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Gender Pay Discrimination in the US Soccer

In 2015, for the third time, the United States women’s national soccer team won the World Cup, something that the men’s national soccer team has never accomplished. In late March of 2016, five players from that very team filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commision because of the discrimination they have faced in their paychecks. (“Women Earn The Glory While Men Earn The Money In U.S. Soccer.”) Carli Lloyd, one of these players, said in an essay about why she is fighting for equality, “Simply put, we’re sick of being treated like second-class citizens. It wears on you after a while. And we are done with it” (“Carli Lloyd: Why I’m Fighting for Equal Pay”.) Later in her essay, Carli gives the figures on just how much money she is being discriminated from. She says that if she was a male soccer playing winning the World Cup, then she would get a bonus of $390,000. Instead, Carli made 79,000 dollars from winning the world cup in 2015. There are other mind boggling figures that shows just how much Carli and her teammates are being denied in many different categories of pay.

Carli also states in her essay that she understands that the men’s team makes more globally than the women’s team. However, she also states that U.S. Soccer projects that the women’s soccer team will make $5.2 million, but their male counterparts will lose about $1 million. (“Carli Lloyd: Why I’m Fighting for Equal Pay”.) The discrimination in pay for women does not stop in soccer, but expands through almost every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women In 2014, on average, women made 79 cents for every dollar their male counterpart made. (“Pay Equity & Discrimination.”) Women and men should receive equal pay for equal work because if they are doing the same thing, they should be payed the same, regardless of their gender and because stereotypes of women should not be a basis for how much they are payed.

Throughout many women’s lives, they will face discrimination in some way, and for many of those women, it will be with their paycheck. Kerri Sleeman, now a member of the AAUW, has a personal account of facing discrimination. In 1998, Sleeman got a job at a Michigan firm that designed, built, and installed laser welding assembly systems as a design supervisor. Upon being hired, the company officials told Sleeman that her pay was non-negotiable, so she took the pay without any question. After five years of working with the firm, the company was forced into bankruptcy. This allowed Sleeman to see a life of claims for everyone who worked for the company. What she found was that men who she supervised had high claims for their two week pay than she did. After asking her supervisor about why this was, he explained that this could be because the young men under her were the sole breadwinners for their families. Sleeman was married, but had no children, and the supervisor explained this could be why. The supervisor was not apologetic for Kerri Sleeman at all. This is the same supervisor who praised her time after time for being one of the hardest workers with the company. After this experience, Sleeman began to work for pay equality. (“Bankruptcy Court Revealed “Heartbreaking” Pay Inequity.”) Sleeman was doing the same job her male counterparts were doing, and she was even working harder and more efficient that some of her in her case, but she was making considerably less than them because she was a woman.

Women are often stereotyped in numerous ways. This affects the amount the they are paid and their ability to be hired. For example, many people may have the notion that women become less productive when they become mothers. This is absolutely not true, and there is no proof to show that it is. However, there is proof that a woman’s advancement opportunities decrease after having children. On the other hand, after a man becomes a father, his advancement opportunities begin to grow. While it is true that mothers do often take more time away from their job to take care of their children than their male counterpart, this makes economical sense because of women’s lower pay. If women were to be paid more equally to men, then perhaps the role of taking care of their children will become more equal. Likewise, research shows that if the cost of child care is subsidized and people are provided with paid parental leaves of up to six months, it would help women return to their job soon, and it would help men to more equally share the care of their children. (“5 Points to Bring Up to Win an Argument about the Gender Wage Gap.”) Women should not have their pay based on a common stereotype.

Many people agree that the wage gap still exists and should be dealt with, but there are still numerous people who would disagree. Some people may say that men make more money because they are better at their jobs than men. Pretending the Academy Awards were a way to measure how good of an actor a person is, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence have been nominated for five and three Oscars respectively. These women were both paid seven percent of the back-end profits for “American Hustle”. Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Christian Bale have been nominated for three, two, and zero Oscars, but were all paid nine percent of the back-end profits for their work in “American Hustle”. The men were paid more than the women, but the women are not worse at acting. Jennifer Lawrence was even arguably one of the “hottest” actors at the times because of her work in “The Hunger Games”. (“12 Ways to Shut Down People Who Oppose Equal Pay for Equal Work.”) Also, some people may say that if women want to make more money, then they should quit their jobs to acquire a high paying one. This theory would not work because for every available job, there are three people looking for one. (“There Are 3 Unemployed People for Every Job Opening, Obama Adviser Says.”) Also, women who do try to do this could get paid lower than their male counterpart somewhere else.

Men are not better than women, nor are women better than men. Women are often discriminated against based solely on the fact that they are women. This is unfair because a being a women does not make someone a lesser employee than someone who is a man. Also, the common stereotypes of women should not be a basis of why a woman is paid less. One of these stereotypes is often the notion that women become less productive after they become mothers. If women are as qualified and are doing the same work as their male counterparts, then they should receive the same pay as their male coworkers.

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