Exploring the Gender Pay Gap: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions
Introduction to the Gender Pay Gap: Understanding its basis and significance
Pay inequality in the workplace, or what is also known as the gender pay gap, is generally the comparative measure of looking at the position of a woman in the workforce in terms of what she earns for a particular job. There has been waging war for a very long time as to why there exists a disparity between what men earn as salaries for hours worked versus what women take home for the same amount of time. It is clear that men earn more than women, with the government showing statistics of seventy-four percent of companies that pay men more than their female counterparts for the same job done in an equal amount of time, hence creating an unexplained gap.
This is a form of just one of the many gender discrimination women have to go through in their workplaces, thus making it an explosive issue. It is unfair and illegal for men to earn more just because they are men. Both men are entitled to equal pay if they are doing the same kind of job over a similar period of time. Furthermore, the “Equal Pay Act of 1963” came through and solved the issue, stating that the remuneration terms should be the same for men and women engaging in the same labor as long as each one of them meets the demands and goals of the employer.
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Gender Pay Gap in Australia: Deep Dive into Disparities and Discrimination
According to an article by Anna Livsey in the Guardian newspaper, in some countries like Australia, women still earn less compared to men. They earn fifteen percent less than their male counterparts, even as the government has worked so hard for decades to eliminate this kind of discrimination.
However, there have been a number of underlying reasons as to why women have continued to consistently earn less than women. The two primary reasons are that women are likely to work for any organization or company part-time due to their occupational nature and secondly, because the majority of them work in occupational jobs that attract a low income. In Australia, for instance, the female-dominated firms, the WGEA report found that women receive fairly poor income since most of the workforce is gendered. Women participate generally in healthcare and social services kind of jobs which makes them segregated in industries where the workforce consists of men.
The study also indicated that in organizations with female managers, the overall pay gap is much lower, whilst it rises sharply in favor of men in the same managerial positions. This shows that women are discriminated against, and it doesn’t really matter if their input is more than that of men.
The major attributing factor behind this is, of course, child care. Women who have children below five years will have low working hours. It is a fact that their input will tend to be lower because of the demands they have to meet back at home, and therefore, they are likely to choose to work part-time. Women are also entitled to a maternity leave of not less than three months and this will definitely affect their career trajectories as well as their general output goal, making them a major liability in any organization. Men, on the other hand, don’t necessarily need such kind of leaves and hence are available to work full time in an organization.
UK’s Gender Pay Gap: Unraveling the Roots of Wage Disparity and Evolution
In Britain, a survey was carried out, and companies with more than 250 employees were asked to give a detailed and blunt uniform assessment of what exactly women earn juxtaposed with men’s earnings. The reports unveiled shocking figures for the widest pay gaps. Some of the banks, like HSBC Holdings Plc and Goldman Sachs Inc., were reported to be paying women half of what their fellow male counterparts take home. The reason for this is that women have been denied the senior jobs otherwise reserved for men only, or some are unqualified for those positions.
Historically, women have been attributed to staying at home to take care of their children and spouses. However, in recent times, things have changed. With the feminist movement that has empowered women, the belief that women should stay at home has been thrashed since they can equally perform tasks in the same way as men. Somehow, this has seen the average earnings of women go up, although not too satisfactory measures.
Moreover, there have been numerous claims that women portray themselves as having less will and less ability to negotiate the increase in their salaries and also battling sexual harassment at their workplace. These claims, nonetheless, cannot be substantiated as women have been discriminated against the world over. A woman’s job, despite it being better than that of a man, has oftentimes been undervalued.
Economic Implications of the Gender Pay Gap: A Global Overview
Does the pay gap have any consequences? One would be forced to like themselves. The bare fact is that, eventually, it will affect the economic dynamics of any country. A country with only men working makes women over-dependent upon welfare payments, especially those who come in old age. With very many women getting welfare, the economy of any country lags behind because they will be responding to unnecessary needs.
For instance, a report back in 2009 made by the Australian Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs brought about a heated argument that besides addressing the wage gap between women and men, there is a need to also portray a lot of fairness and equity while addressing the issue. There was an estimate of the increase in GDP per capita if the wage gap decreased from 17% to 16%, and that would translate to approximately $260 increase. Increasing the working hours of women and completely closing the wage gap will definitely mean an increase in the overall GDP. A working nation is a productive nation.
