Gender Pay Gap

The term gender pay gap is the difference in earnings between woman and men make in the workplace. This pay inequality means that woman on average, makes less than men. Been voiced throughout the past 56 years by woman activist groups and celebrities worldwide, gender pay gap & inequality is real. The disparity in earnings between man and woman does exists and it’s an undeniable fact. As a matter of fact. You don’t need to see a sociologist to see that there is a prejudice in favor towards man. From hiring decisions, and structural barriers that make it easier for man to be promoted for some job positions. Though many laws were set up to recognize women as has having an equal right to treatment and pay for equal work and value that man does. It is only merely words, and at practice, things seems to have suggested differently.

gender equality

With this inequality, Equal Pay Day is born. Taking place on the 2nd of April. Equal pay day symbolizes how far into the year woman must work in order to earn what men earned in the previous year. . Today, it has shifted from just being a symbolic date. To a powerful occasion that raise awareness about the gender pay in your community. Though equal pay day represents the uncontrolled gender pay gap. It might not be accurate. As it is based on the median salary for all men and women working across industries. Equal pay day is a reminder to everyone that yes gender wage gap is real. And yes it is still happening until today.

The unjustness of the gender wage gap

Currently worldwide, women are paid 23% less than men. In the US itself, women on average earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. Do take note that this number do actually go lower. With variables in the field. From racial bias, disability, access to education and age as additional key factors in deciding the gender wage gap. Here we will take a look at the data provided by the American Association of University Women.

A data on how one’s Race/Ethnicity influenced woman’s earnings as compared to white men’s earnings. The research also indicates that women who are also part of other marginalized groups. Especially those who are in the group of racialized women, indigenous woman and women with disabilities face an even larger wage gaps. These gaps if left open, will leave women at an economic disadvantage. Making it harder for woman with families to pay bills or even have savings for emergencies.

With this in mind, it is not surprising when the U.S Census Bureau data states that more than 1 in 8 women lived in poverty in 2016. What’s even more eye opening is that the data shows that women were 38% more likely than men to live in property.

Fixing the gap: How Equal Pay Day Begin

Though the issues for equal for pay rights have been brought up by activists, politicians and women for the past one century. It wasn’t until 1963 that the Equal Pay Act was passed on to the congress and made as a federal law.  As part of the New Frontier Program that President John F. Kennedy has previously brought up during his election campaign. The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. Since the enactment of this act 56 years ago, American women’s salaries have risen relatively. With women who previously only earned a mere 62.3% of men’s earnings during the 1970s to now of around 80% in year 2018.

Originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996. Equal Pay day acted as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. As each country may have different formulas for observing the day and due to different wage gaps. The exact day differs year by year and a lot of factors from one’s demographic and racial background is what determines the date.

The future: Closing the gender wage gap

At current rates of progress, it may take another 202 years to close the economic gender gap globally. This is why many countries have taken a more progressive approach by amending and rewriting the rules of work. Nordic Countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark & Iceland for example. They have adopted more family friendly policies for working citizens such as subsidized child care & paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers. We have also seen a shift in work patterns. With big companies applying flexible work schedules, offering employees the freedom to work from home and alternative working hours. Laws have also been tightened with countries such as UK for example making changes to the Equality law in 2017. To close the gender pay gap. Companies that employ more than 250 employees are now required to report gender pay differences in both hourly wages and bonus pay.

equal pay day

In the US itself, both Republicans & Democrats in the house worked on together to strengthen and close existing loopholes in the current law by passing a new Act, The Bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act. The act which was passed last month on the 27th of March would require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate job-related reasons. It will also prohibit employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay. And out of all it is meant to provide assistance to all businesses to help them with their equal pay practices and recognize excellence in pay practices by businesses. It would also get rid of rules imposed by their employers that prohibit employees from talking about their salary. This way woman would now be permitted to ask how much their coworkers are making and find out if they are actually under paid.

Conclusion

In the future it would be transparency and data that would be the key to closing the gender pay gap. Being aware of the data. Employers are equipped with the required knowledge to actually change the current situation and work in the direction of decreasing the gender pay gap. Furthermore knowing salary ranges for different jobs, allows not only women, but all employees for that matter, to receive the needed information in order to be paid fairly and equally.

*This article is contributed by Albam.*

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