About 10% of the gap can be explained by work experience and about 27% of the gap can be explained by job choice. Importantly, work experience and job choice factors are also not free from gender discrimination. For example, women are often discouraged from entering certain occupations while they are in school.
The graph also shows that women’s access to higher education has helped to shrink the gap by about 7%, but women need an additional degree than men on average to have the same earnings. For a woman to earn as much as a man with a bachelor’s degree, she must hold a doctoral degree. This graph shows that about 40% of the wage gap cannot be explained by any measurable reason. Thus, about 40% of the wage gap is likely caused by both unintentional and some purposeful discrimination. Studies have shown that not only are men more likely to be hired, but also equally qualified applicants will be offered different salaries and professional development opportunities based on their gender. Additionally, professions that are dominated by women are lower paid precisely because they are dominated by women.
One extensive study found that when women moved into an occupational field in large numbers, wages declined even when all other factors were held constant. John Faso voted against equal pay measures in the New York state assembly on four separate occasions. The legislation that would have required employers to pay their employees the same salary for “comparable work.
” Faso was also the only Assemblyman to vote against including ‘equal pay for equal work’ in the state constitution.In order to address the wage gap, we will need to provide parents access to affordable, quality child care options, as well as paid family leave. With family leave policies in place, women will not have to decide between their careers and their families. It will also allow fathers the opportunity to care for children and sick family members, which will support women’s careers. As of 2018, New York State now has a paid family leave policy which allows employees to receive 50% of their average weekly wage, capped at 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage, for eight weeks.
The number of weeks and the percent of the average weekly wage will continue to increase each year until 2021 when employees can take twelve weeks of leave at 67% of their average weekly wage. Other ways in which we can begin to close the wage gap include: increasing the minimum wage to help women in low-paying jobs, strengthening equal pay laws so that women have clearer avenues for fighting against workplace discrimination, and protect women’s reproductive rights and access to affordable health care.