Coming from a time when women were not allowed to either vote, own property, or even work certain jobs; we can certainly say that women’s rights have come a long way but they are still not where they should be and the question of how much do women make compared to men is one that often comes up.
Women have for a long time fought for gender equality in many aspects however, there are still some glaring inequalities that we often see play out such as in matters to do with political representation and wage gaps. These wage gaps become even more prevalent in times of economic recession such as during this time when the coronavirus pandemic hit. You will find that the majority of the people who were predisposed to financial instability by loss of jobs or having to get pay cuts were women. This, therefore, goes to support the fact that sometimes women just experience significant wage gaps for no other reason other than gender.
What Does the Wage Gap Look Like Currently?
In 2018, we saw gender inequality issues such as inequality in the workplace, sexual harassment as well as wage gaps being brought to the limelight with the #MeToo movement. This movement helped to spark waves across various boardrooms and led to a significant change.
Currently, with an uncontrolled pay gap, working women are only able to earn $0.81 for every dollar that a man makes while with a controlled pay gap, a woman can earn up to $0.98 for every dollar that a man in a similar position, with similar qualifications and the same level of experience makes. The situation is even worse with BIPOC women with their average pay being about $0.54 – $0.62 for every dollar a BIPOC man earns.
However, all hope is not lost as there are still some slow but significant changes occurring with wage gaps which are quite evident especially among the younger generation of workers, that is, between ages 24 and 35. Working women in this age group are now able to earn up to 90% of what their male counterparts do which is great progress.
What Influences How Much Do Women Make Compared To Men?
Women and men have been known to steer towards different occupations. Women are often steered towards softer professions while men are encouraged to pursue challenging fields. This automatically sets up the women for lower-paying careers which results in lower life-long earnings.
However, there has been significant progress to empower women over the past few years to set them up to compete for high-paying jobs as their male counterparts. We currently are seeing more and more women bosses emerging in various industries which is a great step forward.
Women Are the Caregivers
The modern-day woman still finds themselves doing much of the care giving and nurturing at home as compared to the men. As compared to men, women have been found to spend an extra 10 hours doing house chores. This could end up having a direct impact on your work since that is time that the men tend to use towards bettering their careers hence giving them a heads-up from women.
Additionally, there is also the aspect of women being the child bearers. The biggest pay hit for women or rather career derailment at work usually happens when a woman conceives a child. This is commonly known as “the motherhood penalty.” According to research, women’s earnings tend to go down by about 4% every time they have a child while men’s earnings tend to increase when they get a kid.
The main cause of this is the assumption that women will now not be committed to their jobs. As such, they get assigned less demanding jobs which often tend to pay less but offer much flexibility for them to be able to spend time with their family.
When it comes to promotions and salary increases, men are more likely than women to get promoted or get a salary increase. This is usually attributed to the fact that men, unlike women are more willing to ask for more money or a promotion.
Women were also found guilty of only choosing to apply and accept lower-paying jobs unlike their male counterparts with the same skills and experience.
As mentioned earlier, the narrative is now slowly changing allowing women to get a fair share of what they deserve. Therefore, as a woman, do your research, know your worth, and do not be afraid to ask for just that. You are only doing yourself injustice every time you sell yourself short.
While this is not a unique factor to women since most states have implemented a law against gender inequality, it has been found that where you reside and work has a direct impact on your wages.
In large cities, people generally tend to get good-paying jobs but even as such, it is quite difficult not to realize the difference in wages between men and women. In smaller towns, the situation is even worse with the wage gap between men and women getting wider.
The difference in earnings over a lifetime
Wage gaps among workers exist throughout a lifetime. This, therefore, means that the older people in the workforce tend to have greater disparities unlike the younger generation of workers.
For example; for a 25-year-old woman, you will find that the earning is about 94% that of a man the same age while the median of a 50 years old woman is about 77% that of her male counterpart. This, therefore, means that older women are twice as likely to live in poverty during their retirement years since they did start working early enough. This means that they have fewer retirement resources as opposed to men their age.
There is more than just the face value of the gender pay gap. Generally, it is a result of so many factors such as age, educational level, race, and ethnicity amongst other issues. Consequently, different women will have different opinions about gender pay gaps each needing its own set of solutions to be curbed.