Inequality And The Issue Of Gender Wage Gap In The World Today

A significant problem that the world is continually battling takes place in the workplace. Women, who are equally trained and educated with men, are still not getting the equal pay until this day. The gender wage gap is real and it hurts women by suppressing their earnings and making it more difficult for them to balance work and family. The importance of this topic seems to be belittled and not talked about enough, but there is a real issue that can cause many in work life and family life. According to PayScale, women still make only $0.79 for every dollar men make in 2019. Too often it is assumed that this pay gap is not evidence of discrimination but it continues to impact numerous aspects of a woman’s everyday life. Throughout all of history, discrimination has shown its forms in different ways, one way is the inequality between men and women that still catches up to our world today.    

The term “Gender Wage Gap” came up since the 1960s, but it still occurs today. It started being discussed at length way back in the early 1960s. “It was then that the federal government passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The Act:…prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions” (Kevin Mercadante). Although there has been improvement ever since, the act certainly did not eliminate the gender pay gap. Statistics are enough evidence to show how the gender wage gap still exists and it is real concerning gender bias, direct discrimination and equality legislation.    

The chasm is even bigger than what the numbers indicate. Unfortunately, the studies shown does not reflect off the importance of compensation that the gender wage gap shows. “As the U.S. Soccer Team prepares to fight the sexist soccer forces, it’s worth expounding on three ways that the gender pay gap is often underestimated”. There is a US Soccer Team that has women and men unequally paid; US female players make 38 cents for every dollar the male players earn. The report found that the average bonus that women make is two thirds of how much men make. There are different aspects of the gender wage gap that has not been noticed enough and different areas where there are females drastically not getting paid the way they should be, the gender wage gap is under simplified. However, there are still people who still ignore how wide the gap is in each area and it can start when a young woman is working. 

Added up yearly income, weighted, millennials and youths go through the wage gap in their college life. According to the American Association of University Women, when men and women attend the same kind of college, pick the same major and accept the same kind of job, the woman will still earn 82 cents to every dollar that a man earns. The same efforts are drawn from each gender, yet the boy continues to gain more benefits than a working girl who’s put in the same amount of work. A female working college student has to balance school and work combined, it is substantial that the girl has to go through so much more than a boy even when the same amount of effort is put in in both categories. Women earn less at the very start of their careers. “One year after graduating, women were on a typical salary of £18,300, compared to £19,900 for men. Three years after graduating, women earned £21,800, compared to £24,200 for men. Five years, and that becomes £24,500 to £27,800. At ten years, typical salaries were £27,100 for women and a far larger £35,100 for men” (Hannah Ewens). Statistics show how in each year, a male working college student continues to earn more. The numbers shown are thousands of dollars apart and is enough evidence to convey that men earn more than women and there is no equal pay, not even at a young age.

As a person gets older, more responsibilities come in their way and life gets harder. It is not concerning enough for people that when a woman gets older, the bigger the wage gap gets, the more a woman has to endure. “By this metric, the gender gap is widest at ages 57 and 58. At both of those ages, the median full-time, year-round male workers had a total income of $62,000, while the median full-time, year-round female worker had a total income of $46,000, or about 74.2% of the median male income” (Andy Kiersz). At each year of age, female workers have lower incomes than male workers, but that gap is much higher for older women. It is worth noting and to talk about how wide the gender wage gap is as women gets older and men are still getting paid more.

Women over 45 can go through earning only fewer promotions and smaller raises. They become more likely to take time off work and stay home to take care of their families and this goes back centuries ago when women are put in a category as maids and stay home mothers. “For women over age 45, that apples-to-apples pay gap is only 97¢” (Beth Braverman). This statement does not mean it is necessarily good. There are uncontrolled gender pay gap and controlled gender pay gap that is called the “Opportunity Gap”; “societal and business forces that keep women in lower-paying jobs and industries while men continue to advance and earn more” (Beth Braverman). There are men who “earns” faster promotions than women and can be excluded from highest-paying industries.

