The gender wage gap is defined as the relative difference in incomes between men and women in the economy as a whole. For every dollar a man makes, women are making about eighty-two cents less than what men make (NY times). Even if men and women have the same educational background and work history the man will go home with a higher paycheck than the woman. This may actually lead to tension in the workplace and cause conflict anywhere you work. The gender wage gap has been a complicated issue since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed. It has developed a sense of urgency for mostly women who feel that they been treated unfairly and unequal throughout the years. They feel that is not enough, so it has created a concern that inequality still plays a big role but is that really the truth of what is going on? At this point in life I see the wage gap is based on work experience. I feel that they are basing it more on the location you have work, experience you got and how much you are earning in those locations. If you look at jobs from you career path and have no past experience in those career fields it becomes difficult to get a full-time job with good pay for men and women. But I do believe women should be treated equally due to half of the women population have more of an ambition to work than men. This argument of equal pay for man and woman will continue for years to come, we do see some areas that are changing but it’s going to take some time to see those changes in the bigger picture. We can see how Churches explains “a symbolic marker that women have to work on average, more than 15 months to make what men make in 12 months” (CNN). But if you look at the pay between full-time working men and women, we can see that you can not compared a situation like this. They argue that since many men and women are choosing different career paths, women tend to make choices over the course of their careers that includes field of study, occupation, and taking time off for the family. This could fit the narrative of studies done by many researchers it shows that the gap is mostly due to work choice differences between genders such as men working long hours for example, or as said before women making various choices in their life. All of this is base of on how women are more likely take more time to be with their children and often they want to choose a career that may be more family flexible. From the researcher Goldin, Gowins suggests “that providing more flexibility in the workplace may help make the choice to stay in full-time careers easier for more women. But there’s a trade-off: The more flexibility you want at work, the less you’ll make (Chi, buss)”. That just shows how many people have different belief in this argument that has been going on for years if is a good thing or is not will it come to a conclusion we just going to have to wait and find out. In the end, we can see that the women getting effected by this is women in their late 40s. With some research we can see that women in their late 20’s makes 92 cents for every dollar. But women in their late 40’s make just 71 cents compared to comparable male workers (Gowins). This indicates that the gap is better explained by the differences in experience between men and women over the life cycles. That is why many women want to close the gender wage gap, by implementing a new system or law, we should divide the way we hire people by executing sort of sections like education, evaluation, recruitment, retention and advancement. By implementing something similar or like this that works together it can build an easier path of the way people get hire and it would show who has the ambition to work. It will identify areas the require improvement and create a new path that can start getting adopted overtime and start a process the will help women bring the wage gap down over time and help those women that want to have flexible schedule.One of the primary attractions of America to people around the world has been the equal opportunity the country provides to all people. While America has a disheartening past in regard to its equal treatment of women, the country has made drastic advancements in policies and as a society to provide equal rights to women. The opportunity for economic stability and flourishing is unequivocally a reason early immigrant flocked to America and why people continually pursue citizenship in United States. While some believe America has largely moved passed the days in which women were discriminated against, many assume that women still do not possess the same rights as men and that America’s institutions have much work to be done to provide equality. More specifically, in regards to the wages of women in comparison to men. One of the most provident women’s rights issues debated and discussed in America today is the gender wage gap. Some of the issues I will address and explore are the following: are women paid equally in comparison to men in America, if women are not compensated equally, what are some of the variables behind why the gender wage gap exists. Last, I will explain how as a Christian we are called to care for this issue and how I can use my talents and opportunities to act in a practical manner throughout my professional career.
Extensive research and data point to direct evidence that there is indeed a gender wage gap in America. The Pew Research Center reported that in the year 2017, women made 82% of what men earned. This study included hourly jobs as well as part time and full time positions. While the pay for women to men has closed from 64 cents to the dollar in 1980 to 18 cents in 2017, there is still clear evidence of a gender wage gap. In addition, The U.S Census Bureau released a report on the wage differences from men and women in 2017. The American Association University Women (AAUW) researchers analyzed this data and found that women lose a tremendous amount of 500 Billion dollars each year to the gender wage gap in America. Some of the key data in the U.S Census Bureau include the pay differential between in jobs such as accountants, financial managers, sales managers, and chief executives. The results of the study grossly favored men in earnings and number of employees in each one of these specific fields of work. For instance, the median earning of a financial manager for men is $100,575 while for women it is $65,237. The same goes for chief executive positions as women make $111,236 compared to men at $148,867. The CEO of AAUW Kim Churches stated, “It’s time to double down on our efforts to close the gender wage gap. We need to change laws and employer practices – and to empower women to negotiate their own financial futures.” Kevin Miller, a senior researcher at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, claims that almost all occupations in America have a gender wage gap and that male dominated industries have higher wages than occupations comprised of female workers. Unequivocally, there is indeed a gender wage gap and basic math and data point to the disproportionality of wages between men and women in America.
