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A Woman’s Place

Although “a woman’s place is in the home” is an outdated concept, unfortunately, this ideology is sometimes reflected in the inequality for women’s pay. There is still a significant difference between men and women while employed in the same position. This is commonly referred to as the gender/wage gap. This is calculated in many ways but primarily based on a consensus. And it has shown that men consistently make more money than women, especially women of color.

However, these numbers are not personalized within the subgroups, for

example, although Filipino women fall under the category of Asian women,

they actually only earned 83 cents per dollar compared to their white male

counterparts. It is important to note that the gender wage gap is shown

primarily in women of color based not only on gender bias but also race

and/or ethnic bias.

Gender-based pay discrimination became illegal in 1963, but it still

exists and is very wide-spread, so we need to identify the ongoing

causes for this.

One cause is the difference in occupations or jobs worked. A lot of

jobs are based on what are stereotypically considered either a “man’s

or woman’s” job. For example, so-called women’s jobs include

child-care workers and health aides, both jobs have lower salaries and

less benefits. Comparatively speaking, a typical “man’s” job in

construction, makes higher pay.

The second reason could be due to the fact the majority of women

have less job experience or less hours worked. Although this is

rapidly-changing, it is still prevalent due to the fact that women are

driven to take off additional time off, more than men, simply in their

care-taker roles, i.e., as a new mother or to otherwise fulfill unpaid

familial obligations.

There are other factors that narrow the gap between women/men

pay inequality.

One of the largest factors in narrowing the gap is

the increase in women’s education. Women who have a higher

level of education do receive higher pay than their uneducated

female counterparts. Also, unionization helps narrow the gap

between unequal pay for men and women due to the collective

bargaining tool employees have to fight discriminatory practices

within the workplace.

With all this data, you might be asking, what can be done? To make the

necessary changes to bridge the gender wage gap, we need to have

comprehensive equal pay legislation, such as the Paycheck Fairness

Act. All family members should be given access to paid sick days and

a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program. This is

essential to minimize job loss. In larger corporations here in the US,

women and men are now offered paternity leave for four months after

the birth of their child. This has been a common practice in Europe for

many years.

We need to address cultural biases that harm our

women. We need to change cultural attitudes and rewrite the policies

in order for the United States to begin to rebuild the structures that

will uplift women and their families.

At an individual level, in your career search, when requesting your desired

salary amount, search for the same job description in your area and the

expected salary for that position. Do not provide an amount based on your

prior salary, as that might have already been gender-biased. Strive to

obtain equal pay in all of your endeavors. As a hiring manager, make sure

that your employees receive equal pay based on their qualifications, not

their gender or race.

This is an issue of equality that affects all of us.

Statistics quoted from: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Women in the labor

force: a databook” (Washington: U.S. Department of Labor, 2018)

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