Wildcat Drive

Pay gap shows that gender equality affects women's potential salaries

Wildcat Drive

   Emma Watson once said, “The reality is that if we do nothing it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work.”  After seeing this quote, I realized in whatever career path I choose, I will not be paid as much as a man for doing the exact same job, just because I am a woman. Women’s rights have come a long way. Since starting the movement in 1848, women were granted the right to vote in 1920, skipping all the way to June 1963 when the Equal Pay Act was passed by Congress. Many other rights, such as a “no fault” divorce law that allows a divorce by mutual consent, and to have a legal and safe abortion have also been made possible. But there is still a long way to go.

   According to “It’s 2016, and women still make less for doing the same work as men” by The Washington Post, no woman alive today will live to see gender equality. The 2015 World Economic Forum report, which predicts the economic and social equality of the sexes, predicted that gender equality would not arrive for 177 years. The Institute for Women’s Policy made a similar assertion, stating that American men would significantly out-earn American women until the year 2058. These estimations rely majorly on the gender wage gap. The Census Bureau calculated that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 79 cents.

   Doing the same jobs, Forbes reported a significant difference in pay in the highest paid actor and actress. While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took home $64.5 million last year, the Hunger Games’s Jennifer Lawrence only pocketed $46 million. While doing the same job, sometimes for the same genre of movies, Lawrence isn’t even being paid three-quarters of what Johnson is paid.

   The statistics are appalling. I shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not a man working the same job is being paid more. In my opinion, most jobs have qualities that both genders possess that help them get the job done right. So why are men paid more to begin with?

   According to “About the Gender Pay Gap: Fall 2016 Edition” by The Simple Truth, women tend to work shorter hours and require more flexible schedules because women are more likely than men to care for children. Also, women experience gender bias and discrimination for a significant pay gap, even after other controlling factors. “What is the gender pay gap and is it real?” by The Economic Policy Institute calculated that women earned $3.27 an hour less than a man working the same job.

   The employer could say the significant change in pay is caused by women having to care for their children, which is understandable. But if a man is a single parent and could potentially be working less hours to care for their child, they will still be making more per hour just because of their gender. According to “Society still doesn’t like the idea of stay-at-home dads” by The Telegraph, the multi-millionaire financier Mohamed El-Erian quit his job after being presented a list of 22 milestones he’d missed in his daughter’s life. Even with public support being close to zero for stay-at-home dads, a stigma is still attached.

   Even though employers still prefer ‘traditional’ work schedules that consist of long, continuous hours, penalizing women for working part time to take care of children is absolutely ridiculous. Potentially making them choose between their families and getting ahead in their career path is a choice that no woman should ever be obligated to make just to receive the pay they deserve.