The gender pay gap is the wage distinction between what men and women are paid in employment establishments. It leaves women at an economic disadvantage because they are not paid what they are worth. The shameful differences in wages between the genders are global.
There are many changes that need to be done to eliminate these disparities, discrimination against women that are breadwinners, and the effects it has on them.
There are two important reasons for the gender pay gap: direct gender discrimination and occupational segregation. Gender discrimination occurs when people are treated differently even when they had obtained the same level of education and experience, but women are paid less for the same job Occupational segregation refers to individuals that perform same jobs and are kept apart so that there is little competition between them. This is more delicate to tackle with defined solutions (UNDP 206).
According to research made in 2009, the majority of jobs that women are employed in are secretaries, teachers, and nurses which are lower paid careers in comparison with men who often choose careers such as medicine, engineering, attorneys, chief executives, management analyst, and pharmacist. Another important fact is that physical strength is not rewarded either. Women are valued for physical attractiveness while men are rewarded for athletic prowess. In other words, muscular women are mocked while they actually live longer and recover from illness and trauma better than men.
Even when both genders have the same level of education and experience, women face common barriers that affect their opportunities for promotion and increases in income. One of these barriers is the potential to become mothers; which could be a reason for women to change their full-time job to a part-time job, thus interrupting their career. Mothers are sometimes denied any promotion because of the perception that they will not have the time to work long days and hours (Goldber Dey/Hill 2007). Another obstruction is the existence of stereotyping. Men tend to be view as authoritative and problem-solvers, while women are only seen as natural instinct followers that give tender care and encourage others to grow and develop to be successful. Too many people think of only men as leaders who are self-assured, vital and strong.
It is important that the government and private sectors become aware that the gender pay gap affects not only our society but also has economic consequences and impacts children’s education and gender roles. As long wage discrimination persists there will be a high risk of poverty restraining the world’s economic growth. Poorer working mothers are forced to use older children for the care of younger ones, and also care of the house while moms work full-time jobs. Such situations can cause gender role disparity.
These teenagers turn into unjust bosses, created bullying, cause anxiety, depression, and confusion in the younger siblings. These cases also cause an inequality level of education because especially young women have to stay home until the little ones are old enough to take care of themselves. Moreover, the gender pay gap can originate mental distress turning later to major depressive disorders, stress, and generalized anxiety. These mental illnesses not only affect the female but in the long run will also influence the family and society as a whole because working mothers are still the ones responsible for bringing up children.
The wage injustice should stop and people must be paid the same no matter their gender, race, age, or country. The following are some strategies that bring solutions to the pay gap:
- Fair Evaluations: An individual should be treated as human and only be evaluated by their education level and experience.
- Learn New Techniques: You can learn strategies to negotiate your salary this could include plant the right time, been professional, honest, approach with lots of data information why you deserve a better salary, do not be afraid to the “no”, and be willing to walk away.
- Know Your Value: when you know your worth and value. It will give you a better idea of what salary you deserve. The web offers information of the amount on salary for each job.
- Transparency: companies need to start the implementation of transparency around pay as an approach for equality even when salary is not a topic many would like to discuss. This will bring a trust relationship between employers and employees will improve the team work, and performance will increase.
- Additional Laws: governments need to pass additional wage equality laws to protect women against pay discrimination. Even thou, there are some laws in United States to look after woman rights, there instill inequality in the work field which is not so obvious with the young women but at these progress in age the gap gets wider.
- Report the Abuse: victims of this type of abuse should report it especially if they are part of a union. Women in general are afraid that if they disclose information to proper authorities they will lose their job, but it is illegal to fire a person for blowing the whistle on an employer. Another mentality is that if the female engage in legal battles they will lose hours paid going to court and money paying an attorney.
The wage gap is not a myth. It is real. These injustices are increasing around the world. In the United States, some companies are trying to reduce the differences in gender wages, but it only has been done to some extent. In contrast, there are other countries where women are not yet advocates and this disadvantage is greater as the females reach higher-ranking and management roles. Implementing these tactics can have a reinforcing effect on changing the norms, stereotypes, and reorganizing the workplace, and they will also contribute to the achievement of equality that female workers merit.