Equal Work = Unequal Pay for Women

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Photo Credit/Pixabay

Grace Galante, Content & Social Media Editor

In the United States, for every $1 a man makes, a woman makes just about 80 cents. This statistic may seem shocking, but according to Catalyst.org, women make up 47% of the United States workforce and hold 56% of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. However, women earning less is a sad reality in our country.

Despite equal qualifications, education, and experience, women often have to work twice as hard to achieve the same results. This is mainly attributed to discrimination and gender biases in the workplace, but also due to the fact that there is a wage penalty for being a working mother. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, women’s salaries go down, on average, 7% for each child they have.

Additionally, in fields that are lacking women representation, the wage gap becomes even wider. According to Catalyst.org,  in finance and management occupations, women make 62 and 73 cents for every a dollar a man makes, respectively. With many girls now stepping into traditionally male-dominated fields, the wage gap can deter young women and girls from pursuing these careers.

While women across the globe suffer consequences due to the wage gap, the wage gap for minority women is the most severe. On average, Latina women make 62% of what a white man earns and Black women earn 68% of what white man earns, according to a study by Cataylst.org So, not only does the wage gap contribute to gender discrimination, but to racial discrimination as well.

Although these statistics apply to the United States, the wage gap is a universal problem. Countries such as Korea, Japan, and Israel have severe wage gaps with women making 34.1%, 24.5% and 21.8% less than what a man makes, respectively, as stated on Catalyst website.

To combat this worldwide issue, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States have all passed legislation that requires companies to address the gender wage gap.

Many companies, workplaces, and occupational fields have worked to close the wage gap, but there is still much work to be done. All companies, no matter the circumstances, should pay everyone doing the same job the same salary. Also, when it comes to promotions and leadership roles within companies and businesses, women should be encouraged to go after these roles – and what better way to encourage women than to pay them fairly?

Reducing the pay gap is not only the fair and just thing to do, but it consequently helps in the hiring, promotion and retention of women within companies. This leads to more women in leadership roles, which then leads to better conditions for women in the workplace. Also, it doesn’t hurt that gender-diverse companies are, on average, 21% more profitable, according to the Society of Human Resource Management.

Lastly, to fight the wage gap, women must feel supported and encouraged in the workplace. Men should do their part to ensure that their female coworkers are treated fairly, and people in leadership positions, both male and female, should ensure that women are not discriminated for their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or for any other reason in the workplace.

Hopefully, one-day soon, women will make $1 for every $1 a man makes.