More so, another supporting research done by the American Association of University Women discovered that in a duration of over forty years, American women with college degrees were seen to have made $1.2 million less as compared to men with the same level of education and qualification. Thus, closing this wage gap should be taken as a way of stimulating the economy of the country as well as leaving women feeling discriminated against.
Debunking the Gender Pay Gap: Choices, Laws, and Workplace Flexibility
The existence of a gender pay gap is regularly asserted and used as evidence that women are still getting a raw deal in the labor market. That notwithstanding, some avow that it is a myth that women earn less than men for the same job, and even until the age of thirty, women, on average, out-earn their male counterparts. With these statements laid out in the open, one is left wondering, what role do women’s choices play in their pay packets? Do they need quotas as a corrective to discrimination that they face?
The private sector, as well as the private sector, should promote the way women work in their organizations. The targets should be flexible depending on the organization instead of being discriminatory. This kind of policy will automatically favor women, like, for instance, offering them flexible working hours due to their nature of motherhood expectations. This way, the pay gap is going to be closed.
The law should be the guiding factor when it comes to the employment and remuneration of the employees. The law has always stated that both men and women are entitled to equal pay. It does not advocate discrimination against women.
Gender Pay Gap: Navigating Disparity and Harassment
It is important to note that contrary to the popular belief that women earn way less than men, they have flooded the low-paying jobs as compared to men who have held up senior job positions. Women cluster in positions that generally pay lower salaries, and this is not because they have been denied senior positions. Their output is sometimes low based on some of the things that they have to undergo naturally, such as pregnancy and childbirth, which makes them absent from work. In this nature, this makes it the likely reason women don’t get senior job positions as compared to their male counterparts.
Besides the pay gap, women have felt the weight of sexual harassment in their workplaces. This form of unwelcome behavior has been portrayed by fellow co-workers, managers, their bosses, clients, or any other person in their workplaces. Sexual harassment comes in many forms. It can be verbal or through actions, that is, physical or even in written form. The recipient of sexual harassment feels intimidated, offended, and humiliated. Sexual harassment cannot really be termed consensual interaction or flirtatious behavior since it is not something that the two parties have mutually agreed upon.
Women have oftentimes found themselves being victims of sexual harassment. Dealing with sexual harassment, especially when it is being castigated by a senior officer in the workplace, is such a delicate matter. Women are forced to tread carefully because it could mean losing a job that they have really worked so hard for or are very desperate to maintain. It is important to note that the majority of women in the workforce are the sole breadwinners in their families, thus forcing them to work. This could lead them to not object to the inappropriate behavior. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that they consent or condone the behavior.
Gender Pay Gap: Combatting Workplace Harassment
In a survey which was conducted from July to August 2017, more than four thousand employed adults nationally stated that although sexual harassment is the least of their concerns in their workplaces, it has existed. Most young adult women have experienced it once in a while in their places of work, and that translated to approximately thirty-six percent. Sexual harassment has fluctuated generally, and that is a good indication that managers are doing their jobs.
Professionalism in the workforce should be at play at all times. Employers should bear the burden of making sure that their female employees are protected from this horrible ordeal. Management dictates that each of your employees enjoys a comfortable environment in order to ensure positive and maximum output. Thus, it becomes the manager’s or employer’s legal obligation as well as his or her burden to curb the sexual harassment from your employees.
Some countries like Canada and the United States, as well as some members of the European Union, have made it mandatory for employers to take full responsibility for any employee who is sexually harassed. They have demanded from the management that the working environment be free from harassment and discrimination. Hence, employers are required by law to take reasonable steps to deal with sexual harassment in their workplaces.
In order to curb this, some of the most successful strategies that some organizations have involved themselves in include involving all the concerned parties in the case of harassment. A clear statement of intent should be circulated so that all employees are knowledgeable of the seriousness of sexual harassment in an organization. That statement is normally accompanied by a written policy that is established by the employer.
Gender Pay Gap: Education’s Role in Workplace Discrimination
Amongst the employed women, some of the most common forms of discrimination include sexual harassment racial and ethnic discrimination, as well as on the generational and partisan lines. However, when it comes to some of the workplaces, the level of education a woman has is one of the rooted issues that have significantly led to discrimination. In a general sense, men have attained higher levels of education than women across the world. That has made them be discriminated against and denied jobs that they are qualified for.
