One of the political issue that has been reiterated many times recently, especially during the 2016 presidential election, has been the gender wage gap. Gender equality has been ever more present as well with the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president this year, becoming a pioneer that has cracked that “high glass ceiling” and become a heroine for many girls across the country. However, even with those advances, the wage for a woman doing the same job as a man (same quality, etc), is making around 80 cents to the man’s dollar. The question becomes, what is the reason for this?
Currently, “there’s no country in the entire world where a woman earns as much as a man for doing the same job” (http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/27/news/economy/global-gender-pay-gap/). And, according to the World Economic Forum, it is predicted to take a little over 80 years for this gap to close (new report by the World Economic Forum). While the United States is certainly no the worst in the world, where in some countries women make less than 50% than men, it placed 65th in the world at the end of 2014, meaning that it is behind many other industrialized countries (http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/27/news/economy/global-gender-pay-gap/). The wage gap is getting smaller, too, yet is seems “to have plateaued in the mid-1990s” (http://www.nber.org/papers/w7732.pdf). It has become a more pressing issue now, though, because of how different fields are becoming less stratified, and the sex composition becomes more equal in higher paying jobs. Before, women were paid less because they tended to “accumulate less labor market experience than men….and they anticipate shorter and more discontinuous work lives than men” because many begin to create and raise families (http://www.nber.org/papers/w7732.pdf). Thus, many companies began to see men as a more reliable investment in the long run, receiving higher wages and on-the-job training, and climbing higher up the ladder simply because of the longer amount of time they spent in the work force. Today, however, a greater number of women are entering the workforce that requires higher education, such as law, medicine, and engineering, and are working for a longer amount of time as the average age at which women are starting to have their first child is older than ever (as well as the average number of children they bear is going down in many industrialized countries), so now the gap is more obvious as women are now doing the same higher-paying jobs as many men and are being paid a fraction of their annuals income.
Photos by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com,
Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com