Gender Pay Gap Problem Overview

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Women are given about 80 cents for each dollar that men earn irrespective of the fact that most of them have joined the labor force and realized tremendous attainments in their educational achievements. The gender pay gap has been a controversial topic that has raised intensive debate. Some researchers assert that the existing gap in gender pay is not an indicator of discrimination but a statistical artifact of the failure to fine-tune for aspects that could result in salary divergencies between women and men. Nonetheless, such aspects as occupational differences between males and females are often influenced by gender prejudice (Boesch 1). For instance, when a female makes a single dollar, the choice of work is swayed by her years of learning, guidance from mentors, and anticipations set by the people who raised her. Additionally, other factors such as employment practices of organizations and extensive norms and prospects concerning work-life balance maintained by co-workers, firms, and society are highly influential. Although females disproportionately get into women-dominated jobs with lower pay than those of their male counterparts, such a choice is influenced by existing societal norms, discrimination, sexism, and other factors beyond their control.

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There have been different arguments showing the existence of a discriminatory pay gap. The gender wage gap persists and hurts females around the world by suppressing their pay and making it difficult for them to balance between their job and family demands. Serious endeavors to comprehend the issue should not encompass shifting culpability to women for not earning high pay. Nevertheless, such efforts should consider whether the economic systems and societal norms stipulate unequal chances for women at all phases of their learning, training, and occupation choices. The gender wage gap is propelled mainly by the cumulative effects of numerous occurrences in women’s lives where they receive treatment that significantly varies from that of their male counterparts (Boesch 1). Contrary to boys, girls are not guided toward gender-normative professions from their early years (Cozzi 3). When the influence of parents is crucial, parental inclinations have a higher probability of expecting their sons than their daughters will pursue engineering, technology, mathematics, or science courses, even if both perform nearly the same.

Moreover, compared with their male colleagues, women have a higher probability of engaging in more domestic chores each day, in addition to the requirement to take care of other members of the family. Attributable to such cultural and societal norms, females find it difficult to cope with extreme pressures at work (Cozzi 3). Sadly, above the strict home and work requirements, more than 60% of women in such fields experience sexual harassment, and many chose to abandon their educational training by quitting the job (Litman et al. 6). These factors play a fundamental role in discouraging women from such highly paid opportunities, especially in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Gender anticipations might become self-fulfilling prophecies. Girls around the third-grade rate their performance and competency score in mathematics lower than boys, even in instances where they do not trail behind their male peers. Similarly, parents and other adults in communities believe that girls are well suited for literary studies, while difficult subjects such as mathematics are meant for boys (Litman et al. 6). This leads to girls having poor performance in mathematics and high reading scores. Parental anticipations can affect performance by swaying the self-confidence of their children since self-assurance is linked to high test scores (Litman et al. 3). By the moment most young girls complete their high school studies, they already rate their occupational opportunities lower than men. Although females have increasingly been joining medical schools and dominating the nursing profession, they are considerably less likely to enroll in colleges with interests in computer science, physics, or engineering than men.

Young females could be discouraged from some occupational paths attributable to the existing industrial culture. Even for females who go against all odds to pursue male-dominated careers, many employers in such sectors have been fostering a working environment that is hostile to the involvement of women. This goes a long way to limiting the number of females in the industry (Litman et al. 3). About 50% of highly competent women working in male-dominated fields such as engineering have a high likelihood of quitting their jobs attributable to hostility, discrimination, and extreme pressures in the work environments (Meara et al. 274). Excessive job pressures have resulted in the need to work over 100 hours each week, 24/7 availability, and operating with or managing employees in multiple geographical zones.

To better understand the severity of the gender pay gap, there is a need to explore the underlying occurrences. From full-time employees, the gender wage gap is 77% after dividing the yearly pay of women by that of their male colleagues (“America’s Women and the Wage Gap3). Different approaches to measuring the gender pay gap have been established, but they all point toward the same conclusion. The truth is that women earn approximately 25% less than men (United States Department of Labor 1). Regardless of women not being inferior employees, their low pay seeks to discriminate against them unnecessarily. A horrifying huge proportion of employers maintain preexisting prejudices against female employees merely due to the sexist civilization in which they reside. Furthermore, the entertainment sector and the media often portray women as less skilled.

