The Gender Pay Gap

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Living in the year 2019 and you would think that after centuries of women being oppressed, there would be some sort of change, a progression that is long overdue. However, the wage gap between men and women is still an ongoing issue that will not be acquired for another hundred years to come. With that in mind, the state of the gender pay gap in America is explained, along with the wage gap in various occupations, and the structural barriers that keep women from advancing in the workplace.

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Now, what exactly is the gender pay gap? It’s self explanatory, it is the difference between the median earnings of men and women. In an uncontrolled wage gap, the median salary is 21 percent high for a man compared to a woman’s median salary in view of the fact that for every dollar earned by men, women earn 79 cents. In a controlled wage gap which measures the same job and qualifications for both men and women, there is a 2 percent difference in the median earnings.

Occupational segregation is a major cause for the persistent wage gap and it is more often to occur in genders because of assumptions. Negative effects of sexism places women to work in places that “suit” them, allowing for overrepresentation in occupations such as healthcare, education, or social services and have a tendency to be low paying. Vice versa as well, men are overrepresented in occupations with higher paying salaries like engineering. Jobs with higher pay are often dominated by men and higher paying roles are more likely to be held my men.

Certain barriers also contribute to the pay gap, many which keep women from growing in the workplace. A slow career progression is common for women and few climb and make it to the director or executive ladder. Although women obtain a higher education with more degrees than men, their salary does not reflect that and their qualifications for the job are disregarded. They are more likely to feel discriminated at work. The opportunity gap is exactly that in which women are at a disadvantage in promoting towards leadership roles and at times often remain at the same level.

Women will have to wait another century for the longing development of equality in the workplace, roughly one hundred and forty-four years. Be it the gender wage gap, and the numerous occupations that have installed that gap, or the barriers that keep women from prospering in the work environment, all will be diminished in the following generations that are to come.

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The Gender Pay Gap. (2019, Jan 05). Retrieved from