Some social injustices ranging from racial inequality to pay equality have been faced by the US. The current paper will concentrate on pay equality as social inequality, evaluating the essence of the gender pay gap in the US. Research reveals that in the US, a woman receives 80 percent of what a man makes, indicating a 20 percent gap in pay (Choi). Given the fact that more women graduate from college than men, and the average rise in the number of women in upper-level jobs, women still earn slightly less pay than men do the same job. Some variables have been linked to bad pay equity. First, many people in the US have developed gender stereotypes, associating men and women with specific roles. In this manner, women doing men roles seem to be defying the laws of nature set up by such stereotypes. In most companies in the US, men often take the managerial work while women take the lesser roles of the secretariat and human resource management. The associated gender roles have resulted in poor pay for the women. Those women who climb up the ladder to take leadership roles end up earning less due to the gender stereotypes (Lips 173). There is lack of trust that women can perform exemplary well just like their male counterparts in such leadership roles. Gender role stereotypes have, therefore, resulted in a disparity in rewarding women taking up jobs initially dominated by the males. Even though there has been legislation and push for gender equality in other areas such as women getting equal job opportunities as men; pay equity remains one of the significant problems that wades off too slow. The disparity in pay affects many professional women who feel they should be treated equally at the workplace regarding remuneration.
Another reason for the sick pay for women in the United States is due to the under-valuation of women’s work. Even though the number women graduating from college is higher than that of men, this does not necessarily translate to pay rise for women. There work always undervalued, and women end up earning less compared to their male counterparts. Women are seen to be having many commitments including caring for the children and thus this is seen to affect their productivity at the workplace (Lips 178). As opposed to men who concentrate entirely on their work-related duties, women are perceived to have divided attention, and hence they cannot entirely give their best at work. They, therefore, end up earning less compared to their male colleagues doing the same job. Women are more likely to work part-time to concentrate on family issues. At some point, they may be forced to take a break when there are children to take care of which impacts on their jobs negatively. Such factors contribute to the sick pay for women doing same jobs with male workmates.
Additionally, most women have weak bargaining power. Whenever they get to job interviews, when asked about salary, they readily agree with the company’s offer. They rarely argue their case for more wage and even while at work, women rarely argue for salary increment. As opposed to men, most of them during interviews would state why they need a pay increase before signing a contract. The fact that women are more likely to be comfortable with what they are offered has deepened the pay gap in the United States (Campbell 571). Women have often felt inferior before their male counterparts, and this has killed their bargaining power. They have developed the feeling that men will always be favored and end up accepting anything that comes before them regarding pay.
Finally, women, have for a long time suffered from direct gender discrimination. Even after attaining the same educational levels as their male counterparts. Their input at work goes unrecognized. Direct gender discrimination occurs when individuals with similar educational achievements and work experience are treated differently as a result of their gender. Even though legislation has been passed to support women through the establishment of supportive institutions, women remain less fortunate in the workplace as they end up earning less yet they perform the same roles their male friends perform.
Research shows that the trend might not end shortly. Studies indicate that with the rate of change between 1960 and 2016, the gender gap is likely to close by 2059 (Choi). The same studies argue that if the change continues to take the direction like in 2001, then the gap might close in 2119 (Choi). There is need to support pay equity in the US to boost productivity at work and appreciate both genders on an equal measure. Discrimination against women at work lowers their self-esteem thus reducing their efforts to give their best at work. Women should be bold enough to bargain for better and equal pay if they are taking similar roles as male workers. They should come out and fight for themselves for fair pay and focus on increasing their productivity to enhance their bargaining power. With fewer efforts from women, achieving pay equity becomes increasingly difficult.
Campbell, Honey. “Superior Play, Unequal Pay: US Women’s Soccer and the Pursuit for Pay Equity.” USFL Rev., vol. 51, 2017, pp. 545-591.
Choi, Sungjoo. “Pay Equity in Government: Analyzing Determinants of Gender Pay Disparity in the US Federal Government.” Administration & Society, 2015, 0095399715581623.
Lips, Hilary M. “The Gender Pay Gap: Challenging the Rationalizations. Perceived Equity, Discrimination, and the Limits of Human Capital models.” Sex Roles, vol. 68, no. 3-4, 2013, pp. 169-185.