Sexism has been culturally generated and has influenced most people across the globe to subconsciously or determinedly believe that women are inferior to men. Different religious beliefs have conditioned people to consider women subordinate, and millions of individuals often insinuate tthat femaare not as intelligent, desirable, or experienced as their male counterparts (Meara et al. 274). Although many of such instances do not have the intention to cause harm, they have either directly or indirectly resulted in discriminatory work environments that make it difficult for women to acquire or maintain high-paying jobs. Despite women having the required level of education, high qualifications, experience, and the existence of work ethics, the pay gap remains (Cozzi 5). Women have historically been discriminated against, and it seems that there is nothing that may be done to counteract the vice effectively.

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The glass ceiling for female employees is driven by the perception that men have higher productivity than women, particularly in manual tasks. Nevertheless, it is apparent that in most occurrences, any difference in the quantity of manual work undertaken by men over women cannot validate the existing gap between their salaries (Cozzi 5). Over time, women in industries that require manual labor will work at the same level as their male colleagues. Nonetheless, the same might be practically impossible with their comparative reimbursement and benefits (Tyson and Parker 3). The problem of the gender pay gap seems to be entrenched in the social perception that female workers should obtain a lesser pay than male employees. This is based on the consideration of money as an acknowledgment of the level of superiority, and societal norms consider women to be inferior to men.

An assessment of gender variations in diverse occupations establishes the importance of the conventional division of labor to the current glass ceiling issue. The way in which tasks were tle employeeraditionally shared led to females having minimal or no professional experience, which was directly opposite in the case of men (Tyson and Parker 3). This resulted in an equivalent variation in salaries and benefits. A different affirmation is that the choice of career, coupled with the societal influence, creates disparities in the salaries of men and women. Traditionally, the most significant accountability bestowed on men is to provide for the family. This relinquishes them demanding domestic chores and translates to their ability to engage in full-time employment and work overtime for extended durations (Boesch 2). On the contrary, historically, women should balance their work and demanding family responsibilities, which leaves them with minimal spare time. Therefore, in countries and occupations where salaries are given in line with the amount of time worked or quantity of labor offered, women are at a disadvantage and cannot do anything but accept to earn less than their male colleagues.

Gender roles have a crucial role in the existence and persistence of the pay gap. Traditionally, women should undertake demanding domestic duties such as feeding children, ensuring tidiness, and maintaining the homestead. Although such roles are continually being shared between women and men, other occurrences such as childbearing and the effects of menstruation cycles on some females cannot change. Some female employees develop complications during parturition, which negatively contributes to a lack of training and development opportunities (Boesch 2). This leaves female employees at a disadvantage regarding promotions and consequent pay increment. Women find it immoral to abandon their domestic chores or allot them to others while searching for high ranks at their workplaces (Meara et al. 276). Most female employees prefer to get children at their young ages when they would otherwise be ascending the corporate ladder together with the male workers.

There has been significant discrimination against women employees in many organizations based on their gender. This acts as a vital causal aspect of the existence of the pay gap (Meara et al. 276). Discriminative policies in many workplaces have led to a considerable fraction of women holding the conviction that male employees are preferable to female ones (Cozzi 8). This acts as a basis for the justification of the higher pay for male employees than for the female equals. For example, most five-star hotels prefer hiring men as highly paid waiters and pages because of their strength and capability to stand for a long time. Such practices are progressively happening in different organizations anchored in the notion that men are more desirable workers and should be paid higher than women.

Other arguments reject the existence of discriminatory pay gap. Some people think that the degree of skills that an employee possesses is vital for hiring and consequent wage. An organization that is hiring checks the skills alongside the education level of the applicant before allocating the fair salary (Perry 3). In management positions, there are often more men than women. Additionally, in high-paying professions such as lawyers, doctors, and engineers, male workers outshine their female counterparts in number. This could be due to the moderately lower degree of skills among women rather than discrimination. Nevertheless, although a person’s education and experience establish the level of skills, women unfairly receive lesser training and job opportunities than men hence end up in lower-paying occupations. Attributable to historic unfairness in the allotment of training and job opportunities, there has been an irresolvable discrepancy between women and men concerning their skills. Quite the opposite, even for the few women who are highly trained and experienced, the degree of skills is often overlooked when establishing their fair pay (Cozzi 8). In most instances, male employees at the same rank as women receive higher pay, despite possessing similar skills or having comparable responsibilities.

