The Gender Wage Gap is the Gap Difference
How it works
The gender wage gap is the gap difference between the earnings made by men and women in the United States. This wage gap is a result of many factors including occupational segregation, direct pay discrimination, and educational background, which keeps women’s average earnings nearly twenty percent less than men’s average earnings. According to Equitable Growth, “The average earnings of all women who work full time, year-round is 80.5 percent (routinely reported as 81 percent) of men who work full time, year-round.” The gender pay ratio in Texas is eighty-one percent and is ranks twenty-second nationally. Women remain vastly unpaid in the U.S. workforce. Congress should enforce the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to put an end to gender income inequality in the United State. The gap in pay has narrowed since 1980, but it has remained relatively stable over the past fifteen years. According to a Pew Research Center,” The analysis of median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers in the United States, it would take an extra 47 days of work for women to earn what men did in 2017.”
Gender discrimination has also played a role in the career paths and occupations women choose to associate themselves with. In modern society a women is expected to obtain an occupation that is intended for women such as teaching or nursing, while men are supposed to be pursue careers that are hard-working with long hours. “The estimated 18-cent gender pay gap among all workers in 2017 has narrowed from 36 cents in 1980. For young women, the gap has narrowed even more over time. In 1980, women ages 25 to 34 earned 33 cents less than their male counterparts, compared with 11 cents in 2017.” (Pew Research Center) Policies such as raising the federal minimum wage can decrease some of the effects of occupational segregation across the country by raising pay in women-dominated, low-wage professions. Caregiving responsibilities, such as motherhood, has led to interruptions in career paths for women and can have an impact on long-term earnings.
How it works
Women are more likely than men to be single heads of households raising children. “Roughly four-in-ten mothers said that at some point in their work life they had taken a significant amount of time off (39%) or reduced their work hours (42%) to care for a child or other family member.” as reported by the Pew Reach Center. When an American women goes back to work her salary is on average lower than it would have been if she hadn’t had a child. Mothers were also nearly twice as likely as fathers to say taking time off had a negative impact on their job or career. Racial discrimination is also a factor within the gender wage gap. “Racial wage inequality compounds the effects of gender wage inequality for women of color and, according to models employed in the new Equitable Growth report, explains 4.3 percent of gender wage inequality.” The major wage gap is between African-Americans and Hispanic women that face many issues with discrimination in the work force. In addition, policies that allow workers access to additional hours or to workplace schedules that may help additional employment can decrease underemployment, which is higher for workers of color than for white workers.
Education is a major part of our society and many occupations require a degree or certificate of some sort in order to uphold the position of any career. “Women’s increased educational attainment has helped narrow differences between women and men by 5.9 percent. Since the 1980s, women have been outpacing men in educational attainment.”, according to Equitable Growth. Although women are pursuing the same occupations as men, they are still getting paid fairly lower than what the average income for their career choice may be. Minimizing unequal pay will allow women a higher income, shown by their education and career path in order to have a comfortable lifestyle. Unequal pay in the United States between men and women drags down the growth of the economy due to the wage gap that threatens economic security and retirement security of working families. More working women also contributed to stronger economic growth. These additional earnings have made the financial difference for families across races and up and income while also boosting economic growth. Strengthening the rights of workers to collectively bargain can help to further increase wages for women in the workplace. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex, gender, or race, but Congress needs to acknowledge this law in order for the gender income inequality to come to an end.