Is there a gender pay gap?
Over the past decade, there has been tremendous debate as to whether or not men have a higher salary, making women inferior. There are simply two sides: there is a pay gap and there is no pay gap. And there are two statistical roles for each argument.
Over a week ago, The Guardian released an article explaining that more than 500 U.K corporate companies and organizations do in fact have a pay gap between genders. Men at high-end fashion shop “Phase Eight” earn 65% per hour more than women. A statement from their website says “The figures result from the fact that, as a women’s fashion retailer, the staff in our stores are overwhelmingly female, whilst our corporate head office staff (whose pay rates are typically higher) are more evenly split between men and women.”
Budget airline “EasyJet” carries a 52% differential, according to government statistics. But airlines like EasyJet claim that there is a major pay difference because the majority of pilots, which tends to be a position of wealthier salary, is occupied by mostly men, while a cabin position, likely to earn less than a pilot, are mostly made up of women. The Guardian does point out that it is “different from equal pay, which is a legal requirement that men and women must be paid the same amount for equal roles.”
As for the U.S, the pay gap is marginalizing. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015, female employees made 83% of what male employees earned both on part and full time. Pew claims that, based on the estimate, female employees would have to work about a month and a half more to earn a male’s salary. However, concerning younger women employees (24-35), their pay gap is in fact even slimmer. A woman makes $0.90 to a mans $1.00 for the same age group. So what is stopping Corporate America from finally eliminating this so-called “pay discrimination”?
Research shows that it is interruptions. Significant factors consist of taking care of a family member or child, quitting their job, reduced work hours, and turning down promotions.
In regards to the, “no, there is no pay gap” argument, there is circumstantial evidence for that as well. You might have heard the “woman gets paid $0.78 for a mans $1.00” dispute. That statistic doesn’t necessarily mean much, considering a female’s education, years of experience and hours worked that influence earnings.
In a 2013 Slate article, Hanna Rosin wrote this: “The official Bureau of Labor Department statistics show that the median earnings of full-time female workers is 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers. But that is very different than “77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.” The latter gives the impression that a man and a woman standing next to each other doing the same job for the same number of hours get paid different salaries. That’s not at all the case. “Full time” officially means 35 hours, but men work more hours than women. That’s the first problem: We could be comparing men working 40 hours to women working 35.”
There is also the “college argument”, where you take into account the majors a man and woman select to pursue. The top six highest-paying majors in the U.S. are computer science, electrical engineering, information technology, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, and mechanical engineering; 80 percent of the people studying these subjects are solely male. With their preference, studies suggest women quest for lower paying majors to start/take care of a family instead of studying a high-paying major. In the book “Women Don’t Ask”, studied by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, “Once women enter the job market, they are statistically less likely to ask for promotions or negotiate salaries.” The book also puts forward the argument that women decide not to relocate for a better paying salary (job) and overtime pay, which affects the end-of-year bonus and the individuals salary.
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Jorge Velasco is a Political Analyst at Nova News Breaking and theDailyLead.