The gender pay gap is a major problem in the U. S. Across almost all different types of occupations, women are being paid significantly less than their male counterparts. Throughout the years, many women have spoken up about the wage difference, demanding equality, and progress is slowly being made to close this gap. Women are only paid on average 78% of what men are paid (United States of America). The wage gap is caused by many factors, including how men and women select different occupations, gender discrimination in the workplace, and other unexplained reasons that are yet to be identified.
Studies have proven that there are some methods that we can implement to prevent the gender pay gap such as using pay transparency and reducing salary negotiations. The gender pay gap is unfair to women and can be stopped by doing a better job of tracking how much companies are paying their employees and acting upon that data. The gender pay gap is the difference in pay between employed men and women. According to the Council of Economic Advisors (United States of America), women are being paid about 78% less than men.
This means that for every dollar that a man makes, a woman only makes 78 cents. In addition to being paid less, women are also less likely to be offered a health insurance plan from their employers (United States of America). Also, women are not as likely to have a retirement savings plan. Women have made a lot of progress since the 1900s regarding pay in the workplace. In 1963, when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women only made about 59% of what men made. Since then, the gap has consistently gotten better over the years.
Many more women have started to speak out against the pay gap. Most notably, the U. S. women’s national soccer team recently filed a complaint against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The women’s national team is paid significantly less than the men’s national team, even though the women have had much more proven success. Although they have the information about how they are being paid, they still need to figure out a way to apply that data and put an end to the pay difference. Many people often wonder what causes the gender pay gap.
The pay difference is caused by a combination of factors including how the two genders approach different careers, gender discrimination, and other unknown elements that affect the data. According to the Washington Examiner (Schow), nine out of the ten top paying jobs are dominated by men, including engineering and architecture. This shows that it would be very hard for women to be making an equal amount of money because they tend to be in lower-paying jobs. In addition, women are sometimes discriminated against based solely on their gender.
In a test conducted by Yale University, it was shown that a female candidate applying for a job would be offered on average $4,000 less than a male candidate applying for the same job with the exact same credentials (Oliver). This shows that some companies are discriminating against people based only on their gender. There is also an extremely inequitable stereotype regarding women and their behavior or reactions. Women who ask for more money are sometimes labeled as rude or pushy, while men who ask for more money are labeled as firm and confident (Konnikova). In addition, according to the Center for American Progress, 41. % of the gender pay gap has no explanation (Glynn).
This demonstrates that although we know a lot about why women are being paid less, there remains a need for further examination of the issue. We need to do a better job of tracking the data so that we can make useful and long-lasting changes. Although we know that the majority of the gender pay gap is caused by different job choices, discrimination, and stereotypes, we can not take action logically until more is understood. There are many different known solutions that we can implement to attempt to continue to reduce the gender pay gap. One theory is that we can use pay transparency.
Pay transparency is when companies inform their employees about what strategies they are using to pay their workers (Frank). This could help to stop the gender pay gap because women will be more aware of what their male co-workers are being paid, allowing women to negotiate with their boss. Another proposal is to diminish salary negotiations. Many women decide not to negotiate for a higher salary because they fear it will make them seem forceful or obnoxious (Carnevale). If negotiations are not happening as frequently, it will put both men and women on a slightly more level playing field with regard to income potential.
This reasoning implies that there is a stereotype against women. In some situations, women are being pressured by their bosses and coworkers not to negotiate because they are afraid of being judged. If this stereotype is removed, then there is a good chance that women will not be as unwilling to negotiate for a higher salary. The data that has been collected to date in studies of the gender pay gap shows that the United States needs to make changes to equal pay which we believe can be successfully accomplished through the use of pay transparency and reduction or elimination of salary negotiations.
We need to do a better job of acting upon the data that has been collected using these strategies. It is clear that the gender pay gap is a serious and prevalent problem in the U. S. This difference in pay based on gender is unjust but can hopefully be eliminated by doing a better job of tracking how much companies are paying their employees and encouraging them to act upon that data in a manner that is fair. Since 1963, the pay gap has diminished from 59% to 78%, so we know that progress is possible.
Many sources have proven that the gap is caused by differences in occupation, lower negotiation skills, discrimination, and other unknown reasons. Eliminating the gap is not an unattainable goal and hopefully the implementation of pay transparency, elimination of salary negotiations and education of our society on the discriminatory actions of many businesses will help to bring the U. S. closer to our goal of a zero pay gap. In conclusion, women are unfairly being paid less than men, and our society has to work together to figure out how to end it.