What is Causing the Gender Wage Gap? (post 1)
Is the Gender Wage Gap a Current Issue?
We’ve all heard about Gender wage Gap and usually think it a part of our past, but does the average American know it still excites? According to a recent New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller, “Women’s median annual earnings stubbornly remain about 20 percent below men’s” (Miller 1) headlines like this remain us that systematic discrimination still takes places in the workplace
Why Do I Care?
I was recently introduced to this issue during the 2016 presidential elections when candidate Hillary Clinton brought the gender wage gap and promised to solve it, if elected president. She brought up the fact that even in today’s democratic America decimation still excites and affects about half of the population. I am a strong believer in equal rights, and seeing gender play a role in compensation is unacceptable to me.
As a business student, I am interested in researching the factors affecting the gender wage gap and report possible solutions.
This got me thinking is the wage gap due to women performing different jobs or are women receiving a lesser education than men? With a quick Google search I learned that this was not the case, as women are pursuing higher levels of education than most men, gaining similar work experience and applying for the same positions. This got me interested in researching what new factors are contributing to the gender wage gap, and are efforts are being made to solve this complicated issue?
An example of the wage gap can be found in Ben Rothenberg’s article, “Roger Federer, $731,000; Serena Williams, $495,000: The Pay Gap in Tennis” which explains that the gender wage gap is present not only in white collar jobs, but sports as well. Female athletes in gender segregated sports like soccer and basketball tend to make significantly less than male athletes. Even in tennis a sport where men and women compete alongside each other women’s prize money tends to be slightly lower the men’s. Rothenberg explains that the top 100 men still make 20 cents more than the top 100 women. Even when women’s tournaments have the same number of viewers, and on occasion a few woman’s players can draw bigger crowds than most men. In Rothenberg’s article, he explains that a few athletes are fighting this gender discrimination, “We have a chance to continue to lead… to have equal prize money. It’s not about the money, it’s about the message” (Rothenberg 2) are the words of Billie Jean King former tennis champion who in retirement has begun to stand up for women’s rights. Efforts like those of King resulted in some major changes in the sport, now all four of the grand slams offer the same price money to both genders. Even with these new regulations women have still four mandatory master’s events and men have nine, these accounts for the difference in net income.
Rothenberg also explains that in the Premier events one tier below the masters both women and men, both have a mandatory five events, and women are still paid less per event than men. Acts like this point to the fact that women are just not valued as highly as men.
Claire Cain Miler’s reports similar findings in her article, “As Women Take Over a Male Dominated Field, the Pay Drops” where she explains that the wage gap is still present even long after long time factors have disappeared. Miller argues that women are earning less simplify because work done by women isn’t valued as highly in our society.
Miller illustrates that the field of biology experienced an 18% pay drop after it became a predominantly female field. While the opposite happened in computer programming traditionally a dominated by women and in recent time became a male job, shortly the job began to pay more and gained prestige. Miller claims pure discrimination accounts for 38% of the wage gap, like dual career marriages that are more likely to choose their where they live based on the man’s job.
Why Should You Care?
The gender wage gap affects all tax-payers, as families rely on women’s wages to make ends meet. When they are unable to do some, they turn to government programs which are federally funded. If the wage gap did not excite then we would not have to spend some much money funding this programs. As an employer those companies who pay equally see higher morale better performance. They are also likely to attract and retain top talent.
Miller, Claire Cain. “As Women Take Over a Male-Dominated Field, the Pay Drops.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
Rothenberg, Ben. “Roger Federer, $731,000; Serena Williams, $495,000: The Pay Gap in Tennis.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.