Other critics affirm that an employee’s productivity establishes their fair salary; hence, the gender wage gap cannot arise out of discrimination or sexism against women. Additionally, the Marginal Revenue Productivity theory establishes that employees’ salary corresponds to their extent of productivity when all other aspects are held constant. The productivity of male employees is relatively higher than that of their female colleagues, even in industries that do not require a considerable degree of manual labor (Phelan 2). This is a crucial factor that makes men receive higher pay than women in a similar position. On the contrary, the productivity argument seeks to only conceal the underlying sexism, particularly in service-oriented sectors (Perry 3). Even in industries where there is absolutely no difference in productivity, there is an existing wage gap in favor of male employees.

On the one hand, critics of the existence of a discriminatory gender wage gap affirm that the difference in salaries is often left unadjusted for other factors apart from gender, which significantly affects an employee’s earnings. They claim that characteristics such as the level of education, skills, and job experiences have a strong influence on workers’ salaries, and gender is not considered (Phelan 2). Opponents maintain that the existing gender pay gap is not swayed by discrimination. Instead, it is dependent on voluntary alternatives realized by men and women, especially the selection of the profession that one would like to pursue. They assert that occupational variations have a remarkable effect since the profession and industry represent more than 50% of the entire pay gap (Renzulli 2). On the other hand, critics are insincere because they fail to consider the impact of overt gender discrimination, which leads to women receiving lower pay than their male co-workers regardless of carrying out the same tasks. The likelihood of gender discrimination to enormously lessen women’s earnings should not be understated because it does not only happen in employers’ pay-provision practices. Shockingly, gender discrimination may arise at any phase resulting in women’s inferior labor market outcomes.

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The people who challenge the discriminatory gender pay gap state that women should work as hard as men to get to the apex positions of their professions and enjoy high earnings. In contrast, this is not the case because the discriminatory gender pay gap is broader for positions that attract high earnings. Women in executive positions experience a wider gender wage gap than those in low-paying ranks (Tyson and Parker 2). Many of the most successful female employees do not escape being paid less than their male counterparts for the same job and position. Sadly, many of the less successful female workers at the subordinate positions are highly discriminated against to the point that their earnings do not sufficiently cater to their monthly requirements, which makes them resort to depending on others. Like men, women are human beings, and the notion of paying them lower should be prohibited since it is outright sexism, whether it is done deliberately or not (Renzulli 2). The problem of the gender pay gap is detrimental to the morale and productivity of women and should be addressed.

Women are paid about 80 cents for each dollar that men earn regardless of having joined the workforce and realized remarkable achievements in their educational accomplishments. Though females disproportionately choose women-dominated jobs with lower wages than the ones of their male colleagues, such a choice is swayed by existing social norms, discrimination, sexism, and other aspects beyond their control. The gender wage gap continues and hurts women worldwide by suppressing their pay and making it hard for them to balance between their job and family responsibilities. Gender expectations may become self-fulfilling prophecies. There is a need to discover actual occurrences better to understand the severity of the gender wage gap. Like men, women are human beings, and the idea of paying them lower should be forbidden since it is outright sexism, whether it is done purposely or not. The gender pay gap is detrimental to the motivation and productivity of women and should be effectively tackled.

References

“America’s Women and the Wage Gap.” National Partnership for Women & Families, 2020, Web.

Boesch, Diana. “Rhetoric vs. Reality: Not All Paid Leave Proposals are Equal.” Center for American Progress, 2019, Web.

Cozzi, Marissa. “The Gender Wage Gap: Does it Pay to Follow the Crowd?” The Park Place Economist, vol. 25, no. 1, 2017, 75-87, Web.

Litman, Leib, et al. “The Persistence of Pay Inequality: The Gender Pay Gap in an Anonymous Online Labor Market.” PloS One, vol. 15, no. 2, 2020, 1-19, Web.

Meara, Katie, et al. “The Gender Pay Gap in the USA: A Matching Study.” Journal of Population Economics, vol. 33, no. 1, 2020, 271-305, Web.

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Perry, Mark. “There Really is No ‘Gender Wage Gap.’ There’s a ‘Gender Earnings Gap’ but ‘Paying Women Well’ Won’t Close that Gap.” AEI, 2017, Web.

Phelan, John. “Harvard Study: “Gender Wage Gap” Explained Entirely by Work Choices of Men and Women.” Foundation for Economic Education, 2018, Web.

Renzulli, Kerri. “46% of American Men Think the Gender Pay Gap is ‘Made Up to Serve a Political Purpose.’” CNBC, 2019, Web.

Tyson, Laura, and Ceri Parker. “An Economist Explains Why Women are Paid Less.” World Economic Forum,  2019, Web.

United States Department of Labor. “Economic News Release.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020, Web.

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