Table of Contents
When people speak about the gender gap in the world today, they often mean the systematic difference in the level of outcomes that women and men are able to achieve in the labor market. The differences are often seen in the number of men and women who are found in the labor market, the forms of occupations that they choose, and eventually their hourly wages or income (Joshi, 1998). Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the labor supply of women in the developing and developed countries around the world. However, the Global Gender Gap Index indicates that there is no country that has been able to reach equality between the men and women. The unpleasant truth in the United States is that there is also gender gap where women still make less money than men who are doing the same kind of job. Even if a comparison is made among the sexes who have the same education, experience, and job title, the gender pay gap still exists. Gender-based inequality does not only affect America, but a majority of the world’s religions, income group, culture, and religions.
The data that is provided by the US Census Bureau indicated that the gender pay gap is approximately 21% in the United States, which means that women in the country earn 21% less than their male counterpart. The data was collected in the year 2015 and further indicates that the gap can be smaller or larger depending on the state in which an individual is in. For example, data shows that Louisiana has the biggest wage gap in the country of approximately 34.7%. On the other hand, Washington DC is seen to have the smallest pay gap of 10.4% which indicates that women in the state earn approximately 10.4% less than their male counterparts. Further analysis indicates that when compared to white men, Hispanic and Black women are affected by the pay gap. Further analysis shows that Asian women often face the smallest pay gap because they earn approximately 84% of what white men earn (Sheth, 2017). White women earn 75% of what they white men counterparts earn. On the other hand, black women and Hispanic women earn 65% and 55% respectively according to the 2015 reports.
Considering the persistence of the gender gap in the country, it is worth analyzing its main causes. A research done by Pew Research Center (2013) indicates that the gender gap is mainly caused by the fact that women have a higher likelihood of taking breaks from their careers as compared to women. The interruption can eventually affect the long-term earnings. Approximately four in every ten mothers indicate that at some time in their lives, they have taken a big amount of time off or have quit their work, or have reduced their work load to take care of their children or family members (Farrell, 2004). On the other hand, fewer men do so because only 24% of them take a significant amount of time to take care of the children or family members ( Pew Research Center, 2013). Considering the fact that women have a higher likelihood of interrupting their careers because of the periods of child bearing, and many employers tend to avoid workers who have a high quit rate, women are less likely to get jobs that are stable and well-paying as compared to their male counterparts. Another reason for the pay gap is the fact that even though women are increasing their presence in jobs that are paying higher such as managerial and professional positions, women are still overrepresented in occupations that have lower pays when they are compared to men. Some amount of pay gap can also be because of gender discrimination which means that the country still needs to make an effort to ensure that there is inequality in the workplace (Webb, 2016). Inequality in workplaces is vital to avoid the negative consequences that come with pay inequality such as negative retention rate, not only among women but across the board. Employees, despite their gender, who believe that the employer is not putting an effort in addressing inequality, are more likely to look for other jobs.
Women receiving salaries and wages that are lower than what their male counterparts get are not only seen in the United States but, around the world. The main causes of the gap are discrimination and the fact that women have more child-rearing responsibilities as compared to men.
- Farrell, W. (2004). Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap — and What Women Can Do About It. New York: AMACOM.
- Joshi, H., & Paci, P. (1998). Unequal pay for women and men: Evidence from the British birth cohort studies. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
- Pew Research Center. (2013, 12 11). On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now; Despite Gains, Many See Roadblocks Ahead.
- Sheth, S., &. Gould, S. (2017, 03 08). 5 charts show how much more men make than women.
- Webb, J. (2016, 03 31). Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men – Even In The Same Job.