The Gender Wage Gap In Psychology 

Over the past years, the wage gap between men and women in the United States continues to be an ongoing debate. The gender wage gap has become an issue in the workplace and is so prevalent that it’s viewed as “normal” in society. This issue has become so significant because women are perceived to be earning less than men in nearly every occupation. The gender wage gap has often been explained by gender differences in education, skills and expected labor force attachment; however, more women are proving this theory wrong by obtaining as much or even more education than men. There has been a consistent increase in women participating in the workforce, but more women have been going into lower-paid jobs compared to their male counterparts. According to Miki and Yuval (2011), women tend to find it easier to enter specific fields that often have less prestige and command lower salaries; thus, turning these occupations into women’s jobs.

I plan to become a school psychologist where I will work with children who have a mental illness and/or learning and behavioral issues, while helping them succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally in school. This specific field of psychology has seen an increase in female employees, and it continues to increase. Data has been shown to indicate that women make up 60% of school psychologists (Suldo, Friedrich, & Michalowski, 2010). Even though there has been an increase in females in school psychology, they still earn less than their male colleagues with years of experience and education being controlled (Crothers et al., 2010). There were no gender differences between the school psychologist’s willingness to negotiate for an increase in salary; however, males were more likely to negotiate for a promotion within their field. Women are also 21% less likely to receive promotions to due gender stereotypes that women are not supposed to hold those roles.

The annual salary for a school psychologist ranges from $38,475 to $83,339; however, if a school psychologist were to receive their psychology license, the general income would range from $40,431 to $85,280. Salaries for school psychologists also depend on where an individual is living and can vary by state and city. Their salary also varies by years of experience an individual has, their skill set, their area of specialty, the degree they earn, whether it’s a Doctorate or a Master’s of Science in School Psychology or a Masters of Arts in School Psychology, where income ranges from $35,128 to $71,329. The salary between women and men in school psychology also varies where women report earning an annual income ranging from $39,495 to $81,938, and men make between $39,775 and $93,425.

Women face discrimination in the workplace because there’s a prescriptive stereotype placed on them that says what women ought to be. Women are known to be patient, polite and cooperative not assertive, ambitious and competitive like men. There are known psychological differences between men and women such as in their communication and influence tactics, that make up different leadership styles (Merchant, 2012). Because men are more assertive in the workplace, they are more likely to negotiate their salary. Also, with the differences in communication styles between both genders, it puts women at a disadvantage because they speak more tentatively, whereas men speak more assertively; therefore, implying that men are more confident and capable as leaders.

In conclusion, women continue to strive for higher education and higher positions within the workplace but are still being discriminated by men because they believe in the gender stereotypical role, where men are the breadwinners and the women take care of the home. When I join the workforce as a School Psychologist, I hope that I can break that barrier between and show assertiveness within my field. Fixing the gender wage gap isn’t easy, but all it takes is one person to start something and the rest will follow. Women have come a long way since the women’s movement, and we continue to make progress. Data has shown that if current trends continue, women in Ohio will not see equal pay until the year 2067. This emphasizes that women should start striving for higher equality in the workplace so we can achieve narrowing the wage gap sooner.  

16 December 2021
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