The Never Ending Battle: Equal Pay for Women

by bdona11 on October 28, 2016 - 4:20am

                     Gender inequality, specifically the issue of the wage gap has been a widely disputed and sometimes even unnoticed topic for as long as I can even remember. The disputes aren't even about whether or not there is even a wage gap because everybody knows there is. According to,"No, The Gender Pay Gap Isn't A Myth--And Here's Why" by Catherine Pearson, "'Few experts dispute that there is a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women - such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children - make it difficult to make comparisons. That's what what's so facile about repeatedly citing '78 cents''".  The 78 cents is referring to the amount of money a women makes for every dollor a man earns, but it is now 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes. In my opinion, to use a person's life choices as an excuse for why they are being paid less just seems ridiculous to me and extremely unfair. If you think thats bad, it is much worse for females of color because according to the article, "The National Women's Law Center estimates that black women lose more than $877,000 over the course of a 40-year career as a result of the pay gap. Latina women lose more than $1,000,000." This is even more unfair and wrong because now race is effecting the wage gap. Also talked about in this article is how pay drops when women enter male-dominated fields, but we'll talk about that in a bit.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                      As mentioned earlier, pay also drops when women enter male-dominated occupations. Why is this happening, is my question? According to, "As Women Take Over a Male-Dominated Field, the Pay Drops" by Claire Cain Milller, "It may come down to this troubling reality, new research suggest: Work done by women simply isn't valued as highly." When I see that quote I am baffled because shouldn't all work whether done by a female or not, be valued the same in similar occupations. Another discouraging stat from this article was that "pure discrimination may account for 38 percent of the gender gap." The discouraging stats don't even end there, this article is chalk full of stats explaing the difference in pay between men and women. Why, really? We have enough problems going on in our world and we wanna tell women that they don't deserve to be paid as much as men, thats crap and we all know it. But, I shouldn't be surprised because this has been going on for so long that some people think it is okay to discriminate against people for no reason. I'm beginning to wonder if this issue is ever going to be resolved completely.

                      According to, "Gender pay gap will take 118 years to close, report says" by Maia Davis, "Worldwide, the overall gender equality gap has closed only slightly in the past 10 years, and progress on pay equity has stalled. At the current rate it will take 118 years before women earn equal pay to men, said the 2015 Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), released this week." This means that many of us today will not see a world where women are treated equally, specifically in the means of pay. This article lists the United States of America 28th out of 145 countries on the global gender gap rankings. Iceland is first on that list. This al jazeera america article just goes to show that this is an issue that effects more than just the US. "Closing the gender gap will require changes by government and business, and in societal attitude," according to the article. Gender parity is key. 

                      As you can see, the wage gap issue is one that is widely talked about and disputed among many experts. And the more research that you do, the more you should notice that this should be stopped immediately because 118 years doesn't sit well with me and it shoudln't with you either. I was taught that everybody is to be treated nicely no matter what race, sexuality, or gender they are. That is why this issue irks me so much. It would be nice if more people brought this issue to the forefront, so maybe a bigger conversation could get started and the issue could get resolved quicker. So go out and do research and write about it because your voice can spark the change necessary.

 

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/11/19/gender-pay-inequality-s...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/no-the-gender-pay-gap-isnt-a-myth-an...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/upshot/as-women-take-over-a-male-domin...

Comments

This wage gap issue is an extremely prominent issue in our society that, like you specified, needs our attention. You did an extremely good job of conveying the urgency of the situation and of its unfairness. What was intriguing about your argument is when you brought the reader’s attention to the fact that additional identity markers will increase this wage gap, such as race. This phenomenon is known as Intersectionality, analyzing this theme would have reinforced your argument.

Intersectionality is when multiple identity markers reinforce each other creating exponentially greater inequalities for people with a greater amount of identity markers. In this case, there is a certain amount of inequality that comes with being a woman, and an additional inequality from being of a different race.

What is essential to realize is that this discrimination is not summative, as each inequality emphasizes the other. In turn, Black and Latino women are losing an immense amount of money over prejudgments that have been embedded into our North American societies. According to a 2013 study conducted by the bureau of labor statistics, black women will make 3 cents less than white woman, and a Hispanic woman 10.8 cents less than a white woman in the US.

This is significant as it is essential to acknowledge that different people, experience different levels of inequality, and it should not be assumed that everyone experiences the same struggle. There are multiple sources that deal with this issue, which can be helpful to strengthening your argument, here is a helpful one:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10572435/Intersectional-fem...

I really enjoyed reading your analysis of the issues that are involved with the wage gap, including intersectonality and the simple fact that although pay equity laws do exist, it still seems as though women are often not paid equally for jobs that involve the same level of skill and work. Also, even though in North America we like to view ourselves as very progressive, we are still far behind many other countries in many aspects of society.

One topic that you mentioned briefly was the mommy track, which was a topic that could have been elaborated on further to help your argument. The mommy track is the idea that women who want to have children will reach a point in their career where they will be forced to either choose their family, (which may result in pay cuts, loss of future benefits, or even the loss of their job completely), or choosing their job. This turning point in their careers is often a deciding factor when companies consider hiring a man or a woman for a certain position, and also when it comes to promoting men or women in certain situations. Furthermore, even if women do end up getting the job, or the promotion, they are heavily scrutinized for requesting maternity leave and taking time off to take care of their children. This is because to move up the corporate ladder, one is supposed to behave like a man, which would involve putting your work ahead of everything else in your life.

Here’s an interesting article about how women themselves have been socialized into believing that they must choose a family or a successful career, and ways in which we can remove this idea from our society. http://qz.com/449750/hey-millennial-women-lets-get-past-the-idea-that-ca...