Economics Research Paper: Closer to ParityThe notion of inequality in the workforce is all too familiar, but even now, decades after an apparent reform was established through the Equal Pay Act, equivalent pay has still not been acquired. The gender wage gap continues to be a leading issue in the work industry. Women are direct targets to this systematic discrimination and have undeservingly suffered the results.
The components that contributed to wage discrimination include the gender bias between women and men, cultural norms, sexist attitudes, and the precomposed belief that the gender wage gap is a fabricated opinion. In order to rectify the income disparity that women endure, the wage gap must be addressed in the workforce and Congress must pass legislation that directly holds employers accountable for gender discrimination, as well as discontinue the retribution employers yield to employees who voice information involving their wage.The wage gap has gradually declined starting in the 1980s and presently, “on average, employers still pay women 79 cents to every white man’s dollar.
Black women earn 60 cents on the dollar and Hispanic women earn 55 cents on the dollar.” (Noguchi). This statement reiterates the issue that overall, women are still paid almost one dollar less than men and specifically women of color. With these statistics, American women won’t recieve equal pay until four decades into the future. It’s also a larger problem for the economy. “If women earned equal pay for equal work, our economy could grow, boosting GDP by 2.9 percent or $450 billion.
” (Brown) So not only would the end of unequal pay leave women in a safer work environment, but it would also help the overall economy grow. With this in mind, the only ones who would oppose would be the individuals who actually gain from this situation. Progressive steps must be taken now in order to aid in the outcome of next generations. Cultural norms play a large part on the impact that has led to a continuous gap in income. Societal forces do not promote for women to pursue high skill leveled jobs. Even in modern day society, “strong gender stereotypes.
.. discourage women from pursuing education and consequently jobs in certain sectors and certain roles” (Warden), which is why many say that if women willingly choose to go into different professions that are “easier”, lesser pay is inevitable. But women follow this path due to the fact that society coerces it. For example, “women’s tendency to retreat from the workplace to raise children or to enter fields like early childhood education and psychology, rather than better paying professions like petroleum engineering, is evidence.
” (Sommers) Though, it is noteworthy to mention that even if women were to join “male” dominated fields, they still do not end up making the same amount and are still unfairly unfavored. It has been noted that “men who stayed late to help their colleagues were rated 14% more favorably than women who did the same thing.” (Adamczyk) As many high valued C.E.
O.s and management officers are of the male gender, employers have been caught favoring specific employees – males in most cases – due to a “culture fit”. (Agness) A term in which describes basing hiring choices and promotions off of a personal bias, which creates a limitation for women. In other cases, women choose not to initiate a negotiation to possibly raise their status and advance in their careers because “the social cost of negotiating for higher pay has been found to be greater for women than it is for men” (Adamczyk), which is why women are not often heard of to have asked for a promotion of any sorts. Women have been conditioned to fear the look of appearing “too pushy” or “ungrateful” because of their stereotyped “place” in the work industry. Females are meant to be appreciative of getting the job itself.
(Brown) The ideologies that have been ingrained into the minds of women through societal forces cause for decrease in initiative towards higher leveled jobs which pay more. Awareness of this problem and the spread the knowledge will gradually generate results in narrowing the wage gap.The persistent factor that contributes most to the wage gap is the gender bias. It stands as a dictating element in the workforce that leads to many disadvantages on varying levels of a spectrum, from women getting denied raises to women getting denied jobs. Working women are condemned to a status of lesser value for jobs and opportunities for reasons they cannot control. The most notorious excuse being that men work harder than women: they don’t go on as many leaves of absences, dedicate more hours, and do not go on maternity leave.
(Adamczyk) Due to these reasons, men and women have apparently been justifiably paid the amount they deserve, leaving men with higher paychecks. But in fact, women work just as diligently, only not in the same exact way as men. “Working mothers do about 80 minutes more work every day than working dads, in the form of childcare and household duties” so in reality, women work more but do not benefit.(Adamczyk) What many fail to realize is that women’s “choices” are not necessarily choices. Women are “forced out because they cannot afford child care, or find a full-time job that affords them any kind of flexibility.” (Pearson) Their hands are forced by the obligations and duties that are thrown at them, commitments that men do not have to face. They are faced with a choice between starting a family or advancing in their careers, while men who have families are not held to those same reductions and salary cuts. Women have all these sacrifices to choose from, whilst men practically walk out scotch-free.
This displays that men are not held to the same expectations and vividly illustrates the bias that unfairly penalizes women. Men are seen as more favorably in comparison to women and this has been a key element as to why equal pay has not been established. When discussed publicly, disputes have risen to counter the wage gap, many statements argue that the gender gap is nothing but a myth. It is frustratingly hidden which has caused individuals to be doubtful of its very existence.
Wage gap deniers range from anti-feminists, to conservative men and women, even libertarians, to list a few. (Miller) Debaters insist that the data claiming that “women make 78 cents on the dollar as evidence of rampant discrimination has been debunked” and that the “statistic doesn’t take into account a lot of choices that women and men make—education, years of experience and hours worked—that influence earnings.” (Miller) But, in reality it has been confirmed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that women in fact do earn 78 percent of what men do. And these have been proven to also be valid in many cases where women work just as hard and long as their male counterparts, but have been paid less. (Miller) If there are people out there who do not believe in the actuality of a wage gap, it is even more unlikely for a solution to be achieved. The wage gap is a prominent matter that troubles women everyday, and initiation of a true change will help narrow the gap.A large leap towards equal pay would be to pass legislation.
The Paycheck Fairness Act is the strongest way to go as it updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act to ensure that it will provide effective protection against sex-based pay discrimination” (Roy). By having Congress pass legislation, employers are legally held accountable for their choices which will cause for a more structured and clean-cut work environment. This will leave workers, especially female workers, to be reassured that they are receiving fair treatment in a welcoming atmosphere. The comprehensive bill bars retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages and those who raise concerns about gender-based discrimination. (Roy) If individuals are able to share their wage information without the result of getting penalized, this will allow employees to have verify if they are getting paid appropriately. It also allows women to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and ethnicity. (The Paycheck Fairness Act) By giving the gender wage gap the same weight as racial discrimination, it elevates the level of seriousness and will cause businesses to understand the importance of equal pay. Passing legislation will be the key factor to fixing the wage gap issue and once it it established, everyone will be on the same playing field.
Women will finally be given the fairness that is deserved. This topic of unequal pay in the workforce needs to be openly addressed and seized legislatively in order to truly enforce change. There are women working the same amount of hours, displaying the same amount of skill, exuding the same amount of effort, and yet, are still getting paid less.
The salary administered should be based upon skill set, background, and attitude, rather than gender. A change in cultural norms and expectations will aide in the decline of the wage gap and can be solved through awareness and spread of the information. Employers must be more mindful and empathetic to their employees while hiring and distributing promotions. Not all positions can go to men, as women are just a capable, if women are given the opportunity, a step towards reform can occur. In order to produce fair working conditions, Congress must pass legislation that holds employers accountable for gender discrimination rather than penalizing women. And rather than punishing employees who voice their wage information, transparency should be enforced to reassure fairness. The blatant acts of discrimination in the form of wage gaps need to end because males holds no superiority over women that would cause for such.
In conclusion, let us recognize this issue, spread awareness, and finally stump the inequity.Work Cited