Tackling The Gender Pay Gap

by Student 14 on February 10, 2015 - 4:25pm

    Women’s opportunities in the workplace (i.e. access to fair pay, to pay supplements, and to advancement) are limited in comparison to those of men.  This is a gender discrimination issue, as a result of the beliefs, values, and attitudes that are being promoted by workplace culture. Certainly, workplace culture promotes the status of women as subordinate to men, as evidenced by the gender pay gap between men and women.  The gender pay gap refers to the difference in pay earned by men and women. Women, in particular, are disadvantaged by the gender pay gap, which they face in female-dominated, gender-neutral, and male-dominated occupations.

   Today, women are increasingly more educated than men.  Moreover, they represent growing numbers entering the workforce.  As such, women deserve to be treated fairly and compensated equally.  Utilitarianism promotes the need to eliminate the effect of gender in the workplace because narrowing the pay gap between working men and working women contributes to the greatest good for the greatest number.  Indeed, pay equity satisfies women because it eliminates the pain of working hard and making less money than their male counterparts.  In addition, it maximizes utility for society as a whole.  In fact, eliminating the effect of gender increases competitiveness and reduces expenses (e.g. high cost of employment turnover if women leave because the conditions are not fair).  Thus, we ought to encourage fair pay.                                                                       

    There is little debate about the need to narrow the gender pay gap.  There is, however, a moral dilemma that presents itself when dealing with how to fix the problem.  On the one hand, some people believe that women, themselves, are the problem because they lack ambition, they underestimate their own abilities, and they choose to opt out of the workforce. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, advances this very idea.  She suggests that women need to “keep their feet on the gas pedal” to be successful, to be leaders, and to narrow the effect of gender in the workplace (TED 13:30).  In other words, she urges women to believe in themselves and to be aware of their own success and to continue to reach for promotions. Conversely though, on the other hand, some people believe that women, themselves, are not the problem.  Instead, they attribute women’s struggles in the workplace to external factors such as a lack of flexibility at work and men’s overbearing behaviour.  Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department from 2009 to 2011, supports this view.  She encourages organizations to offer greater flexibility (creating time for women to take care of their children) and men to “speak less and listen more” (Slaughter 23).

    I agree, in part, with Slaughter.  I believe that the solution to the gender pay gap issue involves greater flexibility at work, which would allow women to take care of their children, work from home, and continue to advance their careers without the risk of being marginalized for working part time at the office.  Furthermore, I believe that it comes down to restructuring the pay distribution system to ensure that women are paid as much as men upon entering the workforce and that pay supplements are not gender-influenced. These solutions will hopefully succeed in reducing the effect of gender in the workplace and in narrowing the gender pay gap.  In doing so, they will promote the greatest good for the greatest number.

Works Cited

Slaughter, Anne-Marie.  “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”  The Atlantic.  n.p.  13 June 2012.  Web.  9 Feb. 2015. 

TED.  “Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders.”  Online video clip.  YouTube.  YouTube, 21 Dec. 2010.  Web.  9 Feb. 2015.

 

Comments

I think your post has been written effectively so that people would be aware of the injustice more theoretically and factually. It is a great way to show your reader how your issue is a matter of logic, which convinces your reader fully about your opinion and your point of view.
http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/news/equal-pay-for-equal-work-a-look-at-the-wa...
The link above explains how women are discriminated in their pay checks depending on what job they have. If they are health technicians, they are more paid than their male counterparts but if they are insurance sales agents, they are less paid then men. Also, another statistic has come out saying that the pay gap is the most shown in well paid jobs. For example, it is mentioned that the approximate weekly pay where “the biggest gap between men's and women's wages is $1,087, while in jobs where the gap is smallest, the average weekly pay is $773.” But still, it is mentioned that 15% of the pay gap is due to discrimination.
Overall, I think that feminists need to continue to fight for their rights. Even after all these years of protests, there is still some discrimination. Women have been fighting for their equal rights because they have overcome the same education as men did. It would infringe human rights to prioritize a person because of her gender, when they both have had the same path to lead to the same result. More women have been graduating from universities and heading for jobs and as women, we should continue to persevere to become stronger and have all our full rights in the society.

I think that your article was very interesting to read, as it brought a different perspective on gender inequalities and the gender pay gap, which is still surprisingly an important issue in many companies. I thought it was great to incorporate some different reasons in your article to explain this gap, such as the fact that some people may say that it is the women’s fault since they do not have enough ambition. To complete your article, I found an article (that you can read entirely by clicking on this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/opinion/sunday/sheryl-sandberg-and-ada...) , which was co-written by Sheryl Sandberg which appeared in a video you used to write your post. In this article, the concrete functioning of a company is described, and it is said that often women that are high ranked in companies do more administrative type of work and additional work in order to keep their position, which is not the case for men. The article also suggests ways in which this working gap could be reduced, such as making the men and women do exactly the same job and give them the same rewards.

After reading your article I can conclude that you explored the issues of gender inequality very well especially since you referred to the obstacles that women may encounter when striving for success. One of them was when you talked about how women have to take care of their son or daughter. I completely agree with your argument that people should be paid according to their skill sets and job description and not according to their gender. However, I think you should have backed up some of your claims such as when you said “women are increasingly more educated than men.” As much as you are trying to show that women deserve equal pay you shouldn’t put down men unless it’s an actual fact. Thus, I am aware that when it comes to well paid jobs there is a huge gap between men and women, however, that’s because most well paid jobs are jobs that require bachelors and masters therefore, the obstacles that women encounter stops them from getting that higher education. If we want women to be treated equally we need women to strive for higher paid jobs and not be afraid to join fields dominated by men. In which you mentioned in your referral to a TED talk. Furthermore, taking care of a child shouldn’t be just a woman’s responsibility but also a man’s, in order for women to have the same flexibility as men. Overall, you showed a new perspective on inequality by explaining that given the circumstances of what a job is, having a lower pay based on gender is completely illogical.

About the author