Many men and women around the world deny or even ignore the fact that a gender pay gap exists. To combat this very real issue, people need to be informed of the facts concerning this subject. Studies show that women in America and around the country are being paid exponentially less than men in the workplace. This pay gap escalates when race and maternity leave are added into the mix.
While women are paid less than men, women of color and of minority races are paid even less than that. In 2014, African American women in the United States made 63% of what white men were paid (Wall Street Journal). The National Women’s Law Center estimates that African American women lose over $877,000 over a 40 year career timeline. This is directly correlated to the pay grade difference between men and women. As well as African American women, Latina women lose over $1,000,000 over the course of that same timeline. Women of color in the United States of America are less likely to have access to opportunities like paid sick leave, family leave, and a flexible work schedule. All of these benefits compound in a systematic grouping of economic hurdles that women of color face.
Research shows that even when women are hired to traditionally male fields, like those such as business and finance jobs, they make less money. Looking at pay changes over decades has shown that at times when more women enter a traditionally male field, pay within that specific field begins to shrink smaller and smaller (New York Times). As the New York Times continues to report, when more women began working in parks or running camps, for example, median hourly wages declined by 57 percentage points. Same goes for fields like design, housekeeping and biology. Conversely, when more men enter a traditionally female field, wages go up. “It’s not that women are always picking lesser things in terms of skill and importance,” a researcher told The New York Times. “It’s just that the employers are deciding to pay it less.”
All of these discrepancies aren’t only about numbers, statistics, and averages. There are numerous concrete and specific examples that show the ways in which the gender based pay gap is a real opposing force in women’s lives today both nationally and globally. These run rampant through jobs such as hospital doctors earning $50,000 less, Jennifer Lawrence making roughly a quarter of what their male counterparts did this past year, even though they generated more than $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team, according to ESPNW the National Women’s Soccer team did not earn as much…they also won the 2015 World Cup.
The factors that go into the gender pay gap issue are diverse and wide-ranging, but according to a new congressional report, even when those factors are controlled for, up to 40 percent of the pay gap in the United States may be attributed to flat-out discrimination (White House). According to a recent regression analysis of federal data by IWPR, the poverty rate for working women would be cut in half if women were paid the same as comparable men.
ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.
Miller, Claire Cain. “As Women Take Over a Male-Dominated Field, the Pay Drops.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 2016. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.
“The ‘Wage Gap’ Myth That Won’t Die.” WSJ. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
“Pay Equity & Discrimination.” — IWPR. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.