It still exists: Gender Pay Gap

Business Blogging 04/11/2013
The traditional role of women has been transformed from the obedient stay at home housewife, to the strong and independent working women. Ever since the feminist movement, women have demanded for equality to occur within the workplace. Fifty years later, women are working alongside men and are viewed as being a vital and necessary component within the workplace. Although, many women have reached great levels of advancement and success, studies reveal that women are making significantly less money for the same or similar positions of their male counterparts. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, women with full-time positions earned 81% of what their male coworkers earned in 2010. This is incredibly frustrating considering that most people don’t even notice that they are being paid differently from their coworkers based on sex. Thus, pay discrimination is a hidden offence that affects women and occurs unnoticed by many. In order to find out whether people were aware of the gender pay gap that prevails within the workplace, Tellwut conducted an online survey based on wage discrimination in North America. Over 1,334 panel members participated in this survey, which asked Tellwutter’s whether they felt that women living within North America were being paid less than their male counterparts. The results were striking, an overwhelming 70% of participants indicated that they believe that wage discrimination exists between male and female coworkers in the workplace. Only a mere 29% did not feel that wage inequality between genders reigned within the workplace. Pay disparities between men and women occur for numerous reasons. One reason is that women are assumed to have “maternal priorities”. For instance, women leave work for a period of time (maternity leave) when they choose to start a family. In contrast, men don’t usually leave the workplace, which allows them to advance within the company faster. Due to the perception that women have “maternal priorities”, many women are choosing to have children later in life to prove that they can be working women and mothers at the same time. Indeed, it appears that the modern woman is expected to do it all–without equal pay of course. When women do make it to the top, they often times find themselves standing alone in a sea of men. In fact, it was not until 1999, that the tech giant Hewitt-Packard (HP), promoted Carly Fiorina as its new president and Chief Executive Officer. This was amazing considering that Carly would be the first female to hold one of the highest ranking positions (CEO) for a fortune 500 company; which is heavily dominated by men. Although, this is a wonderful accomplishment, research has shown that even when women hold high positions, they nonetheless continue to get paid less than men. In fact, many women on top are earning 33 cents less for every dollar a man makes. This is highly discriminatory towards hard working women who are qualified and have worked their way up the corporate ladder, but fail to make the same amount of money a man would make in the same position. When asked whether Tellwut panel members thought it was fair to pay individuals differently based on gender, the online survey study revealed that 67% of women stated that it was wrong for men to receive more pay, and 21% of men indicated that they felt that pay discrimination is wrong. Interesting to note that 5% of women and 5% of men felt that unequal pay was acceptable in the workplace. From the survey results, it is evident that pay discrimination is a huge injustice that often goes unnoticed. Although, there are laws created to prevent pay discrimination from occurring, they are not properly enforced. Consequently, women often receive less pay for the same work as their male counterparts. In order to address pay discrimination within the work force, it is important that women become more vocal about their pay. In fact, studies have shown that women rarely ask for raises, while men are much more willing to ask for a raise. It is vital that women stand up for themselves and their wage in order for pay discrimination to cease to occur within the workplace.        

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