Dear Future President,
Imagine two kids, same age, different genders. The little boy has a dream to become an engineer, same with the little girl. But the little girl is bullied for her choice of career, the little boy is not. Imagine that they get hired at the same place, doing to\the exact same job. The little boy is happy about his pay, but for every dollar the boy receives, the little girl gets 66¢. Even though there has been a desire and a fight for equal rights since the day men and women were not treated the same, not much has changed. What is the reasoning for the pay gap other than direct discrimination? Why do people tend to say that their is an “unexplained pay gap” when there are facts that prove it?
For some reason in our country, this issue exists. Women are not paid as much as men are. Some people believe that this accusation is faulty, but there is evidence to prove this financial difference between males and females exists. Men, on average are paid ⅓ more than women are. Also, the difference in their hourly wages is 16% in the United States. When you factor in how much each gender gets paid based on the hours they work it is a 4-8% difference. Also, for every child a woman has, her wage can decrease as much as 8%, while her husbands can increase as much as 9%. The truth of all of this is that the gender wage gap is not a lie, it is our reality. Women are getting paid less than their male counterparts for the reasoning of direct discrimination towards women and businesses base their proposed wages for new employees based on their prior learning. Most likely, their new wage will never exceed their first one if they stay in the same line of work. Massachusetts recently passed a law that restricts employers from asking about new employees salary histories. California also now has a law that prohibits employers from penalizing workers who discuss wages and salaries. I believe that the Federal Government should call to make these laws nationwide and to enforce them.
Even though the wage gap is a legit problem in society, there are arguments against the validity of it. Some people argue that “women chose to study less lucrative subjects,” and this in turn, gives them a lower wage in comparison to the jobs that men tend to strive for. People argue that women tend to enter lower paying professions and stay towards the bottom rungs of the career ladder. By doing this, their wages are obviously going to be less than the people who strive for the higher paying jobs such as being an engineer. Stephanie Thomson, the writer of “The Simple Reason for the Gender Pay Gap: Work Done by Women is Still Valued Less” argues that women in lower paying occupations, such as childcare workers, have no reason to complain about the wage gap because they are not doing anything to resolve it for themselves. They should “start moving towards careers that pay better” than their current ones. Though throughout all of these remarks, she does agree that the gender gap is an issue and what she claims to be the biggest threat to the incomes not being equal is that “jobs dominated by women are seen as not important” in comparison to those dominated by their male counterparts.
A reason why the wages between men and women are so different is because the starting price that employers offer to their employees is already lower than that of what they would pay a male performing the same duty, no matter what the job is. The two laws that have been passed in Massachusetts and California are going to mean nothing because the actual impact of these laws will depend on their enforcement, and just as important, on education campaigns to let workers know these laws are on the books. Also, the banning of the use of salary histories in setting pay will matter only if workers and hiring managers are aware of these laws.
The truth of all this is that no matter what, the wage gap does exist, and it is a major problem, and it must be resolved.
Will you, as our next President, be able to close the gap between men and women’s wages?