By: Marissa Duffield
In the United States the wage gap affects many hard working women. These women earn around 79 cents/hour, while men earn one dollar/hour in the same line of work. After World War II, women soon began working the jobs that were once considered only suitable for men . With the surge of women in the work force, just in the past twenty years the wage gap has gotten considerately smaller. But society still has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality in the workforce.
There was a time when men were the primary bread winners for the family, but that time has passed. With women receiving more than 57% of Bachelor’s degrees and PhDs in 2014, their qualifications generally surpass those of men, but it still not enough to grant equal pay in the workplace.
The gender pay gap is far worse for women of color. African American women earn 63% of what white men make and Hispanic women make only 57%compared to white men. Women of color also have a lesser chance of receiving paid family leave, and generally have more regimented schedules.
Although many reliable sources have denounced the skeptics who believe the gap to be a work of fiction, it’s still not accepted as a real issue in society. The skeptics argue that women go into lower paying or traditionally female jobs. While that may be true some of the time, women who go into job fields considered to be for men still earn far less in comparison to their male coworkers .
Studies have shown that when a large amount of women move into a field of work, the overall compensation in the field decreases. Sociologists believe this drop occurs because women’s work isn’t valued as highly as work performed by male employees. This inequality of pay can be attributed to no reason other than the gender bias that our culture has held onto for far too long.
And this problem still remains, despite gains made by feminists. In the 1980s, the gap started closing more quickly. The gap shrunk by eleven cents in the 1990s, three cents in the 2000s, and in the 2010s it has only decreased about six cents. Thus, the disparity is still there.
These statistics are far more than just numbers. They represent actual people who are being affected by the long standing and ongoing disparity in wages and compensation. For those who are affected, it’s not about statistics, it’s about their quality of life, how they pay their bills, feed their family, cloth their children or support a sick relative. It is about their livelihood.