood. One possible solution to this problem would be to provide fair, possibly flexible, work schedules, paid family leave, and paid sick days. This would help workers with caregiving responsibilities because they would have the same advantages as workers with no caregiving responsibilities. In conclusion, the gender wage gap needs to be addressed in order for it to be completely eliminated. It has significant connections to areas such as social justice and civil rights, which should be considered as important rights of all American citizens, regardless of gender.”

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Gender Wage Inequaity in The United States: Statistics and Solutions. (2021, Feb 20). Retrieved from