Does the wage gap exist?

by josh_cifelli5817 on October 16, 2016 - 10:59pm

Does the wage gap exist? Yes but not at the 79 cents per every man’s dollar like people keep quoting, its actually 93 cents per every man’s dollar. People say its 79 cents because of a study that doesn’t account for the fact that women are generally in lower paying jobs. If you compare men and women at the same jobs then it is about a 7% difference on average instead of the 21%. Part of the reason for this can be because businesses have to give employees at most a 12 week unpaid leave (which is 23% of the year) where the employee cannot be fired because of: “The birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter; the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care; care necessary for one’s self or a son or daughter, if he or she has a serious health condition.” According to legalmomentum.com. This makes sense because some things warrant some time off but it is at the cost of the business. Granted it is not a paid leave so the business does not have to pay anything but they do have to replace that person with a temporary worker which needs to be arranged which takes time out of other people’s days and then there is paper work which is more time which costs the business. However I think that this no excuse for the 7% difference, there should be equal pay across the board. However I do not think this is as big of an issue as people make it, it is only 7% which has decreased from about 60% in the late 1970s according to Robert J. Samuelson and it will keep decreasing. This is due to the fact that companies will start to market equal pay so that they get better female employees than their competitors which is a common practice for other things like offering 10 cents more than minimum wage for a minimum wage job. There are also high paying jobs where females are sought for like in the tech field. According to Alyson Shontell women just out of college in the tech field are on average earning $62k versus men who earn $60k. This is because companies want diversity in their company and studies have shown that women are generally better at programming (which as a prospective programmer I was disappointed they earn more). This is because they are generally better communicators which is extremely important when there are 5 programmers who have different techniques yet they must work together on 500 lines of code. Also unmarried women actually earn more than unmarried men and the women who own businesses make less than half of what male business owners make which is because money is the motivator for 76% of men versus 29% of women according to Steve Tobak. Women generally prefer less work periods among other luxuries which I agree with because I would want some free time to, that’s why I try to be successful! There will never be completely equal pay because men and women are different, it is not a bad thing, just a fact. Generally speaking women are better at certain things than men and somethings men are better at, it is how we work and it is a good thing. We have always worked that way that’s why we mate for life, men and women complete each other so I don’t think 7% is that big of a deal but I do think it should go down some more.

Works Cited

Momentum, L. (2015). Federal Laws. Retrieved from Legal Momentum: https://www.legalmomentum.org/federal-laws-related-pregnancy-leave-and-b...

Samuelson, R. J. (2016). What’s the real gender pay gap? 1.

Shontell, A. (2010). Women In Tech Make More Money And Land Better Jobs Than Men.

Tobak, S. (2011, 3 11). 8 Reasons Why The "Gender Pay Gap" Is A Total Sham. 1. Retrieved from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/actually-the-gender-pay-gap-is-just-a-myt...

 

Comments

This is an interesting and thorough take on the wage gap issue. I like the way you have thought about what could happen in the future, and that you have included some surprising statistics.
You state that 'If you compare men and women at the same jobs then it is about a 7% difference' between their wages, but have you considered the intersection of race, class, gender or disability affecting how much an individual is paid compared to a man? Are there differences between the wage of a white man and a Hispanic man, or a cisgender man and a transgender man?

Great post Josh, I think that you did an effective job at reporting some of the statistics surrounding the pay gap. As well, you provided a good explanation for the current wage discrepancies between men and women. I like how you mentioned that more men than women are motivated by money and I do agree that this may contribute to the wage gap. I also believe that the wage gap may exist due to the preference women have for careers in social work or education which are generally lower paying. This is in contrast to men who are in generally more attracted to STEM jobs such as software development which are in general higher paying. For more information this article provides introductory information to support this claim: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/upshot/as-women-take-over-a-male-domin...

However, I did feel that some of your post could have been stronger, particularly in expressing your opinion. You stated that you think that the 7% wage decrease between the genders will decrease in the future overtime, why do you think this is? I think that you could have included some of the reasons why you think this will decrease. Is it because more women are pursuing higher education or because more women are choosing to prioritize their work over a marriage early on in their careers?
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Overall good job, this was very insightful. You did a good job at disproving the myth of a 21% wage gap while also providing some reasons why it still does exist.