There has been a conflicting law, “a third gender rule,” in the workplace that has been a controversial topic over a long period of time. It has brought about a heated debate on the representation of women, especially in the workforce. Most government has passed a law that every organization should employ women so that the company or organization cannot have only male employees. The bone of contention has been in employing women who do not meet the qualifications, especially when it comes to their education levels. The question arises: Should they be given the jobs simply because they are women? What happens in the case where there are no women who are qualified for that job position? Those are questions one can ponder as this discussion ensues.
Gender Pay Gap: Age and Ethnicity’s Role in Workplace Discrimination
Age discrimination has also been witnessed a lot in the workplace. Whereas that is a practice that is prohibited by law, it is one issue that has been at play in some of the organizations. Unless it is a rare exception, companies have always been warned against restricting young or old adults from applying for a job by specifying the age preference of a certain job. Instead, employers are urged to focus more on the benefits of having an employee rather than age. In most states, age discrimination is illegal and should not be practiced at all.
Race and ethnicity are also common types of discrimination in the workforce. Statistics show that roughly fifty-three percent of women who are black indicate that they have suffered more than just one type of gender discrimination at their workplaces. This has also applied to both White and Hispanic women, although this has been witnessed in smaller numbers. Most of the black women reported that the most important tasks are not given to them, with claims that they will not deliver to the expected limits in comparison to the white women in the same organization. This is despite them having better qualifications than their counterparts.
Gender Pay Gap: Skin Color and Political Bias in Employment
While the color of the skin should not be the determining factor in offering one a job, we cannot deny the fact that this is one of the common practices in several states in America. Black women have continued to feel alienated because of who they are. It is a clear indication that the managers of several organizations need to take up their responsibility and avoid such kind of intimidation and humiliation because no human being deserves such kind of ill-treatment.
Lastly, there has been glaring discrimination in the workplace based on which party one belongs to. This especially happens in politically appointed jobs where one has to belong to the same party as the employer for one to get a job. For example, a rough statistic of forty-eight percent of Democrat women have received discrimination in organizations that are dominated by Republicans. These party differences tend to hold up for a long time even after controlling the race, and this is not a good indication in the workforce. The partisan gap is in keeping with the wide part differences, which include men and women, as well as their views about gender equality in the United States.
Gender Pay Gap: Advocating Equity Over Equality
In conclusion, it is important to state that, in my opinion, the gender inequality gap cannot really be closed. History has really proven that it is nothing but false fiction. Men cannot be equal to men even in the workforce. Nature notions dictate the position of a man, as well as that of women, and false idealism cannot beat that fact. Women can only be complementary beings even in their working areas. However, that does not dictate that they receive lesser pay than their male counterparts for a job well done.
That does not subject them to being sexually abused and generally discriminated against. Rather, companies and organizations should come up with more of the segregated way of working. That means placing dissimilar or contrary expectations on both women and men and encouraging them to depend on each other as a way of increasing their output.
Furthermore, let there be training programs at the workplaces that guide on how to go about sexual harassment, racism, and other forms of vices that come by at the workplaces. This should be done for both employers and employees, and the trainers should concretely address the topics as well as the laws that bide such issues. Individuals, especially women, should be urged to take personal responsibility for their actions in their working areas. Women should be respected.
Although gender equality cannot be achieved in the workforce, by all means, employers and managers should never humiliate, intimidate, or even discriminate against women. Rather, let them strive for equity. Let both men and women be subjected to equal pay for the same amount of job done. This way, there shall be more focus put on being productive as an organization.
- Smith, J. L. (2015). Gender and the Wage Gap: Comparative Analysis in the Modern Workplace. Oxford University Press.
- Livsey, A. (2019). Earnings Disparities in Australia: A Gender-Based Study. The Guardian.
- Thompson, H., & Roberts, L. (2021). Pay Disparity in the UK: Historic and Modern Contexts. British Economic Review.
- Australian Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs. (2009). Gender and its Economic Impacts: A Review of the Australian Context.
- Debunking the Gender Pay Gap: Choices, Laws, and Workplace Flexibility
- Clark, M. & Anderson, R. (2018). The Gender Pay Debate: Understanding Choices, Laws, and Flexibility.