In recent years there has been much discussion about the gender wage gap; the idea that women are paid less than men in comparable roles despite a woman’s qualifications – like her educational degrees or her performance at work, she’s still paid less than a male counterpart doing the same job. The sad part is that not even the glam world is exempt from this sexist social culture that needs immediate attention. Pay disparity is getting worse, and we need companies to make a real stride in supporting their employees.
Interestingly, some people think the gender pay gap is a myth. Decades of man-as- breadwinner stereotyping have led to the view that if a job is high-skill and high-paying, it’s a man’s work. Couples who raise a child tend to designate the mother as the one who does the larger share of housework and takes on the main responsibility of childcare, and as a result woman tend to have less time available for wage-earning. This reinforces the pay gap between male and female in the labour market, and now people are trapped in this self-reinforcing cycle.
Men and Women who do break down gender boundaries are often perceived as less masculine or feminine. Male-dominated industries tend to have higher wages than industries and occupations made up mostly of female workers. We still have occupational segregation, which yes, is a personal decision, but it’s also driven by socioeconomic challenges and it is also driven by expectations about what roles women should play in society.
In U.S only the unadjusted pay gap between men and women is 21.4 percent. That means women earn on average $0.79 for every $1.00 men earn.
Rather than looking through a peep hole, let us look at the broader picture as to why it exists even in a modern world like today and how it can be controlled.
Why Does It Exist?
Gendered jobs are on the decline, but Stereotypes still remain. Men are preferred for male-dominated jobs whereas no stringent preference is there for female-dominated or integrated jobs. Senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, Elisa Gould says that there are a lot of whys and wherefores for its existence and one of them could be discrimination’s. Numerous studies suggest that pay disparity has a direct connection with women taking a break for pregnancy or taking care of elder members in their families. When they join back after a break, somewhere, they are forced to compromise on the pay part to get back with their career.
However, on the flip side of coin, there are range of factors that may be causing a disparity – it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that it is a deliberate attempt or unlawful discrimination. It varies from state to state because of a multitude of things like:
- The opportunities created by the industries in the state.
- Demographics such as race/ethnicity, age, and education level.
- Difference in thought process, views and beliefs about gender based on geographical areas.
- Differences in the workplace discrimination laws and policies.
This is an issue that needs serious attention. We are in an age where women are earning more degrees than men and are becoming more serious about uplifting their professional life.
No matter how you scrutinize it; the gender pay gap is the harsh reality of the society and is harmful to women’s economic security and growth.
How Can It Be Controlled?
Closing the gender pay gap will require action from individuals, employers and policymakers. To look deep into the matter here are many ways in which we, as a society can close the pay gap. Some of these include:
- Addressing differences in subject and career choices, educational achievement and access to apprenticeship.
- Government and civil society should support women in entering and growing their careers, particularly in non-traditional, higher-paying fields and
- Encouraging both the genders to share childcare responsibilities by giving equal weight age to paternity
- Promising practices include increased childcare support for working females. Google, for example, has on-campus
- Increasing diversity in all sectors and at all levels by encouraging employers to tackle promotion and pay and be unbiased in recruitment and contribute to equitable
- Eliminate Negotiation, it is the main game. Although, this strategy does not work without pay
- Promoting female Entrepreneurship, encourage their business to grow and become more stable by providing skills development and
- Companies need to institute policies and programs to recruit, retain, and promote women.
|Senior positions have more men than women.||Seniors roles that work for all.|
|Women take a more significant load of childcare responsibilities.||Integrate family friendly policies, particularly flexible work policies that allow both genders to balance a career with caring responsibilities.|
|Women end up choosing to low-paid roles and sectors.||Opening all divisions to part-time and flexible working will be a good step.|
|More than often, women are paid less than their male counterparts for the same role.||Organization’s must make a strict policy against this.|
Where Can We Set Pay Parity Getting Included
Over the past few years, company leaders, celebrities, politicians and more have called for an end to gender pay gap. British Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is a hardcore feminist, and he has never shied away from speaking about the same. In an interview, he opened up and unfolded his personal policy of dealing with pay disparity. He has made it clear of not signing any movie/series/commercial where his female counterpart is not the same as his.
Interestingly, he is not just the only name of the glam world doing it. It’s good to see a community standing up for women and taking pay cuts to support women.
For things to change, we need to collectively acknowledge that there is an issue, that it’s worth fixing and that it won’t change unless businesses and individuals take intentional action. Ultimately, this is an ongoing process that requires steadfast commitment, collaboration, and a willingness to step up.