The Reality Of The Gender Wage Gap
In today's society, there are still some who do not believe that men are paid more than their female counterparts. This is because these skeptics based on their perspectives, on the gender gap situation, are attributing the disparity in earnings to the less/lack of education or experience on the part of feminine counterparts. But according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) (aka The General Accounting Office) majority of the reasons for the pay gap could not be accounted for by the above-listed variables, but were attributed to discrimination, in this case, based on sex. This discrimination over a working lifetime has resulted in the loss of significant wages, also affecting pensions and social security.
On the average, according to the census bureau, women generally earn about 80 cents on the dollar to men. Put in a better perspective, a 20 cents wage difference sums up to a loss of about $10,000 per year median salary, and over a working lifetime, between 700,000 -2 million dollars. The wage gap varies based on job sector, Job caliber/paycheck size and ethnicity, e.g., Hispanic and black women are hit the hardest.
But who is going to believe or take all of these facts about wage gap seriously if organizations, countries, and people that matter/opinion leaders are not talking or doing anything about it?
Well, they seriously are. For example, an organization, National Committee On Pay Equity (NCPE), which comprises civil right organizations, labor unions, religious, professionals, legal associations and women of caliber are at the forefront of the battle to bridge the pay gap between men and women. One of the ways that the organization has gone about it was to set up a Tuesday in April as a symbolic day to remind everyone of how much longer full-time working women need to work to earn the same pay that men earned the year before. And so far, the organization has been influential in the reduction of pay gap which went from 59 cents in 1963, when the equal pay act was signed, to the current 80 cents on the dollar.
If the gender gap was a myth, as perceived in some school of thoughts, why would these people who probably have a lot on their plates be so bent on doing something about it? Maybe because they have nothing better to do with their time!
If at this juncture, this does not convince anyone of the reality and seriousness of the pay gap situation then keep reading to learn about what is happening in Iceland.
The country Iceland, in January of 2018, passed and enforced a law which makes it illegal for women to be paid less than men. The country is the first in the world to blaze the trail with such a feat. According to the law, companies with more than 25 employees are expected to secure a government equal-pay-policy certificate. But to get the certificate, these companies have to first prove that their females employees are paid equally like their male counterparts. Failure to provide the proof for the certificate would result in a fine.
It won't be logical if anyone would think a whole country would want to make an ass of themselves by indulging in such a myth? Let not stop here, as there are more pieces of evidence to back the reality of the wage gap like comments and actions from notable figures and celebrities.
- President Obama: "I'm here to say we will close the wage gap."
- Venus Williams: "I think in the Grand Slam events, it should be equal pay, and I think the ladies should do something about it instead of just accepting it for years to come."
- Ivanka Trump: "#EqualPayDay is a reminder that women deserve equal pay for equal work. We must work to close the gender pay gap!"
- Hilary Clinton: "The gender wage gap is even wider for women of color. It's time to ensure equal pay."
- Oprah Winfrey threatened to go on strike if her female producers were not paid appropriately
If these informed and respected people, organizations and countries who see the seriousness of pay gap are willing to talk about it and also do something about it, then why would anyone still believe the pay gap to be a myth?