While I have concluded that a gender wage gap does exist in America, further research must be done to explain why this gap exists. While there is objective evidence that there is inequality in wages between men and women, this fact does not necessarily mean there is also inequity. As defined by Merriam-Webster, inequality is the quality of being unequal or uneven. Inequity is defined as injustice or unfairness. Some of the key variables that contribute to the inequality of wages like: hours worked, family status, and college education.
The National Committee on pay and equity explains the wage gap like this: “The wage gap exists, in part, because many women and people of color are still segregated into a few low-paying occupations. Part of the wage gap results from differences in education, experience or time in the workforce. But a significant portion cannot be explained by any of those factors; it is attributable to discrimination. In other words, certain jobs pay less because they are held by women.” In addition, CEO of Institute and Policy Research dr. Heidi Hartmann also believes that the wage gap exists primarily due to discrimination. In her research on the wage gap she believes that in order to fix the wage gap people must understand the correlation discrimination plays in the wage gap. However, scholar and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan Mark Perry, offers explanations different than ones of discrimination.
Perry explains how the different individual choice such as hours worked, age, and family status between men and women play a crucial role in the gender wage gap. First, one of the key data points Perry draws attention to is the statistical fact that, full time workers defined as someone working more than 35 hours, men were more likely to work a greater number of hours. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, men were almost twice as likely to work 41 hours or more per a week, and 2.3 times as likely to work 60 hours per a week. In addition, Perry points out that women are 2.5 times more likely than men to work shorter workweeks of 35 hours compared to 39 hours per week that men work. Last, he found that women working 35-39 hours per week last year earned 107% of men’s earnings for those weekly hours. With the data on hours worked, a little over a third of the 18% wage gap disappears when the variable “hours worked” is controlled and compared on the basis of a 40 hour work week. Perry, gives evidence that much of the wage gap disappears when someone controls age and marital status. For example, workers ages 16-24 years women earn 91.2% of the median earnings of men. In addition, full time workers with no children under 18 years old, women earn 94.2% of the earnings of men. With several of these specific variables controlled, the gender wage gap begins to close and wages are close to identical between men and women. Yes it is a fact women earn 82% of what men earn but observing the BLS without understanding the variables will lead to inaccurate conclusions. Factors such as age, hours worked, and marital status, must be accounted for in order to understand the inequality of earnings between men’s and women’s wages.
In addition to scholar Mark Perry, Christina Hoff Sommers, also known as the factual feminist is an American Enterprise Institute Scholar and former professor of Philosophy at Clark University. Hoff Sommers gives pushback on the notion that women make less than men for the same work. In fact, She stated, “the idea that women earn less men for the same work is false.” She attributes the main cause of the wage gap to be centered around the idea that men and women make different choices. Hoff Sommers defends her claim by first giving statistics on college major choices between men and women. She gives the statistics that men as a group tend to major in some type of engineering, computer science, and or math at a significantly higher percentage than women. The male dominated majors have a direct correlation with higher paying jobs compared to the occupations linked to female dominated majors such as Early Childhood education, Studio art, Human Services, and Theater. Groups like the AAUW have a reputation for looking down on women who pursue lower paying jobs. Shaming women for their occupational choice is is hypocritical and is the root of discrimination in many cases. In addition, the Government has tried to provide incentive for women to take higher paying jobs by pouring Millions of federal dollars have been used to increase the number of computer science and engineering majors. However, according to the department of education the number of women has either decreased or stayed the same. This is a prime example of government trying to dictate the decisions of women and failing to recognize the natural difference of choice between men and women. This is not to say women cannot be engineers and men cannot work in studio art, but data shows that on a large scale men and women tend to pursue different careers. In addition, June and Dave O’neil developed a study for the Bureau of Labor and statistics. They acknowledge in their study the complexities of measuring discrimination in regards to the wage gap. However, they said, “There is no gender gap in wages among men and women with similar family roles. Comparing the wage gap between women and men ages 35-43 who have never married and never had a child, we find a small observed gap in favor of women, which becomes insignificant after accounting for differences in skills and job and workplace characteristics.” June and Dave acknowledge in their study that discrimination can be hard to measure but understand when all variables are equal, men and women earn receive similar wages. (???)
In conclusion, women do earn less than men but on a macro level but there are specific variables that contribute to this wage gap and discrimination against women is not a central aspect of the wage gap. Understand that I am not saying women do not face any discrimination or that in specific incidences women have not received unfair rates of pay in comparison to men. Rather, I conclude that in general variables such as hours worked, family status, and job choice contribute to the perceived wage gap in America. Regardless, we must acknowledge these different variables and respect the different choices made amongst men and women. We must Acknowledge that these specific variables exist and play a large role in why a wage gap exists. If we strive to acknowledge the differences, identifying actual forms of discrimination will be easier as we have an honest awareness of the factors that play into the wage gap.
