Gender Gap

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Gender Wage Gap Awareness

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We have all heard about the gender wage gap on the news or in the current debates, but why is it any concern to you? I understand that this issue might not apply to a college student; however, you need to be aware of this issue since it could affect your major and future profession. Surprisingly, this issue even applies to males. Some argue that women are facing a wage gap because they choose more flexible professions, lack negotiation skills, and produce less as many hours as men mostly because they are assumed to devote more time to children. I disagree, because women should have the right to earn same amount of money as a man regardless of their personality, age, marital status, part-time status, and negotiation skills.

The gender wage gap refers to the percentage difference in earnings between men and women in the workplace, with women's jobs typically paying less than men's requiring a similar skill level. According to the 2010 Census, “the median annual earnings of women working full time were 77 percent of men’s earnings” (Black). This 77 percent is based on yearly salaries between both men and women. Researchers are noticing this percentage shrink since our grandparents’ time, but address how far it is from being closed. A women attending college chooses a “male dominating major” and expects to earn the same as her male colleague; however, through research, I am noticing women facing more discrimination with the so called “man jobs” than the “woman jobs.” Lawyers, Engineers, Doctors, Funeral Directors, and Construction Workers are all examples of “man jobs.” Teachers, Nurses, and Assistants are all examples of “women jobs.” I believe women are increasingly pursuing these particular jobs. Women are facing discrimination even though they are choosing more challenging fields.

Women are choosing more challenging majors during college, but are suffering different percentages of discrimination. According to Judy Dey and Catherine Hill, members of the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation state, “In education, a female-dominated major, women earn 95 percent as much as their male colleges; however, in biological sciences, a mixed-gender major, women only earn 75 percent as much as men” (Dey Hill). This statistic explains how women are “stepping it up” in college but face continuous discrimination throughout their professions.

Women face less discrimination in the beginning of their professions. I believe age plays a major factor in this discrimination. Thomas Billiterri, writer of the journal “Gender Pay Gap” states, “ in a study of college graduates last year, the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation found that one year out of college, women working full time earn only 80 percent as much as their male colleagues, and 10 years after graduation the gap widens to 69 percent” (Billiterri 64). Why is the gap widening to 69 percent 10 years after graduation? If anything, the gap should shrink since women are gaining equal education and experience as men in challenging professions. This statistic shows how younger professional women without husbands and children face less discrimination then older women.

Some women even try to avoid discrimination by their choices on children and marital status. I believe that if women and men continue to accept the notion that the domestic and caretaking work traditionally classified as “women’s work” is not important enough for employers to accommodate, the gender gap in wages will never close. According to Michele Compton, author of the article “The Gender PAY GAP,” she states, “a few individual women may be able to evade the gap by choosing to be childfree, being fortunate enough to have a supportive spouse, and carefully following a model of career advancement that was developed to fit men’s needs” (Compton 32). Just because women have personal...
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