Regards,
Hanna

Hey Josh,
I found your post very interesting. The statistics that you presented us with show a major difference in how men and women are paid for the exact same job. I do agree with you that although there is only a 7% difference between the pay for men and women, that there should be, as you state, "equal pay across the board". I was wondering if your statistics were Canadian or American statistics? Do you think that if you happened to compare the two countries there would be a large variance in number? Again, great post
-Devan

I understand why you may believe that the wage gap is not “that big of a deal,” but I think part of the reason why you believe so is because you are not aware of the realities women have to face.
In the Western world, we have both Equal Pay Laws (which ensure equal pay for equal work), and Pay Equity Laws (equal pay for equal skill in male- and female-dominated fields). Logically, it would seem that this would eliminate the Gender Wage Gap, but we all know that this isn’t the case. If women and men are legally supposed to be paid the same, why does this gap still exist? This is because women are faced with barriers that are nearly impossible to overcome.
Firstly, women are subject to a “Glass Ceiling,” where it is nearly impossible for them to climb up this corporate ladder, despite their qualifications. Not being able to advance up this ladder means that they cannot achieve a higher status, or a higher paying job. This may be due to discrimination, or because it becomes impossible for women to balance a job and children, as referred to by the “Mommy Track.” The “Mommy Track” refers to how women have less job opportunities because they are forced to choose between their career or to have a family. They do not “choose” to work less hours in order to have “free time” … they often need to work less in order to care for their children, due to insufficient maternity/paternity leave.
So, yes; the Wage Gap is a big deal, even if it’s “only 7% less.” It is important to know that women do not choose to be paid less, they are usually forced to because they often cannot move up this “glass ceiling” and they are forced to choose between their career and having a family.
I would suggest browsing through this site in order to further understand what women are faced with and why the gap still exists: http://www.wageproject.org/files/why.php

Hi Josh,
Your explanation of the gender wage gap caught my attention. It is interesting that you pointed out the “79 cents per every man’s dollar” statement is a generalization. Indeed, the calculation of this gap does not distinguish between part-time and full-time employment, or salaried workers and those making an hourly wage. This average also varies across professions and does not consider experience, education, or time off from work.
What you are describing is called the mommy track. It refers to the diminishing opportunities women face in the work force after having children. Conservatives critics say the gender wage gap is the result of women’s choices, but feminists argue that it reflects systemic inequality that devalues women’s work, forces women into lower-paying jobs, and encourages them to take jobs that have fewer hours.
There is an invisible barrier, called the glass ceiling, that prevents women (and visible minorities) from advancing to the top ranks of the corporate ladder – despite their education, qualifications, or achievements. All the mommy track issues you are referring to are reinforcing the glass ceiling, causing the wage gap to increase.
While it is interesting to realize that there is, in fact, a wage gap between men and women, it is also important to realize this issue goes beyond the “7% difference”. You argued that 7% is not a big difference. But the issue is that there is still a difference. Yes, men and women are biologically different. But women should not be punished because they are the only ones who can give birth. In the cases where women put their career first, they are called ‘bossy’ and ‘bitchy’ while men are rewarded for being ‘ambitious’. The point is: for whatever reason, there should not be a wage gap.
I agree that men and women can excel in different domains. However, I refuse to believe that “there will never be completely equal pay because men and women are different”. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. There are many solutions that can help. For example, more flexible working hours/conditions, better maternity/paternity leave and child care options, and many more. Therefore, I refer you to this article http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/oxfam-wage-gap-1.3808560 hoping it gives you a different perspective of the gender wage gap issue.

You make some good points which I very much agree with but something I should have explained in my article is that I understand there is a lot more to the wage gap than what I wrote, but those are social issues that cannot be fixed with laws but only when people's opinions change which seems to be happening very quickly. I only tried to explain the economic business to employee relationships because a lot of people have been blaming the "big bad business men" which is not true. The biggest problems with the wage gap are social issues like with the opinion that when kids are born the mother needs to take time off work to take care of them and drive them to the doctors which is sexist because the duties should be shared. The solution to that is to change people's opinions which is happening, neither me or anyone I know of my age (18) thinks a women "belongs in the kitchen" so that is why I think the wage gap will continue to decrease no matter how much this subject is covered. It is very important but it takes time for social issues to change and this is going relatively fast and smoothly compared to past events like slavery. I mean a hundred years ago women were basically slaves, they married who they were told to and did what the man said so I am proud that we have gotten this far with comparatively less problems.

