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Gender Pay Gap

By , Marlborough, MA

For many years, respect for women has been at an all time low. They're thought to be weaker, thought to be only good at housekeeping and raising children. In colonial times, you see stories of the men doing the hard work, and not the women. However, over the years it has gotten better. Women have finally started to speak their mind, and change things. There's still one aspect still present: the gender pay gap.

       

There’s always been a difference between men and women: there hasn’t been one time they were looked at the same. The gender pay gap is there, and it's very noticeable. No matter how big or how small the gap may be, it’s there. But why? Why would it be necessary for women employees to get paid less than men employees?

       

Studies show that although there is no difference in discretionary effort in the United States, there is in Britain. There, the side that puts forward more discretionary effort is women. If women put forward more effort that exceeds the minimum required, why would they get paid less? Although it's may only be a nickel or a dime off, it still should not be there. The wages tend to be “below the ~80 cents on the dollar”. What difference does 80 cents give you by taking it out of someone's pay? The rate women get hired at also creates some tension; it is substantially lower for women than it is for men. Yale University asked over one hundred science faculty members across the United States for their opinion on two student résumés. Both résumés looked the exact same, except for the name: one student was named “John” and the other student was named “Jennifer”. Most of the people leaned more towards the “John” candidate instead of the “Jennifer” one. Additionally, the article goes on to say that the faculty members went as far as offering “John” a higher salary than “Jennifer”, and were more likely to offer him mentoring opportunities. Both candidates had the same requirements for the job, yet the professionals were bias to the male with the requirements. What difference does it make if a male did the job rather than a women?

       

 Let's talk about jobs: as much as we all hate them, they’re essential for us to live our life. Men and women tend to “gravitate toward different careers” and interests. That seems reasonable, seeing that sometimes a woman would be more suited for a certain job than a man, or a man would be more suited for a certain job than a woman. In the elementary teacher field, 86% of the people working in it are women, and only 14% are men. In the software developer field 89% of the people working are men, and 11% are women. The more popular jobs for men pay more than the more popular jobs for women. For elementary school teachers there is a 1% gap between men and women pay, and for software developers there is a 4% gap between men and women pay. So, no matter what, men are always being paid more than women.

       

I've covered jobs, I've covered discretionary effort. What's left? Let's bring up percent growth in pay. At age 22, the average pay for men (with a college degree or higher) is $40,800, and the average pay for women (with a college degree or higher) is $31,900. That's almost a $9,000 dollar difference! As we continue on down the road, pay (on average) stops growing at age 48 for men. By then, their typical wage is $95,000 a year. For women, pay stops growing at age 39, and they're typical wage per year is $60,000. A $35,000 difference between the two salaries; about $4,000 dollars per year the women salary doesn't increase. Why does the pay stop growing at 39 for women, and why does the men’s go to 48?

       

Many of those banging their heads on their walls as I say this will be trying to shut me down by saying things such as “women have degrees in softer subjects” or “women take too much time off of work to take care of their kids” or “women are only a small part of the workforce”. Donald Trump’s son even said that women worried about sexual harassment in the workplace should “just quit already”. He also said that “if you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce”. In other words, he basically said “women are weak” without saying “women are weak”. That’s extremely judgemental; you’re assuming every woman in the world is weak. Adding onto that, over 65 million women are employed, and make up almost 47% of the workforce. That’s no “small part”; that means the split is practically even. Plus, research proves that college enrollment for women has increased over the years, and it even exceeds the enrollment rate of men. Studies have also shown that among women who have children under the age of one, almost 60% of them work full or part-time. Just because they have a child doesn’t mean they have to take off work to take care of said child. So, one day you don’t see your female co-worker in the office doesn’t mean that she’ll only come once in a blue moon.

         

Unanswered questions is all we ever get. It's there, and it always has been there. Gender equality tried its best to peak at one point, but it’s still not completely there. Yes, it is only a few percent difference which should be “no big deal”. But, how would you feel if you're being scammed of your money? All your hard work is being put into your job to maybe not receive the same amount as your co-workers, but less. It should be the same; women can work just as hard. Just give us a chance, and make it all the same!






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