Throughout history women have experienced equality changes in various ways some past societies had women who were warriors, influential religious leaders, and political leaders while other times, organizations had placed strict expectations on women portraying them as inferior to men. While gender equality is essential for the achievement of human rights for all, generation Z’s society has placed discriminatory acts against women that persist in every corner of the globe. Though prejudice is reflected against women on the daily, eliminating stereotypes and pre-existing notions on women’s equality through eradicating the pay wage gap would guide our society to the realization of the importance of balance between genders. Although women’s equality in the workforce has changed drastically, attaining equal pay to men has been a struggle that has led to the gender pay wage gap. While numerous issues are weighing in on gender equality in the workforce, the gender pay gap allows women’s annual salary to be 78% of men’s yearly salary, which is an issue that cannot be overlooked. Over the course of many generations, women have found numerous obstacles to overcome in order to succeed in their respected field of work. Despite the many efforts of equal rights for women in the workplace, women are still being oppressed by being given fewer opportunities as men leading to an increasing gap in pay affecting women worldwide in every job field.
The gender pay wage gap is defined as the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working. To consider the difference of pay between genders, two specific numbers regarding the pay gap must be taken into account: unadjusted versus adjusted pay gap. While the unadjusted pay gap is the raw difference between men and women’s earnings, the adjusted pay gap acknowledges many factors that impact the gap’s presence such as differences in education, job experience, job position, number of hours worked, racial disparities, marital status, and parenthood status. The gender pay wage gap is a worldly phenomenon with South Korea having the most significant pay wage gap at a 37-percentage point difference and the United States coming in 6th with an 18-percentage point disparity. Although all forms of employment experience a pay wage gap, the highest is among white collar jobs such as financial managers (35%) and Physicians/surgeons (29%) the pay wage gap is also typical for blue-collar retail jobs (26%) with the lowest pay wage gap being in education administrators (22%).
An all too common response to workers and advocates concerned about the gender wage gap is that the pay gap is a byproduct of the choices made in the workforce: choices to work fewer hours and taking lower-paying jobs. When mounted in this way, it’s easy to dismiss equal pay policies as unnecessary. These assumptions defend the question that society can’t force women to apply for higher paying jobs or work more extended hours. Fortunately, after exorbitant research and statistics, evidence has revealed that the gender pay wage gap is about more than just personal choice. It is a persistent problem that calls for immediate policy solutions. However, to achieve pay equity, it is crucial to understand the origins of the gap. While there is a copious number of factors playing into the pay wage gap, racial bias is proven to have a considerable effect on working women’s pay. In 2017, Hispanic and Native American women made an astounding fifty-eight percent of what men made while American women made seventy-seven percent of what men in the United States created. While society is continuously trying to get away from racial discrimination and achieve an image that welcomes diversity, the gender pay gap contradicts the appearance that the United States so badly longs for, allowing ethnicity to determine one’s pay is genuinely unacceptable and as a country needs to change to restore the illusion that America is a melting pot, welcome to all races. Another influence involved in the pay gap is occupational segregation; thus because of stereotypes that certain jobs are made to be performed by men and not women. The research found suggests that the ten occupations where women collectively lose the most money are financial managers, physicians and surgeons, accountants, first-line supervisors, registered nurses, marketing and sales managers, lawyers, chief executives, medical and health service managers, and education administrators merely because they are viewed by society as masculine jobs. While many women strive to be considered successful in these job fields, they are not taken seriously and are perceived as weak and incapable of performing at the same level as men. In the work field, women also face the penalty for having children, often employers don’t give women as much responsibility because it is assumed that they’ll start a family and take time off which leaves women with lost opportunities. Another issue with having children while working is that it is believed that “”one person focuses on the career, and the other one does the lion’s share of work at home”” (Miller). Although the gender pay gap is the result of many factors, spreading awareness of these influences may help to lower the gender pay wage gap.
The disparity in the pay wage gap has set women up for possible failure because the challenges faced and overcome in life are no different from that of their male counterparts. While slow progress is being made toward gender parity in terms of income, subsequently women pay the consequences produced by the wage gap. For instance, failure to pay women equally limits their ability to attain economic stability raisings the rates of poverty for women. As an example, Men retail sales workers earn $48,000 while women earn $35,000 causing a 26% pay gap ratio thus putting women dangerously close to poverty and giving them the inability to pay for family expenses which may improve their family’s health, education, and compromising their position in the community. Closing the gender pay gap would allow over 2.5 million women and their families to come out of poverty. Secondly, gender pay wage gap affects students and their ability to repay educational loans and other debts. In 2018, the American Association of University Women founded research proving that full-time working women who graduated college in 2007 had paid off only 33% of their student loan debt by 2012 whereas full-time working men who graduated during the same year had paid off 10% more than women. The double specter of lower income and higher debt makes for lower retirement savings. According to research done by NIRS, women of all age groups save substantially less income for retirement than men. The study also revealed that women age 65-70 are 80% more likely to be impoverished then men and between ages 75-80 are three times more likely than men to be living in poverty. By abolishing the pay gap women will have extra needed money to spend on themselves and their families for housing, health, and entertainment which will provide an economic boost for society.
For over a decade woman have been working together to be viewed as equal in comparison to men. During World War II, thousands of women began working in factories to produce necessary supplies for war. As of the 1950’s women made on average 40 percent less than men in the same positions. Questioning their equality and worth, women fought to be treated equally. In 1963 the Equal Pay Act was passed abolishing the idea that men can be paid more than women based solely on their gender. While the gender pay gap has been lowered, it is still an issue. To close the pay gap as women, we need to speak up and take action into our own hands; research has shown that women are paid less across the board because we are not “”aggressive”” when negotiating pay, therefore making it accessible for companies to take advantage of the pay women receive. Statistically, men are more active when seeking out promotions it is essential as women to incorporate this skill and use it, attaining a senior role will have more leveraging power and help women to be taken more seriously. While self-promotion can be off-putting to some, it is vital to let supervisors and others in power know when you accomplish a goal for the company.
The Gender pay gap is an issue of utmost importance for both men and women in today’s generation. Helping to terminate the gender pay wage gap would benefit all of society providing an economic boost, intellectual capacity, and abolishing gender stereotypes. As an American woman, I am concerned about the gender pay wage gap as it now stands. If the pay gap is not dissolved, I will have less finical opportunities to provide for the health of my family, the education of my children, and the simple enjoyments of life. As a woman, we occur the same financial debts as do men through school loans and other endeavors it is only fair, we get reimbursed equally for the same job and amount of work as men to pay off these debts. I am advocating for human rights and believe that all races should also be reimbursed for similar work as this would go a long way to abolishing racial prejudice and inequality in today’s world. If men, see women as equals they will be more likely to treat us as equal when it comes to moral behaviors and attitudes including sexual misconduct. Equal pay would go a long way to establishing a better improved America benefitting all children no matter what gender or race to seize all opportunities and help abolish the travesties of racial, sexual and financial discrimination.
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