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Gender pay gap and the fight for equal pay


It’s a common thought that salaries of women are lesser than that of men. According to many Human Resources executives, women prefer to choose lower paying jobs as they have fewer responsibilities and less competition. Besides this, there is a difference between men and females in education choices, preferred industry, and job experience. Apart from the improvements in women’s civil rights and economic status, they are still working hard to live a better life. Now women are increasingly getting more skilled as compared to past 25 years. They are now getting entrance in traditionally men-denominated fields. Apart from all these encouraging facts, there are only a few industries where women are paid the highest wages: information services, mining and logging and utilities. On the other hand, there are many industries women are paid less: hospitality and leisure, retail trade.

Each new generation of women is more educated, bold and free. As a rule, this should work as a source to get better job offers and higher pay for them. Some people agree with the notion that doing full-time employment has narrowed down the gap in earnings. However, the fact is that women workers are still underpaid workers period. Reasons are many, but solutions to solve gender pay equality are also there. A primary reason for the gender pay gap is that mothers have to give more attention to their children. The cost of motherhood hinders their fundamental rights like equal salaries, titles, and promotions. Furthermore, women that are highly educated negotiate less for their salaries as compared to men, which leads to a lower wage employment for females. Women have also found to be more selective than men workers when it comes to select an industry or sector.

It’s an impression that women in America enjoy better rights than women in many other countries, but the fact is that there still exists inequality for female workers. Way back In the year 1990, a report on work equality showed significant growth in women joining the workforce. But at the same time, that report showed that pay inequality was increasing in the USA. According to that report, women were earning 64% of what men were making in the same job. Moreover, women in the US are allowed to take 12 weeks off from their job, in the case of childbirth, but with most companies, they are not paid for this period.  No matter women have the same academic qualification, but they are paid less. As a result, this affects their promotions in their organizations. Several other reports have revealed that women work twice as hard compared to men. They not only work in offices but also they have to keep households too. On the other hand, men do not function equally to keep households. Compared to the American women, Japanese women are becoming more educated because they face less pressure of domestic work. This has resulted in their better performance at the workplace.

Several years ago when President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, it was game changing. It was named for a female worker Lilly Ledbetter who lost her stance in the US Supreme Court against his employer paying her lesser than her male colleagues. Towards the end of his Presidency, Mr. Obama returned to the gender pay gap issue again. In this regard, He passed new rules that compel companies – having more than 100 workers – to provide the federal government actual figures of the salaries they pay to each gender, race, and ethnicity. This action will help the authorities know if companies are following the equal pay rules or not. Full-time female workers have always been paid a fraction of their male colleagues. It was found 79 cents for each dollar in 2015.

The main propose of the act is to resolve the pay gap issues and to make it sure that workers are paid equally. Also, it was said by the president that a summit to examine the gender equality in the USA would be held in the near future. The vice president of government relations at the American Association of University Women, Lisa Maatz

Some social scientists suggest that delay in childbirth may prove to be helpful in decreasing the pay gaps. Research has shown that the delay in childbirth for a year can increase a woman’s earnings and experience. But once they have children, their wages go down and few of them leave their jobs, the research concluded. It has been suggested by some experts that women know the pay range for the particular job they’re applying for this may help decrease the pay gaps. The pay inequality has narrowed down some since 1960, as women were making just 60 cents for each dollar, but now they are making 79 cents for each dollar. Nevertheless, the gap is still very, very discouraging for black women, as they earn the same 60 cents of each dollar some 50 plus years later?. The federal government will have to do more than enacting these rules. After finalizing these rules, law enforcement agencies will have to watch over the straightforward implementation of these rules carefully. Now with a new cabinet in The Whitehouse, women face the possibilities of even more setbacks.

Undoubtedly, the gender pay gap has always been there and probably always will. Its history is as old as human history; therefore, it can’t be resolved over the night. Authorities have to take gradual steps to narrow down the gap. Howsoever, in recent years there have been seen some improvements, one of the central questions remains that what will happen when Obama equal-pay rules take effect in 2017?  The rules will require the US companies, having more than one hundred employees, to reveal their employees’ salaries data, broken down by ethnicity, race, and gender, to the government. One more important question in this regard is that what would be the effects of the initiatives to increase the minimum remuneration, as minimum-wage earners are commonly female earners? Finally, there’s another question that whether the companies would regard the rule as in their best business interest to pay the women staff equitably and equally.


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