Gender bias is a real thing that happens in the workplace. “The reality of gender biases, based on extensive research, is that men are promoted on potential and women on performance. Or rather, men are lifted up by virtue of what they might do, while women must have already done that work and embody the promise of more”. When it comes to performance in the workplace between men and women, men are boosted automatically. Women aren’t even given the chance to show what they can do. “One study found that among sales employees — who are paid based on performance and commission — women are unfairly assigned inferior accounts compared to men, even though women have proven to produce the same results when given equivalent sales opportunities” (Bailey Reiners). When it comes to promotions, managers’ eyes go straight to men. And as for women, they aren’t given enough opportunities to show that they can earn as much as men do. Women do not feel like they can ask for promotions or won’t feel like they have enough support to even stay. November 2 is Equal Pay Day that comes every year, the day we are supposed to talk and think about why women are still earning 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Unconscious bias are social stereotypes of different groups of people and individuals that are stated unknowingly. “For $100 gift cards, participants were willing to pay 6.9% more to male sellers than female sellers” (Kim Eleeser). People were willing to pay more to male workers but it was unconscious bias, they did it unknowingly. It is the same type of consciousness that happens in promotions and determinations of salaries in our workplaces.

Some may argue that this is not gender discrimination and the gender wage gap just proves that men work harder than woman, this is not true. “I think some people get it wrong that [the pay gap] is all about discrimination against women, and another group of people get it wrong, that it has nothing to do with discrimination” (Gary Burtless, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution). Gary Burtless states that the gender wage gap has nothing to do with women and discriminating against them. However, people misunderstand how the pay gap is being measured and what it represents. “People will typically say, ‘Women earn 80 percent of what men earn in the same job,’ and that’s not correct, because typically they work in different jobs. More women are school teachers and nurses and more men truck drivers, engineers, and so you might expect to pay in those jobs to be different” (Heidi Hartmaan, President, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), economist in-residence, American University). It is not necessarily measured by men and women working in the same job, that is not what the Equal Pay Day claims. It is more about the fact that you work and I work and you make a lot more money than me, and it’s unfair in the same earning level.

Gaps remain persistent at every earning level. When we see a woman working for $10 an hour rather than $12, it does not seem like a big difference. However, when it comes to the yearly income and when it is weighted, the person is making $150,000 rather than $300,000. It is underestimated how the pay gap works. “In this and other rich economies, power in the household, power in the economy, comes from what you bring in and what your income is. There’s discrimination in pay, be at the societal or individual level, whatever” (Daniel S. Hamermesh, distinguished scholar, Barnard College | network director, the Institute for the Study of Labor). The pay gap matters because it reflects power and every life, every woman. When women are making less dramatically, it is giving them less power and that is too important. “Pay differences amazingly affect all your life chances, your children’s life chances, your own health, your ability to take care of older parents” (Haartman). Women grew up to learn how to take care of families and to stay home and cook food. However, the times have changed now where they can actually go outside and have a care to work for their families. The gender wage gap stops women from making decisions with their family and work because there has not been equality shown nor benefits given for women to care more enough to work, not because they want to but because they have to.

Gender inequality has shown itself all around the globe and has made it seem like men will always have more power than women. After all, after doing the math and research, it would take about another 200 years for the gender pay gap to close and women will finally be treated equally. There can be essays and class discussions about the pay gap, but unfortunately effort has not been shown much. There has not been enough importance being reflected off the gap and maybe because it is assumed that there is no gap, and men and women are earned in the same amount. There are many different aspects according to the gender wage gap, like the different jobs that they have; uncontrolled wage gap. However, that is not how it should be measured but in a way that a man is earning more than a woman, it is just not fair. The contemplations of the gender wage gap is what people do not see and will not take seriously because they do not realize or have it in knowledge and understanding that this is goes far deeper than discrimination. This has been going on for years of discussion and effort is not much shown. California is named to be the top rank of the US for the gap to be the widest between men and women. Why does it have to take so long and so many years for women to be treated equally? Humans go to school for almost half their lives and then work for the rest of it, no matter how small or big the gap is, it’s there. It is affecting women and their lives in a war between their work habits, family life and issues in between. It is time to stop giving men more power and give more opportunities and chances for women to be in charge and to be prioritized. 

16 December 2021
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