Great post Josh, its interesting to read about the complex nature of the wage gap and I think you did a good job describing some of the factors that play into it. Unfortunately, I'd have to disagree with you that 7% isn't a big difference, it is, and its not just that 7% alone but rather what that has to say about gender inequality in society. You said that women often work in lower paying fields which is true but in some cases isn't by choice but rather a result of competitive sectors that are dominated by men with little room for women to make movement up the corporate ladder.
Further, from a young age, women are encouraged to explore fields related to care work: nursing, childcare, teaching, etc. These stereotypes that exist around the type of work that is "women's work" are unfortunate, discouraging, and often limiting especially considering that this work is often lower paying. It's true that changes are occurring and that more and more women are getting jobs in more diverse and higher paying fields but they are still finding resistance in attaining higher up and more powerful jobs despite equal education and credentials.
Also, the point you bring up about women and maternity leave and how unfair it is that society makes women singularly responsible for taking time out of their professional careers for childcare and the disincentives that gives employers to give them higher positions because of the paper work and process of hiring temporary workers that would presumable be involved at one point is very interesting. It made me think about how female TV show characters in high paying, fast paced, and powerful positions often are portrayed as hard and cold individuals with no plans to have a family. These shows encourage the idea that to be a successful women you have to be like a man. This highlights too the constrictive nature of common notions of masculinity, but I digress. Work leave for infant care should be shared or at least there should be an option to share this duty. What is even more problematic are the years following where women experience the "double burden" of maintaining their work life while also being responsible for significant amounts of domestic labour. I think this would have been an interesting avenue to explore in any future articles.
In conclusion, I found your article very intriguing but I'd have to disagree that 7% isn't much because 7% isn't just 7%. It's 7% plus all the barriers and all the things women are expected to give up in order to have successful and high paying careers.

This blog was really interesting to me! It was strongly supported with statistical information, yet had a strong personal opinion throughout. I think you raise an interesting point about why the wage gap exists. I think when you break it down like you have its easier to see the full story behind wage gaps between genders. I was drawn to this blog because the topic is so controversial. I like how you explained the inadequacies in statistics too! I am someone who always loves to understand both sides of statistics and prove there truth. Overall, super interesting read which made me question the wage gap. The only writing improvement on this amazing blog is to just double check the placement of some periods! overall though amazing job!

I would like to start off by complimenting you on your article. Your extensive research in the area of wage gap to support your points was evident, and incorporation of statistics strengthened some of the arguments that you have made. However, I would like to draw your attention to an important facet of the issue at hand. The problem is not only that women make less money than men, but also that women are given fewer opportunities to acquire higher paying jobs, particularly after they give birth. This concept can be described by using the term “mommy track,” which refers to the path that a woman is forced to take in order to care for her children, marked by sacrificing promotions or increases in salary. While discussing the difference in percentage, you have mentioned the costs that businesses incur as a result of women taking unpaid leave after child birth, which you suggest makes them favor men when looking for new employess, but how fair is this? Women have to face setbacks and some are forced to choose between progressing their career or looking after their children. Why can women who have children not nurture them, while still having the ability to pursue their desired careers? We have set up a society where, unlike men, the only way for women to have high-income jobs is to push aside other aspects of their lives. You have mentioned that you “don’t think 7% is that big of a deal,” but the fact that a gap exists at all – whether 7% or 21% – reflects on us as a society and speaks to the larger societal problems and the way we perceive the two genders. We should focus on ending this discrimination against women, and create a world in which both males and females occupy the various levels of the corporate ladder equally. Instead of accepting that “[t]here will never be completely equal pay because men and women are different,” we should be working together towards creating an inclusive society where gender gap becomes non-existent. Here I have linked an article that seeks to further explain the “mommy track”, and shows us how it affects the women in Japan. http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/16/news/economy/japan-companies-women-caree...

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