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The gender pay gap is the average difference between a man’s and a woman’s salary or paycheck. Women are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, even though most women are advanced in their studies. People tend to assume that the pay gap is not due to discrimination, and like to believe that it is due to the mistake of not looking into the factors that could drive the pay gap between men and women. However, these factors are often affected by gender bias. For example, by the time a woman is out looking for a job, her choice of work will be due to how she was raised, societal norms of women, and expectations of others. In other words, even though women get jobs with lower pay, this decision is due to discrimination, bias, and other forces beyond women’s control.
The pay gap has shortened over time, but it still exists. The gap affects women across the country by squashing their earnings and making it difficult for women to balance work and family. In order for those to understand the pay gap, it is important that they do not blame women for not being qualified enough to earn more because usually that is not the case. Instead, people should study how our economy provides unequal opportunities for women at their choice of education, training, career choices, and more. Some say the reason for gender pay differences are because women are far less likely to have careers in high paying jobs, and most of all lack the working abilities of men. There are three very important factors for the difference in wages: becoming mothers, lack of common knowledge or skills, and the bias women face from employers.
The motherhood penalty takes place when the soon to be mothers are on paternity leave. Research shows that women that become mothers suffer workplace-related consequences. Women face higher expectations when looking for a new job, but ironically they face a lower chance of hiring and promotion. The negotiation penalty is how women are less likely to negotiate their salary than men and men are more likely to take a promotion. Employers bias is when the people in charge aren’t praising women as much as they are men. They do not rate the women as highly, and in other words, employers may unknowingly underrate the hard work put in by their female employees. Another reason is women are more emotionally attached and won’t be as invested into their work like men supposedly are.
The gender pay gap is due to the increasing impact of many times over the course of women’s lives when they are treated differently than their male peers. Girls are influenced toward gender-normative careers from a very early age. At a time when parental influence is key, parents are often more likely to expect their sons, rather than their daughters, to work in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields, even when their daughters perform at the same level in mathematics.
The gender pay gap is larger for older workers. The gender pay gap for both men and women tends to increase when women marry or if they have children. Discrimination is a huge factor as well, women of color get paid less than white women who already get paid less than men in general. Asian women earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by Asian men. Black women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by black men. Hispanic women earned 88 cents for every dollar earned by Hispanic men. White, non-Hispanic women earned 75 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

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