(Start of Second portion of Assignment)
In addition to my conclusion, I believe Christians have responsibility to speak and act out against injustices but seek truth in doing so. The Bible consistently demands Christians to seek Justice as Isaiah 1:17 Reads, “Learn to do right; seek justice; defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” As Christians, when we witness injustice towards women, we are to act as Jesus did and bring justice and vindication to those who are oppressed. However, while seeking justice is an integral part of the New Testament, 1 John 3:18 highlights the importance of truth. 1 John 3:18 reads, “Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” In addition to seeking truth, I believe Christians must have a biblical understanding of seeking justice that embodies Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” There is direct calling for Christians to seek Justice and truth, but understanding that there is also a demand to go and make disciples of all nations.
First, I believe Christians must recognize Jesus’s example of a man that cared deeply about those who were oppressed, especially women. In early Christianity, societal and cultural norms did not favor women and in many was viewed women as inferior. Women were viewed as second hand citizen and were not encouraged to go out in public, nor teach. However, during Jesus’s ministry, he acted in a counter cultural way that accepted women but brought changed to the way society treated and viewed women. One example appears in Luke 7 when Jesus approached a widow in a crowd and raised her son from the dead. Verse 13-14 read, “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on and the bearers stood still. He said Young man, I say to you, get up.” This is a prime example of Jesus acting against a cultural norm by addressing a woman in public and performing a miracle to show compassion and love for a woman who was vulnerable and likely oppressed. This is one of many examples throughout the gospel of Jesus showing compassion and love for women who were often overlooked and marginalized. Harvard professor and theologian Karen L. King highlights the importance women played in Jesus’s ministry and recognizes the influence Jesus had women in early Christianity. King points to the fact that women were the first to witness Jesus’s resurrection along with Mary Magdalene. King also relates Jesus’s counter cultural example to the role women played after His death. King writes, “After the death of Jesus, women continued to play prominent roles in the early movement. Some scholars have even suggested that the majority of Christians in the first century may have been women.” Christians must not ignore the countless stories and examples of Jesus bringing showing love through action to women who were overlooked and marginalized. Jesus acted counter culturally and consistently affirmed women who were largely oppressed and overshadowed by men
As mentioned, in seeking justice, Christians must acknowledge the importance of having a biblical mindset when pursuing those who are marginalized. In my experience, the church, in many ways has failed to embody the importance of truth when promoting justice. In the church, social justice seems to be a trendy tagline but there is a lack of biblical context and explanations of how to promote social justice with a biblical foundation. Josh Moody, pastor of college Church in Wheaton, provides his input on modern social justice and shares two issues with the social justice movement: That there is a lack absolute truth with modern social justice, and that modern social justice and that you cannot deny the claims of those who are oppressed otherwise you are adding to the oppression. This mindset can be dangerous and ignores any sense of truth and creates a complex battle for power. There are the oppressed and the oppressors, but the essence of truth does not matter and can lead to a mentality of victimhood amongst those who feel oppressed. Ignoring truth can be problematic as the apparent victim can actually be the oppressor, however the oppressor is seen as innocent purely because truth is irrelevant. This can then lead to a society that becomes dishonest in its pursuit of truth and encourages a mentality of victimization. In addition, Moody states, “If you are passionate about social justice, of course that’s a good thing when defined biblically??¦ but are you even more passionate about the preaching of hell.” Moody’s point here is that yes social justice is a good thing however there is a temptation to care more about social justice than message of the gospel. Christians zeal for social justice cannot overshadow their desire to share the message of the gospel and adhere to the command to make disciples of all nations. Social Justice cannot be defined as equality in all things but rather a continual love for others that stems from a devoted love for the gospel and Jesus.
Scripture commands Christians to live to a higher standard, one that embodies and exemplifies the life of Christ. The church has consistently preached the important message of social justice but has failed to highlight two very important aspects of Christian social justice. Those being: pursuing truth, having the intention to show Christ’s love and further His kingdom in pursuit of establishing justice. If those two points are not considered, an opportunity is missed and social justice now gets lost into a godless secular world. The church must always recognize Jesus’s example in His ministry to care for the oppressed and affirm women consistently. However, Christian’s cannot forget Jesus’s call to pursuing truth, showing Christ’s love to others, and make disciples of all nations.
I understand that in the workplace I will be presented with opportunity to recognize discrimination and take action in fighting injustice. I also realize that complex situations will arise and I will be challenged to stand for truth when others will simply ignore the details.
I believe several of my experiences, skills, and passions that God has blessed me with will help guide me in the way I approach issues of injustice in the workplace. Vocationally, I intend to enter the world of business and believe that I can advocate for truth in regards to the gender wage gap. Practically, wherever I work, I want to emphasize the importance of creating equal opportunity for men and women. Through leadership and example, I hope to be seen as someone that treats women equally and takes action when presented with a situation of injustice. I want to be seen as someone that does not have an agenda but a hard worker that is constantly in relentless pursuit of truth in all situations. My goal is to utilize my analytical skills and interpersonal skills advocate for those discriminated against and bring truth in all situations. I trust that whether my career be in finance, policy, or elsewhere, I have desire to pursue truth and justice in a way that will point others to Jesus.
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