The gender pay gap is a serious topic and has been an issue for many years. Many people argue that there is no pay gap exists, but the statistical data shows the opposite. Women have been making less money compared to men during many years, regardless of their educational level or work experience. Nowadays many women are living in poverty and cannot provide a good living for themselves and their children. There is a gender pay gap in the US too and many women fight for their right for an equal pay. It is possible that this situation will be changed in the future and more efforts will be done to eliminate the pay gap. The gender wage gap is a modern problem which should be analyzed using the current statistics through different factors, such as the color of the woman, age, level of education, various occupations and industries.
Gender wage gap exists and the current statistical data proves it. According to the AAUW guide “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap” (Fall 2015), gender wage gap shows a difference in men’s median and women’s salary, usually it is calculated as the ratio of female and male earnings or it could be an actual gap (American Association of University Women, 2015). To measure the gender wage gap it is required to find the difference between male’s and female’s median earnings divided by male’s median earnings.
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There is also a ratio that could be measured as female’s median earning divided by male’s median earnings. Median annual earnings in the US for men and women were $50,033 and $39,157 in 2013. So, a pay gap was 22% and the earnings ratio was 78% (AAUW, 2015).
The statistical information usually is obtained from the Department of Education, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These federal agencies conduct surveys to get information regarding male’s and female’s wages. Economists, various agencies and government analyze this data to make their conclusions about the current situation with the gender wage gap.
Many publications regarding pay differences and national workforce participation rely on data from the Current Population Survey, which is a US primary source of statistics of labor force. Gender wage gap is measured based on the annual average of median weekly salaries for the previous year that data become accessible, in January every year by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to U.S. current population report made by the Census Bureau (Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014), women working full time in the US got only seventy-eight percent of what men were paid in the year 2014.The pay gap became lower compared with the year 1970. The reason for this could be the fact that women became more active in their careers, in getting more education and developing their skills and abilities in order to be successful and compete with the men at the workplace. However, this narrow has been stopped and many experts point out that the wage gap is unlikely to disappear in the nearest future.
It is necessary to point out that many critics of unequal pay between men and women mention that pay differences happen due to personal choices. However, the result of the research made by the AAUW organization (2012 report, Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation), demonstrated that just one year after college graduation, females were paid eighty-two percent of what their similarly experienced and educated male peers got. Before it was another report, Behind the Pay Gap (AAUW, 2007), where ten years after graduation, the pay gap became even bigger, and females got just sixty-nine percent of what males got.There is a pay gap exists regarding the color of the woman. There is a lot of evidence that females at the workplace are affected by gender wage gap no matter what age they have, background, or education.
For example, all full-time employees in the US in 2014, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Hispanic and African American women had lower salaries compared with non-Hispanic white and Asian American women. This statistical data could be obtained from the official statistical sources. Continuing the research, it is interesting that regarding ethnic and racial groups, Hispanic, American Indian, African American, and Native Hawaiian females had a lower pay gap compared with men in the same group than did Asian American and non-Hispanic white women (Hill, 2015). Therefore, the color of women and ethnicity influence gender wage gap. The gender wage gap between men and women of different ages exists at the workplace. The wages for male and female full-time workers with the age increasing usually are high, a decrease after sixty-five and a plateau after forty-five years old. The gender wage gap also increases with age, and differences among older workers are bigger compared with the gaps among younger workers.
Females usually make about ninety percent of what men earned until they are thirty-five years old. After this age, the median salaries for females are eighty percent of what men earn (AAUW, 2015). Therefore, the age affects the gap and when females become older and develop their career, they can feel it more compared with the time when they just graduated the college.
Generally, salaries grew as years of education increase for everyone. However, at the current time education as a useful thing for every person does not help in the fight with the gender pay gap. At every level of education, female’s median salaries are less than male’s, and the pay gap is more visible at higher levels of education. There is no doubt that any education is a very useful tool for both men and women, but black and Hispanic women make less money compared with the White and Asian women, even when they have the same level of education. Also, education usually provides women the opportunity to be promoted and increase the salary, but this is influenced by ethnicity and race in the reality. Hispanic and African American women get less money than White women with the same level of education.
Therefore, education is another factor that should be analyzed while conducting research about the gender wage gap.Females can see inequality at work in many industries and occupations. Bureau of Labor Statistics gets data and combine it for many occupations to conduct their analysis.
Gender wage gap exists in every sphere, and jobs that are usually taken by males more often have a better pay rate compared with the rate of generally female jobs for the same level of knowledge and expertise needed. It is not a surprise that right now in the modern society men and women still work in different kinds of jobs. So, this segregation of occupations is the main factor besides the pay gap (Hegewisch, ; Heidi, 2014).According to the AAUW guide “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap” (Fall 2015), the U.S.
workforce consists of 146 million full- and part-time employed workers, where 53 percent were males, and 47 percent were females in 2014 (AAUW, 2015). Fewer than 5 percent of males worked in the jobs, as social work, nursing, and teaching while 40 percent of working females worked in these generally female jobs in 2015. In addition, forty-three percent of working males were in aerospace computer engineering, firefighting, and programming, while only 5 percent of females worked in these occupations. Males mostly work in maintenance, repair or construction compared to women who work in an office environment, sales, etc.
Some researchers, such as England P., pointed out that occupational gender segregation has fallen down over the last 40 years, because females started to do male jobs. However, this process has decreased since the early 2000s (England P., 2010).
Females in “male” jobs such as engineering still have a pay gap compared with their male colleagues; even they can be paid bigger wages than women in generally female fields. There are several examples of successful females who have made excellent careers. However, the pay gap still exists and the current statistical data has proved it. This issue is crucial for the society and the government as well as organizations and people should find a solution to solve it as soon as possible.
Women should be equal members of the society in real life. Statistical information based on data from education, the color of the woman, age, various occupations and industries should be analyzed critically while conducting research about the gender wage gap. The wage gap demonstrates that there are not enough efforts have been done in order to create an ideal society where men and women have equal rights and opportunities. The gender wage gap is an issue which should be analyzed critically because it affects the society we live in and stops women from the realization of their rights