Gender Wage Inequality
Hillary Clinton once said, “In too many instances, the march to globalization has also meant the marginalization of women and girls and that must change.” In the midst of a patriarchal society, sexism towards women can be found throughout the United States within the work force. This is primarily based upon the underlying privileges, rights, opportunities, and power men receive, compared to the opposite treatment women receive. If you are a woman, you should not be penalized based on your sex, not accepted in society, or have specific limitations regarding your future. Also, special treatment, nor superiorism should not be given for men due to their sex, as everyone should be given equal rights regardless of their sex, religion, or race. Education, skills, experience, recommendations, and talent should be the deciding factor regarding a potential candidate’s consideration for employment opportunities and applicable compensation. In the United States workforce, women are marginalized by the gender wage gap.
Although women and men perform identical jobs in the same manner, gender discrimination is an ongoing battle regarding pay equity. Society continues to vocalize that employees receive equal pay regardless of their gender, but the wage gap shows that is not the truth. Women earn seventy nine cents for every dollar made by men, a pay gap of twenty one percent(Jessica Schieder and Elise Gould). Over a forty year career, the average lifetime earning losses for women based on today’s wage gap total $430, 480. Due to suppressing earnings, women’s retirement security is affected by the consistent responsibility to take care of family and complete the daily tasks of work. On average, women have fifty percent smaller account balances in defined contribution plans(Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley). The wage gap results in consequences for families economic security. It was reported in 2012 that sixty three percent of mothers were sole, primary, or co-bread winners for their household(Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley). Therefore, the gap affects families as a whole, rather than only a women herself.
How it works
One has said the reason behind the pay difference is due to the different occupations men and women work in. However, the wage gap persists even when men and women have the same background. Fourteen percent of the wage gap is due to women leaving the workforce to provide for family members(Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley). Thirty eight percent of the wage gap is unexplained after accounting in discrimination, which results in discrepancy between men’s and women’s pay difference(Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley). “Nearly forty percent of the wage gap can not be explained by occupation, work experience, race, or union membership”(Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley). A woman’s earning is reduced seven percent with each child she gives birth to(Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley). “Less than one third of the wage gap between mother’s and non mothers is based on leaving to take care for a child”(Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley).
Society has argued that workforces have legitimate reasons to pay women less. Women’s choice to pursue motherhood and to care for sick and elderly family members is the reason behind the argument. The blame is shifted on women for not earning more. Jonathan Webb argues the most predominate reasons of the wage gap is because of the glass ceiling effect and on job discrimination. He believes women are unable to break through to senior positions, so women receive lower wages than men for completing the same job. Webb argues women’s responsibilities to take care of their child/children either takes them out of the market completely, or forces them to partake in a lower income job. Webb states, “the impact of these women temporarily dropping out of the market, it is commonly thought, may lower the average for their entire gender.” The need to care for their loved ones becomes the central argument point, which places the blame on the role of motherhood. However, equal pay should be present even when a woman wants to delve into motherhood. Instead, unequal opportunities are provided to women in our economy.