Essay Plan B
Several explanations have been put forward to explain why the gender-wage gap persists in Australia. Pick two and critically evaluate each. Summary of Argument: Recent history has shown a dramatic increase in the proportion of female workers in the labour market (Loudon, McPhail & Wilkonson 2009). With workplace diversity on the rise in Australia (French, Lewis & Phetmany 2000), legislation and changing cultural values have changed the way these women have been able to enter the workforce. Legislation such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 has made it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their gender, family commitments/choices or marital status throughout all areas of employment (Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cwlth), s. 14). Although, in a society seemingly open to women in the workforce, a firm wage gap of 15-17% between men and women still persists in Australia (Cassells, Miranti McNamara & Vidyattama 2009). Research has shown over the past forty years this gap has remained substantial regardless of monumental judgements by the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission since 1969 promoting equal pay for work of equal value (Baron & Cobb-Clark 2010). This essay will analyse two dominant explanations to why the gender wage gap persists in Australia. Firstly it will argue that determinants relating to the attainment of human capital and its rewards such as higher wages (Baum 2002, Cassel et al 2009, Olsen & Walby 2004 & Semli 2000) have a direct effect on gender wage differences. Secondly, the essay argues that occupational segregation (Baron & Cobb-Clark 2010) and rigidities within the labour market due to discrimination (Olsen & Walby 2002) effectively explain why the gap persists. Within this second argument, the essay will further explore the flow on effects of occupational segregation and the historical impacts it has had. “We got equal pay once, then we got it again, and then we got it again, and now we still don’t have it.” (Gaudron as citied in Pocock 1999, p. 279) Definition of Key Terms: The gender wage gap can be defined as the consistent difference between the pay and awards for men and women within the labour market (Loudoun, McPhail & Wilkinson 2009). Empirical research by numerous sources concludes there are many explanations to why it exists (Cassells et al 2009). Amie 8/31/11 5:35 AM
Comment: Full stop after the citation. Best to paraphrase.
Amie 8/31/11 5:33 AM
Comment: Good points made
Amie 8/31/11 5:34 AM
Comment: Indent ot double space between paragraphs
Amie 8/31/11 5:34 AM
Comment: Would have liked to have seen a couple of sentences on the overall argument of the essay
Amie 8/31/11 5:33 AM
Comment: This essay will
Body: Key point One: Cassells et al (2009) argue how skills, knowledge and experience considered of high value to employers are calculated differently between men and women due to interruptions to work such as child-bearing. Supportive work of Baum (2002), Walby & Olsen (2004), Selmi (2000) and Budig & England (2001) agree that withdrawals from the workplace by women due to family choices/commitments has a huge impact on their acquisition of human capital and is a “legitimate source of earnings differences” (Walby and Olsen 2004, p. v). Key Point Two: Cassells et al (2009) indicate that occupational segregation within the labour market is an important explanation for lower female wages. Baron & Cobb-Clark (2010) argue that the affect of labour market position and job status has heavy implications on employment outcomes/returns. This is particularly apparent among high-wage earners where a strong presence of glass ceilings is felt (Kee 2006). Olsen & Walby (2002) also explore labour market rigidities and market failures in the form of discrimination. Watts (2003) argues that an “inefficiency of labour market matching processes” (Watts 2003, p. 651) exists in Australia. The flow on effects of occupational segregation such as low female...
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