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Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap

In an ideal world, workers would receive equal pay for the same amount of work. In actuality, however, there are often disparities in wages between workers due to differences in gender, race, and other characteristics. These differences are called wage gaps. The primary type of wage gaps is the gender wage gap, which is a direct measure of how society values the contribution of men and women, relatively, to the workforce1

On average, a woman working full time earns less than 80 cents for every dollar that a man working full time earns. This is regardless of education level, as it was found that women are paid less than similarly educated men at every level of education2. Though the controlled pay gap, which accounts for job title, experience, hours worked, and more, is smaller, it is still not zero. By its very definition, it is equal work, but it is certainly not equal pay for women.

Furthermore, this doesn’t take into account how women are valued in society. Women are often pushed into more caring and ‘nurturing’ jobs in the service, education, and healthcare industries, which pay much less than the jobs that men typically go for in positions of wealth management and problem-solving. In addition to that, not only do women face wider salary gaps in male-dominated industries but when they enter occupational fields dominated by men, the pay for those positions drops3.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022, at the current rate of progress in closing the pay gap, it will take over 100 years to reach full parity4. In order to reach the zero gap sooner, the causes of the pay gap need to be understood first. First and foremost, the main reason for the pay gap is bias5. Even if a woman is better qualified than her male counterpart, she is often overlooked by employers as they tend to view men as more competent. In addition to that, the lack of women chosen for senior roles greatly impacts the pay disparity6. Furthermore, women are more likely to experience a career break, influenced by care and familial responsibilities, than men7. The longer that a person is out of a job, the harder it is to get another position, and usually, this ends in women needing to take lower-paying jobs than before.

Overall, while there has been some progress made in terms of closing the gender pay gap, the rate is still far too slow to see any real changes happening any time soon. The issues leading to these disparities need to be addressed directly in order to eliminate them, therefore eliminating the pay gap itself. This is an issue of economic equality and security, and efforts must be made to act sooner, as women and their families cannot afford to wait any longer.

 

References

1. What is the gender pay gap? | WGEA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://www.wgea.gov.au/the-gender-pay-gap

2. What is the gender pay gap and is it real?: The complete guide to how women are paid less than men and why it can’t be explained away. (n.d.). Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://www.epi.org/publication/what-is-the-gender-pay-gap-and-is-it-real/

3. 2022 State of the Gender Pay Gap Report. (2022, March 14). Payscale - Salary Comparison, Salary Survey, Search Wages. https://www.payscale.com/research-and-insights/gender-pay-gap/

4. Global Gender Gap Report 2022. (n.d.). World Economic Forum. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2022/digest/

5. 5 Reasons The Gender Pay Gap Exists (Yes, There’s Not Just One). (n.d.). Future Women. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://futurewomen.com/hotlists/5-reasons-gender-pay-gap-exists/

6. The real reasons behind the gender pay gap. (n.d.). Timewise. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://timewise.co.uk/article/article-real-reasons-behind-gender-pay-gap/

7. Understanding the gender pay gap: Definition and causes | News | European Parliament. (2020, January 13). https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20200109STO69925/understanding-the-gender-pay-gap-definition-and-causes

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